Category Archives: About Us

Om-Nom Acres is moving!

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We’re expanding in lots of ways! While our website is staying right where it is our actual physical location will be moving soon.  Sammit and I bought our first home.  It is SW of Ann Arbor (one of our favorite places) in a city called Saline.  We have some work to do on the house before we move, but next growing season we’ll have plenty of space to expand beyond our current 700 square feet to fill as much as the 2.3 acres as we want (which will probably be a little at a time).  It’s zoned as agriculture which means we’ll have no problems adding chickens or goats to the mix – though no word on when that’s going to happen.  We are very excited and will post more pictures and updates as they happen.

Also, we’re adding to our family very soon (hopefully next week)!  Please be patient and stick around through the next two months though we may not have much material posted while we adjust to all the changes.

This sums up the deepest fears and desires.

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“Know, also, that farming is tough. Some days, maybe most days, you’ll feel overwhelmed. When your crop of onions is failing and your tomatoes have blight and the weed pressure on your winter squash is mounting and you can’t stand the people you work with (or, worse, the people you work with can’t stand you) and your livelihood depends on this food, you’ll feel overwhelmed and even afraid. But you’ll also feel a fullness. Your life will feel different from how it would if you were a young person living in a city, working in an office, going to bars and restaurants. You’ll know what quiet is and you’ll be able to go outside at night and see darkness. Your body, at first weak from the winter or the suburbs, will reject your work. Then, after struggling, it will embrace it. You’ll eat good food. Eventually, you’ll ask: “How do I live well?” And we need you to answer that question. We desperately need you to.”

– greenhorns

Closing up November 2012

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The days are getting shorter, but my semester is coming to a close soon (10 days left not that anyone is counting).  I want to take a few minutes to reflect on and take record of the month.

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The Celebrations

The first Om-Nom Acres event was a huge success!  You can read the details over here.

I had a wonderful catch-up dinner with two friends and former coworkers of mine, Catherine and Riley.  We ate great food from Seva in Ann Arbor, talked academics and politics, and laughed for a good portion of two hours.

There was the whole election business.  Yay democracy!

My 26th Birthday rocked.  I had a laid back day where I didn’t have to wake up early.  I stood in line with stranger-friends for hours while waiting for my pastured turkey; the weather was warm and the smell of supporting local farms was in the air – beautiful! Devin and I raided the salad bar at the grocery store toppings and enjoyed delicious individual homemade pizzas with some of my dearest friends, Yolanda and Lisa.  After dinner we decorated mini-cakes (and ate them) then snuggled in on the couch to watch two great films, the 8-time award winning “Waking Ned Divine” and the viral internet sensation “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”

While I had some really amazing birthday presents (like Yolanda’s fantastic tea-spoon, Lisa’s nostalgic pie-bite treats from the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market, and Sammit’s surprise-you-thought-I-had-to-work-a-24-hour-shift-on-your-birthday-but-really-I-swapped-with-a-fellow-employee-so-I-could-come-home-early-and-spend-the-night-with-you homecoming and complimentary extra thin-slicing food processor blade and edible arrangement) my absolute favorite was from my sister, Devin.  She spent time contacting people I’ve worked with, gone to school with, and grown up with to solicit wonderful memories from them.  She decorated these memories, put them in envelopes, and wrapped them in string with a plain brown tag.  I opened 26 heart-warming memories, pictures, and letters from the people in my life.  It was such a gift.

I started my new internship this month and it has been a great experience already.  I’m working in my and neighboring communities doing communications and organizing work for TimeBanking.

I spent a great afternoon with Devin and Sammit at our aunt and uncle’s house for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.  We had all the fixin’s and enjoyed my aunt’s legendary cheesecake while watching the dog show and the Detroit Lion’s lose (wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it).  My unit of three moved to my father and stepmother’s house for a second dinner in the evening.  I blessed my mother for understanding a blended family and forgoing dinner at her house as well.  On Saturday everyone trucked there way over to my house to enjoy yet another great Thanksgiving.  Devin and I made almost everything the day before and cooked the rolls, turkey, and green bean/kale dish the day of – it was all pretty relaxed.

Our 2012 Menu:

The Sad-Faces

I’m dealing with some serious end-of-the-semester burnout.  I’ve been trying to keep on the self-care wagon but I’m waning.  10 days.

When I sit down to read:

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When I try to write papers:

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When I try to compartmentalize:

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When I try to take my mind of school by doing anything else:

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The white girl’s guide to Diwali

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 दिवाली मुबारक 2012!

(Happy Diwali 2012!)

Technically all of Diwali started on Sunday and will continue through until Thursday (5 days), but today is the biggest celebration and the time that we try to observe in our house.  Prior to joining my life with Sammit’s I had never heard of Diwali and each year I learn a little more about it.  While someday I hope to present a scholarly look at the history and meaning behind this celebration, right now I’ll give you “The white girl’s guide to Diwali.”

I, the white girl, or rather white woman but that doesn’t flow in a title as well, have taken two years of Hindi at the collegiate level and two courses on Hinduism and Asian Religions.  I also married an Indian family several years ago (because you don’t marry into one, you marry the whole family).  So I’m an expert, right?  Alas, no.  India is a beautiful country that has an amazingly vast and complex history which I have not even begun to fully comprehend. Also, the only two phrases from my Hindi classes that stuck are:

  1. “अन्न आर्बर में हम खाना का चुके है” which is pronounced “Ann Arbor mae hum khana ka chukae hae” and translates to English as “We have to eat food in Ann Arbor” and translates into in-law as “No, I’m not hungry, please don’t feed me any….thank you so much this looks delicious.”
  2. Sentences that indicate I like things, particularly I like words that I remember in hindi, such as मुझे खाना पसंद है (Mujae khana pasand hae = I like to eat/I like food) or मुझे रोटी पसंद है (Mujae roti pasand hae = I like bread) or मुझे संतरे पसंद है (Mujae santrae pasand hae = I like oranges).  We learned a lot of food vocabulary.

I cannot hold a conversation in Hindi and I do not understand most Bollywood movies.  I’m convinced, to this day, that I earned an A for effort and because they did not want to discourage the only non-Indian person in the class.  I have been to India, twice, once for academics and the most recent to meet family and have a blessing for my future nuptials.  India is hot and smelly and beautiful, but I digress.

Here is my guide to Diwali:

  1. It’s kind of a big deal; it marks the Indian new year and comes complete with family, food, and fireworks.
  2. It is 3-5 days long, though I’ve only ever celebrated the 3rd day.
  3. It runs on the lunar calendar so while it typically happens in October or November each year it does not happen the same time every year.
    1. Next year Diwali will happen on November 3rd and in 2014 it will happen on October 23rd.
  4. Light, literal and figurative, is a reoccurring theme.
    1. In some places (Because remember, India is not homogeneous. It is home to many religions and even more subcultures and languages so holidays and social milestones are celebrated differently) it represents light overcoming darkness (read: good overcoming evil) and a reminder that light exists in each of us.
    2. All candles, lamps, and lights in the house are turned on – let there be no corner left dark.
    3. Pay particular attention to lighting and making your entryway festive (read: colorful) and welcoming.
  5. This new year celebration is the time to make sure your things, like your house or business, are in order.  This involves some serious deep cleaning leading up to the 3rd day celebrations; get all that dirt and clutter out  and renew your life!
  6. Prayers happen, Indian sweets are exchanged, and there is generous joyousness and love all around with lots of fireworks.
  7. I usually leave my in-laws’ house with a tilak (a smoosh of red powder/paste on my forehead), a monetary gift, and a smile.

I hope you’ve learned a little bit about Diwali and I hope to be able to tell you more about it next year.  Until then, have a happy and prosperous new year!

Vote 2012!

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I took a break from planting garlic to exercise the democratic right for which many before me fought. From Sojourner Truth to Jane Addams and Ida B. Wells to Alice Paul and so many more, thank you.

I encourage you to head to your polling place, too!  I hear a lot of apathy about our political system, especially from the many youth I interact with regularly.  Check out some political myths that might motivate you to get out and vote!