A lot has changed around here – we are now a family of five and finding our new balance with the addition of our sweet baby Alder. On the (very) bright side she is a true joy and the easiest of my 3 babies.  She has been sleeping through the night from the start, eats well, and rarely fusses.  The universe must have know I needed this 🙂 The past 7 weeks since she arrived have really been a whirlwind.  So much was happening and not happening and I lost track for just a bit….reality hit one weekend day this past month when I was standing looking at my beautiful garden I have worked so hard on and realizing I had failed it.  Our plants we had tenderly raised from tiny seeds and planted carefully in the rich organic soil had been neglected. Without water through the heat of summer and this drought they had all but shriveled up, and what had made it through without water was seriously infested with pests.  I could feel tears welling up as I loaded wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow full of the waste, and when done I was left staring at bare soil and empty harvest baskets.  But here is the the thing: there is benefit in failure.  If you want to achieve any sort of success in life you must be prepared for failure.  This quote from J.K. Rowling’s Harvest commencement speech sums it up pretty well:

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

I am really hard on myself.  I push myself and push myself way past what I am capable of, which sometimes works out in my favor and has helped us overcome roadblocks to our dreams, but other times the overdoing it breaks me.  When it does at least I can find clarity, strip away everything that I don’t need, and get back on my path with even clearer vision.  I certainly don’t let failure stop me. In fact this failure in my garden may seem small but it is kind of a big deal. I feel a sense of liberation to be washed away of the pressure to be perfect, to do it all.  I am opening my arms wide to these new feelings I have been experiencing. I think in fact it is the beginning of something really wonderful.  Of letting go. Of focusing on what really matters.  I might have already been working towards this for a while, it was just this kick in the pants that made things really clear. When you have big huge dreams it gets really scary because the drop is that much higher if you fall.  I plant a lot of seeds and have many sprouts, but I haven’t always followed through on nurturing those tiny sprouts so that they can bloom and grow, to be able to reap the reward of the harvest. This season I am not planting anything new, both literally and in this crazy busy mind of mine.  For once I am letting things settle down. I have learned so much from the garden this summer, much more than I would have learned had everything flourished.  So for this little bit of failure I am thankful – even if I still feel like crying about my beautiful cabbages I had nursed for months and months that were all completing infested with aphids and all sorts of creepy crawlers.

Just so you don’t think I am all sad and pensive (I’m not!), this past month or two have also included some real highlights for our family.  Besides the most beautiful birth of our daughter, we spend lots of time visiting with friends and family.  We attended our first Roper Farmapalooza, celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary, and had a family reunion at Chad’s cousin’s wedding in Walla Walla.  I also was uplifted and inspired when I attended the annual Wildflowers Workshop Reunion with my mentor Joy Prouty. And we did have an incredible crop of tomatoes so those permaculture tactics we tried out did the trick.  Here are a few pictures of our reality here on the Brundage Homestead.

So much inspiration at my workshop reunion

wild1wild2wild3wild4wild5Clem nicknamed me sunshine, and I felt my heart burst!

Chasing after the summer just before the rains came, we took a day trip to the beach.

blog1blog2Look who is smiling now


Sawyer LOVES his little sister, sometimes too much….but this is just so sweetblog6

Keeping it real – no clean up before this picture, just our homestead as it is right in this moment

Our first family picture as a family of 5

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Have you had any major garden failures that you have learned from? I would love to hear how things worked out for you in the comments. Or if you just want to give me a virtual hug here too that is always great! Thanks for joining me again this month for an update on our life and adventures around the Brundage Homestead. Catch up on what has been happening the past few months here