Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending the Seed Savers Exchange Annual Camp Out in Decorah, Iowa. When I learned that Craig was invited to speak my first reaction (like many New Englanders) was "Iowa, what's in Iowa?". But much to my surprise there is a lot to see in Iowa - and not just corn fields. Decorah is a lovely, thriving small town...with the beautifully restored Hotel Winneshiek, great restaurants, galleries, ice cream and yes, (most importantly) it has a wonderful quilt shop and yarn store (who could ask for more!). Also we had the pleasure of seeing our friends, Jeff and Mary from Michigan.
But getting on to the the main reason for our trip - the Seed Savers Exchange Camp Out. The organization's Heritage Farm is in Decorah and comprises 900 acres of beautiful farmlands used for display, preservation and research gardens, as well as land for the preservation of Ancient White Park Cattle. Friday we had a tour of all the facilities and gardens. Craig and I were so impressed by the knowledge, handling of the genetic purity of the vast amount of seeds that they save and maintain, and germination and disease testing. Saturday and Sunday were spent in informative work shops and lectures, eating local organic food, and even an old-fashioned barn dance. Craig's tomato talks went well and a lot of people are excited about his Dwarf Tomato breeding project.
When we got home a friend asked me what my favorite part of the weekend was and I didn't have to think too long. It was the delightful and interesting people we met. It was so inspiring to be around like-minded people who believe in the importance of saving our heritage.
"Mrs.Tomato Man"?.....I was first addressed with this title three or four years ago. At first I was taken aback - just because I am married to the NC Tomato Man doesn't mean I am as crazy about this fruit (or is it a vegetable?) as my husband is. But as my kitchen and dining room are being taken over by every color and shape of tomato know to human, I am indeed starting to feel like "Mrs.Tomato Man". When my girls were young we had a book called Miss Lucy's Garden, where the veggie garden invaded the house. Well, we are not quite to the point of having cucumber and zucchini vines coming up the plumbing, but in few weeks, who knows!
I am not complaining. Being married to Craig, my best friend and affectionately know as NC Tomato Man, has its advantages:
1. I always know where he is.
2. The afternoon tomato tastings and how may adjectives can we come up with to describe tomato flavors.
3. Living with a man who is happy and passionate about his hobby.
4. Having a husband who is supportive and understanding about my quilting passion.
5. Being invited along to Craig's speaking engagements and meeting other wonderful and friendly gardeners.
I could go on and on but I will just share pictures of what was once our driveway.
Who is this man and what the heck is he doing?
A busy spring has turned into a busy summer. The garden is doing great, we are starting to harvest tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, summer squash and green beans. I put up pickles yesterday and today it will be green beans.
I have been busy quilting also. I have completed two more custom quilted wall hangings using my pattern "Colour Karma" and the hand dyed fabrics by Lorin Fields of Beyond Surface Design. The clients picked out these fabrics to match their decor.
My pattern "Colour Karma" is an easy pattern that works well with batiks as well as hand dyed fabric. It is available at Thimble Pleasures quilt shop in Chapel Hill or you can contact me directly.
We also have a new baby in the family. My cousin in California just had a beautiful baby girl. And I happen to love to make baby quilts; this was done in "blue work" and machine quilted.
Last but not least, here is my main obstacle to not getting more quilting done. His name is Kip (after Rudyard), he is one year old and our sweetie (sometimes). He was sick a few months ago with cystitis, but has recovered nicely. One of these days I may sew that little paw into a quilt!