Friday, September 18, 2009

My enviable mix of Old World and new

click images to to enlarge

Working in the orchard early this morning to beat the heat, I checked my phone and saw a Twitter DM from a reporter who wanted to talk about social media. I replied that I was picking olives and asked if we could do it later.

“I envy your mix of Old World and new,” he tweeted back.

Well, I can understand that. It’s fantastic.

Barb and I bought the property here amidst Shenandoah vineyards about 10 years ago, and saved to build a small house that was finished in 2006. We transplanted a few mature olive trees next to the driveway before we had a house; the fruit orchard likewise precedes our residence. Since then we’ve been working like Irish peasants (oh, we are) and have done a hell of a lot here, if I do say so myself.

We now work about 45 olive trees, 30 fruit trees and a rapidly expanding truck garden. We heat almost entirely with wood we haul and split ourselves from many wooded acres surrounding the house. We’ve added a tool shed, barn and residential treehouse, built an adobe oven and gas powered fire box. Barb has in mind to dig a root cellar next.

I mention this not simply to brag (though I’m proud of it) but as contrast to the work I’m still trying to do bridging from one news era to another. I do know some about social media, mainly gleaned from living it enthusiastically online. After fighting bandwidth limitations for years, I’ve settled into an acceptable satellite service I can live with. I get a decent AT&T signal on my iPhone, and have discovered one spot in the yard were the Kindle’s Sprint service works.

I read omnivorously about media, mainly online nowadays, though two shelves of books behind me speak of earlier explorations. My work with the Publish2 board has introduced me to many good thinkers busy pushing boundaries, and I’ve been lucky to connect with others in media who want to keep talking, as well. I’m working with talented videographers on a web-based interview program and writing fiction.

I’m posting on this blog because these thoughts are personal, not media-related. I’d writing it down to make myself pause and consider how lucky I am to have found a mix of earthy and heady things I love to spend my days on.

If I weren’t here, I’d envy me, too. I need to remember that.


Mike Eaton said...

No envy here, just sympathy and appreciation.

And do let us know when you flush, OK?


Randal said...

A gear driven tractor and a 3G network (or better) are not mutually exclusive, simply a clear sign of a darn fine life.

Denise said...

Love the photo. Could be a Van Morrison album cover.

A fine life, indeed. Resources to acquire the land and trappings and become a gentleman farmer are to be envied. Your pastimes on the ranch will do lots to ensure long life and good health.

I'm interested in the olives. What kind are you growing? A good friend of mine from kindergarten and her husband grow olives in Jamestown, Calif. Their Frantoio oil is fabulous. It's Jamestown Olive Oil Co. but don't even bother going to the Web site. It sucks! I've tried to get them to change it but they're kind of Luddites when it comes to accepting technology.

Denise said...

Post a pic of your treehouse. Please.