>The Amazing Shape-Shifting Blog! Plus, the next chapter.

>Blogs are funny things. I haven’t actually kept up with many since the whole craze started, but my limited observation of them tells me that, unlike with books or even magazines, it’s okay to change tone, intent, format and content entirely from post to post. Some are updated hourly; some – like mine – tend toward neglect. Still, it’s a project I enjoy, even if my purposes are not entirely clear.
With that in mind, I’m going to ask this blog to take yet another leap, and I hope this old faithful multimedia horse can keep up. What started as a class project two years ago turned into a venue for my rants, then a travelogue when I went to India. I believe the next stage in its evolution (or perhaps devolution) will be some sort of combination of its previous functions. I’ve changed locations again, and I’m feeling rant-y. I also have quite a few stories to relay. There are many pictures and recipes to post, and I’ve started trying to write more creative stuff which I may be brave enough to share. Now that I’m no longer required to think like a journalist (just the facts, please!) I’m trying to approach writing in a new way. Adding a dose of fun, hopefully, with less concern over word counts and marketability.
All of this re-evaluation tells me that this blog may start to have an even more confused identity than it already has. It’s taking a form of its own, one that I haven’t really pinned down.

I suppose this was to be expected with the recent changes that have come about in my own life. I’m no longer a college student. I participated in two graduation ceremonies (running, with tassels flapping in one hand an high heels clutched in the other, from one ceremony to the other, thanks to some bad scheduling on the UO’s part). I’m now qualified to serve up a double dose of BS (that’s Bachelor of Science, thank you): Environmental Studies and Journalism. I packed up my four years of accumulated junk and put the into my newly acquired automobile. I said goodbye to beloved friends, apartment, and bicycle. And I let out a big WHOOOHOOO!! as I crossed the border into British Columbia.

At the same time, I had no idea what to expect once I got here. I knew very little about my next stage in life as I zoomed up the I5, only that I was ready to get out of the city and try something new. A few months earlier, realizing that I wasn’t ready to launch a “career” straight away, and also that I had absolutely no reason to (no heavy debt, no dependents, no desire to own a yacht in ten years), I decided to look into other options. I thought about what I like to do (other than write, which I can do anywhere): eat, cook, garden, educate people about where food comes from. It didn’t take me long to start looking for farms.
WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) is one organization that has gained attention along with the whole organics movement. SOIL (Stewards of Irreplaceable Land) Apprenticeships operates under a similar structure, but lists farms only in Canada. After spending a couple of weeks on both websites, I had my choices narrowed down to a few farms in the Pacific Northwest. I sent out emails and applications. I kept my fingers crossed.

When Ann Collins called me from Vancouver Island, BC, what she described sounded perfect. She told me that she and her husband had been farming for 30 years on a fertile piece of land by a river in the Alberni Valley. They grew vegetables and kept goats, chickens and horses. Securing the local food supply was their priority. As an apprentice, I would get to help out with all aspects of their farming operation, plus cook to my heart’s content and spend my free time on the river or in the abundant forests surrounding the farm. Worried that I was drooling into the telephone, I told Ann I’d think about it. I then spent the next week or so trying to come up with a reason I shouldn’t just go for it. I failed. I sent them an email and said to expect me post-graduation.

So here I am, typing in my bedroom at the farm house, my laptop resting on a handmade quilt. There’s dirt permanently under my fingernails and I’m completely blowing my new early bedtime in order to finally update my poor blog.
Pictures and more tidbits from the farming life to arrive shortly. In the meantime, check out the farm website. (Who would have thought those two words would ever go together? Ah, the digital age.) The short update is this: So far, I’m having the time of my life.


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