Digging in the dirt.

Planting Seeds of Change

Lately, I’ve been changing houses, cities and jobs like they’re socks. So let’s change something else, just for kicks…

Our baby Organic Spark has joined forces with a media network comprised of a fantastic group of traditional foods bloggers called Real Food Media.  Organic Spark will be a featured blog, sitting pretty next to the incredible company of blogs such as: Nourished Kitchen, Cheeseslave, Hartke Is Online and Health Home Happy.  As a by-product, a banner advertisement now resides in the right-hand column of our blog.  I was hesitant to incorporate ads into Organic Spark. I simply can’t stomach supporting things for which I don’t believe.  It’s no fun faking a smile.  Luckily, Real Food Media offers a solution without a bit of compromise.  Their standards for sponsors are so high; I feel lucky to have their ads on my site.  Supporting the companies who join Real Food Media is a pleasure for which I am grateful.

As for the farm, we’re 1 week away from moving onto the property full-time. We’ve been managing virtually for a while now, but nothing will compare to seeing, feeling and touching our daily decisions.  I’d like to introduce a man who is deeply immersed in the day-to-day success of the farm, Raul Rios.  Raul’s been with the property since he was a little guy, we’re blessed to have him continuing on with us.  He’s holding down the fort while we’re gone.

Raul Rios of Apricot Lane Farms

Raul in Action: Adjusting Irrigation on one of the Pastures

A few week’s back I spent my first night at the farm.  I was alone.  John still back in Chicago, my stay was brief, yet exciting. But unfortunately, our new bedroom stunk like something awful.  No incense in the world was strong enough.  The next day, I asked around, and thankfully, Raul crawled into the attic to see what he could find.  Well, find he did… one dead opossum.  The next morning, I woke up to a dead mole on the porch, compliments of the farm cats.

Charlie, one of the four resident farm cats.

And the very next visit, we spotted this little lady…

Chirping incredibly loudly to protect her nest from this guy…

Welcome to the country.

One of our first projects is getting the large vegetable patch planted.  Thanks to Real Food Media, I’ll be participating in the Sowing Millions Project with a wonderful company, Seeds of Change.  Seeds of Change actually gave out 1 million seeds to be planted across our green planet, and folks are tracking the progress of their growth on the Seeds of Change facebook page. Organic Spark was a lucky benefactor of some of those seeds. So with the help of Raul, we’ll be growing a pleasing amount of food from organic seed, which means that we better get a move on and get those little guys in the ground.  It’s mid-May and the clocks a-ticking.  We’ll be experimenting with all sorts of vegetables: heirloom tomatoes, celery, watermelon, chard, radish, beet and more.  This round of produce will begin to shape our future farmer’s market endeavors.  It’s the perfect opportunity to get to know this land and see what bounty she offers.  No sense in fighting an uphill battle; we’d like to grow what’s meant to be grown.  What are you growing this year?  I’d love to hear.

The vegetable patch is ripe for planting Seeds of Change.

The above plot is where Raul and I will be toiling away.  John will help with the home stretch, but he’s heading to South Africa until late-July to direct a show called Safari Vets, which will likely gain him some helpful knowledge.  Dorper sheep, which we’ll be raising, are actually from South Africa. A premiere Dorper ranch is less than an hour away from where John will be staying. Go figure. Thankfully, Mom & Dad will be flying out as back-up; I’m so grateful for the help and company.  I’ll put ‘em to work, and when we dig up something good or learn a little something new, you’ll be the first to know…

I wrote this post while participating in the Sowing Millions Project by Real Food Media on behalf of Seeds of Change.  I received product and exclusive content to facilitate my post.  My thoughts and opinions are my own and not those of Real Food Media or Seeds of Change.

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15 comments


  • Check out all those critters! You are gonna be one busy lady working that farm. Congrats on Real Food Media! Sounds like a great partnership :)

    May 15, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Thanks Marla! Will you be going to BlogHer? Hope to see you there!

      May 16, 2011
  • Beautiful pictures, I can’t wait to learn more about your farm! Welcome to Real Food Media too :)

    May 15, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Thanks Cara! Love reading all your GAPS intro info lately. I might be trying that sometime this upcoming year. We feel best on the GAPS diet, so I can’t imagine that the intro wouldn’t be a good thing for us, too…

      May 16, 2011
  • Wow, Molly – you are proof that dreams do come true. I am excited and anxious to head out to the farm and get my hands dirty! What a wonderful journey you are about to begin. I am looking forward to watching it unfold! x

    May 15, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Can’t wait to get you up there Susan! Maybe we can having a ladies lunch up there once we get all moved in… xo

      May 16, 2011
  • I just spent way too much time poking around your blog and thoroughly enjoyed it, welcome to RFM! :)

    May 16, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Awe – thanks Kelly! So glad to be a part of the great team you all have built!

      May 16, 2011
  • Joy

    Wow Molly, your farm is beautifu! Even your critters are glorious-I know you’ll learn how to all work together. Hopefully they will stop dying in your attic though!! Well as far as what we’re growing, I live in the suburbs of Phila. PA. We saved enough $ this year (after 6 years of trying) and my amazing husband of 22 years and our 4 beautiful children have all built a raised bed organic garden. Each of our children has an 8′x3′ area and we have a 2′x2′ square in the middle with herbs. We are growing tomatos, cucumbers, icuburg/romaine lettuce, peas, green beans, squash, zuccini, broccoli, green peppers, carrots, radishes (which my 2 littles spelled their names in when we sowed the seeds-it looks really neat and they are *thrilled*). Our 16 yr old sons garden has all versions of hot and sweet peppers-he’s nuts about them and the 3 girls wanted nothing to do with jalapenos and habaneros! It was a big expense and I am pulling dandilions out of our 1/2 acre yard by hand to avoid any chemicals on the lawn. It’s tiring but we are really happy. We have already had some wonderful moments digging in the dirt and talking. I pray the kids have lovely memories of gardening with their old mom. Blessings to you sweet Molly as you take a new road on your journey. It looks so beautiful-I can’t wait to watch it grow!

    May 16, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Thanks so much for sharing Joy! That was really fun to read. Good luck with your garden this year! Let me know how it goes… Molly

      May 22, 2011
  • Leanne

    Doesn’t surprise me one bit! Yours is my favorite blog : )

    May 16, 2011
    • Molly Chester

      Oh Leanne – you know how to make a girl smile! Thanks!

      May 22, 2011
  • Amie

    Yeah Molly! So beautiful!

    May 17, 2011
  • Mom

    I’m excited to view this dream turned reality with my own eyes. Only days until we see Apricot Lane Farms! Yippee. I don’t really want to meet that snake. Nope. Just don’t.

    May 17, 2011
  • I wouldn’t know what the hell I was doing with any of it, but if you ever want hands to help, let me know. Dan and I would happily come spend a weekend up there!

    May 21, 2011

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