Unfortunately, I’ve been doing plenty of worrying while I’ve been hibernating.
Featured Image: Frost on the inside windows of the greenhouse after it started getting above freezing during sunny days.
In October, I started working on my greenhouse. I’ll do a more thorough post about it later, but it’s fully enclosed now. The temperatures still fluctuate wildly between sunny days and overnight (the record, so far, is 106°F during the day and 35°F that same night), but that should level off once I get it insulated and have heat mass to retain that heat overnight. It’s thawed enough inside that I’ve been able to start working on leveling the floor (the ground).
As a woman, a small business owner, a supporter of our environment, a proponent of non-conventionally raised food, and a human being who believes in equal rights for all other human beings, I’ve been struggling with the dramatic changes in our government since the election in November.
In December, I took on an intern. We met weekly for a few weeks, but have shifted to an every-other-week schedule so we can fit in a Dungeons & Dragons session on the off weeks. I’ve been trying to write down the contents of our lessons (and even plan ahead somewhat), with limited success.
In January, we tapped my maple trees. It was looking pretty grim for sap the last couple of weeks: we went from those “perfect” sap temperatures (above freezing during the day to below freezing at night) to 60’s during the day and 40’s at night for about two weeks. This week, it dropped back to “perfect,” however, and I’ve got a couple gallons of sap now. Hopefully I’ll get more – two gallons isn’t enough to be worth the hassle of boiling down!
At the end of January, I was diagnosed with estrogen dominance (ED). This has been weighing heavily on my mind for the last month, and I’ve had mixed feelings about it: on the one hand, finally having a diagnosis after eight years and four doctors is a relief; on the other hand, it’s a badly understudied condition – unless you happen to be a menopausal woman, which I am not. The clinical approach is progesterone supplements or a hysterectomy: treat the symptoms, not the cause. Even the holistic health approach is about managing the symptoms, not identifying and treating the root cause. I have my doctors’ support in my pursuit of identifying the root cause, but they’re not helping me look for it, they just want to treat the symptoms.
My first step in this journey is reducing my exposure to estrogenic compounds (ECs) and products that exhibit estrogenic activity (EA), starting with plastics. Every form of plastic demonstrates EA when exposed to ethanol and/or saline (guess what can be excreted in your sweat?). You don’t realize how pervasive plastic has become until you start trying to get rid of it: electronics, automobiles, hand and power tools, garden hoses, t-shirt ink, plastic wrapping/bags for and cans of food at the grocery store, thermal-printed receipts, food containers for leftovers or microwave meals, polyester and acrylic clothing and yarn, vinyl flooring, and canning jar lids (for home canning, not just store-bought), just to name a few. While some of these items are things I planned to get away from on the Farm, many of them are things I thought were safe (like the plastic components of my car, or my TV, or my computer).
On the upside, I now understand the insomnia I’ve been experiencing the last several months. I understand why I seem stuck in a two steps forward, one step back routine with my weight loss. And a myriad of other, small things that didn’t make sense before now do.
All of this, and I’m trying to get geared up for the growing season. I’m talking with people about operating a CSA this year instead of being a vendor at a Farmers’ Market, and I haven’t even placed my seed order yet! I’m also still slaving over revisions to the Farm Paper, but I think I’m finally approaching a publishable document.
I’m going to try to resume at least weekly postings over here, so hopefully you’ll see me again next week! In the meantime, I’m going to toddle off and prepare to join Squeak in unconsciousness.