It’s been years since Tweet greet me as “The Egg Lady” but his voice echoed through Quiet Creek as I sprinkled feed on the ground for the family’s flock of guinea hens.
Ashton and I climbed to the loft of the shop/teaching barn that houses a library. Our morning task was to sort, sticker and shelve a box of books. He told me about his favorite TV show, Sherlock, and star Benedict Cumberbatch (What planet have I been on? I had never heard of him.) I told Ashton about the book I was reading, The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Ben and Wyatt, two 20-somethings who volunteer at the farm, stopped by. Rusty put the three of us to work, chopping Nappa cabbage, daikon radishes and carrots Claire and I harvested from the garden just an hour earlier. Then came the onions and Jerusalem artichokes. Rusty manned the Vitamix blender creating the Kim chi paste of hot peppers, powdered brown rice, fish sauce, garlic and ginger, telling stories all the while.
A couple from Westminster College stopped in to see Quiet Creek’s shiitake grove, so I joined them on a tour. Rusty probably has a hundred or so four-foot long logs inoculated with shiitake and oyster mushrooms leaning on rails in the shade of his mature pine windbreak. Besides selling fresh and dried mushrooms, they also sell the inoculated logs for people who want to grow their own at home for three or four years.
Another highlight of the weekend was learning about a new vegetable that the Orners discovered on a mission trip to Jamaica. They have spires of it growing in a bed of sweet potatoes – Callaloo. It is in the amaranth family and its leaves are used in soups, stews and even for breakfast in the Caribbean, South America and Africa. We had it on pizza!
Sign at Quiet Creek Herb Farm Shop: “In every peaceful heart flows a quiet creek.”
To be continued…