Skip to content

The evidence is in

2015 March 24
by Rachel Turiel

I’ve spent the past few months a little like Charlie Brown in the pumpkin patch, waiting with equal measures hope and fear, for winter to arrive. (It’s not lost on me that there may be a more go with the flow way to live this life).

But it’s the end of March and the evidence is in. We ate our first dandelion salad; the lemony yellow goldfinches are back; the chickens have ramped up their laying; Utah topo maps are co-mingling with camping lists; the cold frames are thundering with greens; jackets are now strictly eveningwear.


Coldframe heaven.

The garden and I are waking up together, a little shy and out of practice. I’ve been mostly strolling around, observing (which may be a strategy to avoid actually working), but I can already see this is how I’ll garden when I’m an old lady—which feels approximately 7 yrs away—more observation and welcoming, less agenda (i.e. work).

As I stroll around, skimming my hands through the soil, plucking lambs quarter seedlings, everything feels both startlingly new and reassuringly familiar, like all my relationships, I suppose. And honestly, as much as my mind wants to evaluate and judge how the garden and I are doing…carrots are late, tomatoes on time, arugula early, should I be planting potatoes?…I’m hoping to wrest myself from the pumpkin patch of hopes and fears and just attend to what each moment requires.


This morning Col woke me up at his idea of morning. I extended an arm, he nestled in, and I folded it back over him like the metal bar on a carnival ride, locked and secure. He immediately fell back asleep. It reminded me of all the times very small children had fallen asleep in my arms while I plotted how to slip away unnoticed, feeling like a bank robber about to pull off a heist.

This time I stayed, knowing how rare and precious these moments are. I felt my ten year old’s heartbeat threading his body; I nuzzled his hair, still drenched in the fresh warm smells of youth. I could slip away, I thought. I could meditate, make coffee, read my book. But I stayed. He slept for an hour, until the sun rose and filled the room with light.

News and Classes and Such:


1) Have I given you a link to Dan’s etsy site? I’m such a biased, enthusiastic promoter of his arts and crafts that I hardly trust myself to write a description without morphing into a team of backflipping cheerleaders. So, you know, go check it out, it’s pretty cool.

2) I am teaching another Fermentation 101 class at Durango Natural Foods (which appears to be my new hippie sugar daddy, sponsoring all classes I dream up. Thank you) April 8th, 6 – 7:30. We’ll be talking about the history, art and science behind different types of fermentation, plus make our own batch of kimchi to take home. Cost: $17 for co-op members, $20 for non members. Register at the store, or call 970.247.8129

3) I’m also teaching Fermented Drinks: Kombucha and Ginger Ale with Jennifer Smith at Durango Natural Foods, May 13th, 6 – 7:30. We’ll be sampling, discussing, and going through a step-by-step process to make kombucha and ginger ale. You will take home a ginger ale starter, and first seven sign ups get a kombucha scoby. Cost: $17 for co-op members, $20 for non-members. Register at the store or call 970.247.8129


Harry Potter inspired play.

4) This summer I’m teaching a Harry Potter discussion and writing class for kids ages 9-13. (Partially so my kids finally think I’m cool). We’ll discuss the classic hero’s journey, the evolution of Harry’s primary relationships, why we’re attracted to the idea of Good vs Evil and the pitfalls therein. We’ll play games, unearth obscure factoids (who can name all the Gryffindor passwords?) and I’ll give the children in-class, related, writing assignments (write an advertisement for your favorite magical tool!). Two options: Wednesdays, June 10th – July 8th, 3:30 – 4:45 pm OR Tuesdays, 3:45 – 5:00 pm, July 14th – August 11th.  please let me know if you’re interested. Cost: $90. Class limited to 8 children and is already filling, so register soon!

5) Two out of five of Dan’s bow-making students are now shooting their bows! Dan is like a proud Papa, fawning over them as they get ready to leave the bow-making nest. (Next bow-making class will start in fall). Dan will be teaching a one day, comprehensive Hide-Tanning Class in May (details TBD, e-mail if you’re interested) and is putting together a Hunting Skills Class for teenagers this summer (which could also be titled: how to see wildlife and read their signs). Limited space. Again, e-mail if interested.

We are heading off to Utah for the quintessential Colorado spring break camping trip. Rose is over-packing in the form of copious shoes, Col is underpacking, trying to forget his toothbrush, Dan keeps winking at me, whispering, “Me and you, in the canyon.”

With love and spring blessings,


8 Responses leave one →
  1. March 24, 2015

    Will you please whisper my name to some Utah stone walls? And have a wonderful journey.

  2. Becky permalink
    March 24, 2015

    I always read your posts and end up with such good feelings. Thank you! We are truly hoping winter is over here in the South and spring/summer will be here soon

  3. Susan S permalink
    March 24, 2015

    Rachel, I’m curious–do you think that as the climate changes, the “signs” will change? By “signs,” I mean the things we look for in the natural progression of the seasons that tell us it’s time for something. For example, at least where I live now, we know that when the forsythia blooms, it’s time to plant peas. I’m still very much a novice gardener, but this type of gardening by natural signposts, rather than by the calendar, makes more intuitive sense to me. However, what seems like intuition might be changing. Have you had any thoughts about that?

    Also, congrats to Dan and his bow students, and CONGRATS in advance to his new batch of students and yours! You’re all gonna have a great time! Looking forward to reading about it on the blog. :-)

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      March 25, 2015

      Susan, yes for sure I think the signs will change. I’ve heard that spring (snow melting, rivers swelling, plants budding and leafing out) is already 2 weeks earlier than 50 yrs ago here in the Southwest. We have a few crab apple trees that always bloom on Rose’s birthday. I’m interested to see how that changes over time.

  4. March 24, 2015

    Those greens look so delightful! Happy salad eating.

  5. March 25, 2015

    if you have even a fraction of the sacred meaningful fun that we in-joyed with D during our Spring Break r(om)p??! – which i KNOW you will – have your quill at hand and go(o)d luck in attempting to record the cascade of delights…

    loving, loving, loving
    giving, giving, giving,
    dedication, dedication, dedication…

  6. Andrea permalink
    March 26, 2015

    It’s strange. This non-winter. Here, the rule is don’t plant until after Mother’s Day. But…

  7. melissa permalink
    March 29, 2015

    oh man. Avi would love to take your Harry Potter class, though he’s a bit under age at 7. And a bit far away, in Berkeley. And while he tore through books 1-3, he has paused mid way through 4. Thoughts? I wonder if the themes are going beyond his comprehension, and also, there’s that pesky crush that he does NOT want to discuss. Happy spring breaking with your beautiful family. xoxo

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: