Gratitude

I am thankful

There is so much around to rejoice about. Birdsong and sunshine, a place to lay our heads and clean water to drink.  Having friends who love and ground that carries life.

The kitchen office was robbed last week- but the theme isn't loss and violation; it's the beauty of negating the hidden rocks and noticing the beauty of the raging sea, the peace of the changing seasons. 

 A person my daughter made from treasures she found on mushroom hunt-walk.

A person my daughter made from treasures she found on mushroom hunt-walk.

So much abundance all around, what a harvest is the fall time- food falling from trees greater than our abilities to process and preserve.  Beauty all around in golden trees, crisp greens and ever-vibrant dahlias holding on to endless summer despite the chill of shade and early night. Winter comes soon,  things will slow and be buried under the mulch of last year, resting, waiting, quietly rooting deeper and getting ready for next seasons growth. May we rejoice in the fruits of our labor, rest in the season of rooting down and hardening off last years growth, and ready our hearts for what the weather may bring in the season ahead.

Gotta keep that forward momentum!

 "Don't get stuck inside yourself in dis-contentment; instead look up and do good work that is before you."  -SE

Somtimes I feel overcome with the disparity between where I see I am going and where I am today.   I wrote those words in my journal while driving, taking my children to school. Late. On the verge of tears. Probably speeding.  Thinking about how much I have to do to really get this off the ground. I've laid all the groundwork but there is still quite a ways to go. Yet when those words dawned upon me it was as though the sun broke through the clouds in my consciousness and I came out of it into the open air. There are so many good things I get to do every day. My work is good work. I am blessed.  

I have these notions of what could be attained if I squeezed the potential out of every minute according to "my plan" and I try to balance that with maintaining a peaceful perspective of flowing where the river of opportunity and abundance leads, which I believe is The Plan that goes way beyond my understanding.  I have this epic mission on my heart to help people find ways to live and feel good about the choices they make. Really know what they are eating, where it comes from and rejoice in the process, the sources, the flavor. It makes such a difference to be able to take joy in what we build our bodies with.

So for months now I've been on the cusp of having a real retail line of iced teas, cold brew coffee, baked goods, loose leaf tea, herbal honeys, healthy wholesome chocolates. What gives? Apparently I have a hard time sitting down at a computer and figuring a few things: packaging with a low environmental impact that is cost effective, wholesale pricing spreadsheets, label design. Things where I have to sit!

But I am committed to getting it done this month, and the clock is ticking. I admit to being a procrastinator- but now this declaration is a part of my Official Story.  I got to keep me accountable.  That is no ones job but my own. Forward momentum here we come.

On the other end, I am making progress at farmers market. Last week I searved a local vegetarian beet chilli which was super tasty. I plan to continue serving soup along with tacos, cookies tea and coffee throughout the winter market. There are a few local places which will likely carry my goods when I get the whole costs figured: 5-acre school, Renissance, and Nash's farm store. All business I really respect, so that would be a joy to work with them.

One fun and practice new item I have at market are Goodness Bites. These little gems are roasted almond butter mixed with raw honey, Himalayan pink salt and either cacao, maca or cinnamon verum to provide a super-food boost of energy, protein and fat for when you need something sustaining but honestly don't have time for it. No rest for the bless'd!

Alight folks, here's to the constant flux that is life! To keeping it real! To holding ourselves accountable! Most of all, here's to doing the best we can and giving ourselves grace that there is a whole lot we can't.

 At the beach with Pearl and and a nice hot lemonade. Good stuff in there.

At the beach with Pearl and and a nice hot lemonade. Good stuff in there.

GoodnesstorTillas

Tortillas are here!

I have been refining my tortilla recipe with the help all my wonderful patrons at Farmer's Market who have become my focus group. Along with masa made from locally grown organic corn (thank you Mr.Nash!), I now incorporate Nash's buckwheat with chia, avacado oil and Himalayan pink salt to give you the Super Tastiest Superfood Tortillas you are likely to find.

They are pliable, a little thick as one may expect from a legitimately hand made tortilla, and best of all taste awesome. No funky weirdness, no GMO, no Questionable Oils of Uncertain Origin.

Simple wholesome ingredients delivering a delightful tortilla.

I may offer them with and without the buckwheat, it does diminish the lovely flavor of Nash's field  corn- but for the addition of vitamins and minerals and the nice complexity it gives to the flavor, I also may not : ) let me know what you think.

Pretty soon I will get my labels printed and have them available for sale at the Nash's farm store in Dungeness as well as here and there around the area- I will let you know when I make it happen. 

Here's to honesty

Our lives are our stories, we write them by the minute. Here’s mine… one about a girl who decided that she can change the world.  It didn’t start out that way; it began as a rebellion against chaos. A decision to fight the Goodness fight…a quickening that my life was my choice and if any of it was less than right, I had to do something about it. 

Turning 30 was a big deal. I started really thinking that I’ve had a good decade to learn from my mistakes, make my life what I want it, not what my parents and culture handed me- ten years to get over my childhood issues, learn to cope with reality as The Boss of what I do. An adult. Who I spend time with, what I do during the day, where I live, all totally my choices at this point.

My job- I’ve had a good amount of time to figure out what I like and find employment that makes me smile. Good there; been gardening professionally, teaching here and there, selling farm goods and homeschooling/homesteading for the past ten years- love that department, I signed up to be present and aware of my children as much as possible when I got pregnant whether I liked it or not, so I decided to like and embrace it and have since really worked on creating the healthiest reality for my children ivd been able to; trying to best prepare them for what lies ahead.

My relationships- Here was a mixed bag. I have an incredible family of beautiful wise and compassionate souls. I love and delight in the unique strengths of my siblings and parents. So blessed.  None of us are perfect, but the love, support and connection we have with and for each other is lovely. Those I call friends are all accepting and inspiring people who vary as do the flowers of the wild- all of them I can be Real with, and always feel free to give or receive a meaningful embrace or word of challenge. I am again blessed by their advice, compassion, safety, love and camaraderie through all the wild twists and turns of life. 

But my most intimate and close relationship, that with my husband, was a wild card by the moment. I tried for years. The first time he yelled overly harshly and insulted me was about 13 months after our wedding. But I committed to that man, and I wasn’t perfect either- so I stayed and did the best I could. I couldn’t help but see the gold, and to hope through the years; that the low swings would grow less and the good times more. I could always see his point of view too easily, and chalk it up to a good opportunity for personal growth…looking for the impartation in it all, trying to see the good arising from the bad. I would have stayed forever, trying to make him happy, getting over the control, lack of involvement and anger. But one day after a year of increasing negativity and detachment there was a huge explosion. To be brief I will say I ended up moving 30 bales of hay by myself, under the supervision of an man who was either brooding, insulting, or commanding me. I meanwhile told my children that dada was never taught to speak kindly, so we need to love him and keep and show him what love looks like by staying rooted in kindness ourselves, and basically stay quiet or sang peaceful songs until he chilled out. Really I was teaching them to be codependent, to have a savior complex, and that it was perfectly acceptable to demean, ignore, yell, go back on your commitments because something more interesting came up, that women and minorities were less capable, that burning gnarly toxic stuff was fun. They learned good things from they dad; but there was a lot that I said was not wise with my mouth- but completely approved of with my complacency.

I had to do something. One night I hit my limit. I was told I only was with him for his money, and to get out of his house.  The house we bought because I had credit. The one I struggled to, but managed to pay on time every month for eight years despite lost jobs, my being a self employed, homeschooling homemaker trying to make up for a husband that bought what he wanted and figured I would make it work. The house I painted inside, re-floored myself and cleaned. The one I gardened, build a greenhouse, kept goats and made into a beautiful little urban farm. 

I was a whore for his house. 

That was it. 

I turned to the children: "Do you want to go?” 

Moments beforehand I had been telling them to cry more softly so dada didn’t come back in and start yelling again. No mama should ever have to say those words to her children, let alone realize she had said them before. All three nodded at me.  We went to my grandmas guest house like we had three years before. Only this time I never went back. My heart was ripped from my chest- to admit that I failed as a wife; that I couldn’t love him well enough, couldn’t seem to have the right mix of boundaries-with-kindness too see him come around to the man I saw inside…to really accept that the man I had come to know was not the man I thought I knew. It hurt. Bad. I thought I would never stop crying. 

But I had to keep going, be there for the children, try as much as possible to keep the good parts of our life intact- me being there for them, being outside a lot, visiting family, embracing life, doing it together with good people around us…how can i do that as a single mom? 

I committed in my heart to doing Everything I could to keep that going- I picked up a bit more gardening hours, started modeling again for local art classes, taught at the homeschool program. I did the math- I could just barley make it, and my mum has always been gracious to have the children over; her love and commitment to them, being a safe place is such a gift. From time to time I had been making tea and selling it friends, giving it as gifts for years and years; I believe I registered Goodness Tea as my business name before I even started my horticulture business- I think it was my first registered DBA- that would take me back to 2007. Over the years I dreamt of taking my business ventures to a profitable stance: ramping up my landscape design, or maybe selling my tea blends at stores, maybe opening a tea house, fun distant ideas to dream about. Excuses to spend time with friends and make money doing so.  Suddenly all these dreams had to become reality. Any notion of “getting a real job” and putting the checklets with a sitter all day resonated with insanity and horror not peace.

I had to put on my creative hat and find a way to make money and have the children with me- farming, homeschooling, experiencing a reality where connection, health, and compassion are at the core of all we do. I looked around me, what I can I do with what I have? I had tea I had bought prior and 100 brown retail loose-leaf bulk tea bags from one of the times I began to run with the tea. Before the harshness of life always pulled me away from making it happen plus my “other-half” generally worked enough that my part-time gardening and occasional teaching would suffice..but this time it was different. 

I was at a big open gate and there were a lot of ways I could go- where I went was all up to me.  I knew I had to find a way I could have the children with me and make life happen, pursuing Goodness Tea seemed like it was worth a try. 

So, without really having any idea what I was getting into, I looked at the Port Angeles Farmer’s market website, and decided to buy a booth space for the year. I was on a three week vacation days after my divorce was final, surrounded by love, encouragement, acceptance and prayers. I had no idea what would happen, but I felt peace when I looked that way, so I keep looking and committed myself to Goodness Tea for a year.

I decided I would throw myself to it with all of my passion and best intentions, doing the best I could with what I had, learning from everyone who would help me and see where it went.  Being a tea-baron presented a possibility in my heart and mind to have children present while I made blends, packed our goods, we could do deliveries together, they could help with the bookeeping for math- we could do this…. 

I had to do something; it Had to be this. 

I prayed hard. I asked wisdom to speak to me and sing her song to my heart. Every morning I would practice yoga, a flow of the sunrise salutation with a warrior progression all and sorts of this-and-that-significance through controlled stillness added in, listen to a book of proverbs and a pslam, milk my goats, stand on my hillock cry out to God over the Mountains, Eternal Singer of Reality- pour out my heart and intentions to the Wind, often tears streaming down my face, committing to steward well whatever blessing came to me as a pursued Goodness with I had.  Then I'd blow my shofar declaring Victory over my life. Really. I blew it over my home. I cleared the air over my land. I flushed out the stagnant places of my heart and mind. I willed my weak and defeated soul to stand and rise and fight for a change in the atmosphere of my existance. It all felt so epic. Surreal. It still does. Welcome to my world.

 

Back to our shared reality : )

So I wanted to sell tea at market- but after one week it came to my attention I didn’t have the permit from the county for food, so the next week all I had was some silk scarves I bought and dyed and the feather earring I make…okay, carry on with the dream Shae, don’t give up! I kept going, went to the courthouse and found I needed a $300 food vendor permit and could only blend tea at market, it felt disparaging; but the blessed woman at the country explained to me the way you can do it with tables, how to set up a hand washing and dish station, etc. be a food vendor instead and mix at market.  My brother set up an emerency fund for me- it was empowering to see him as an investor believing in me, trusting me to be wise with a gift of money to help me survive this first year with single mom status- so I had the money, and went for it. I was committed to Goodness Tea even more now, $300 my brother trusted me with went toward this idea I had. How could I let him down? It was on.

 

And so it has carried on. Every person who has come to my market booth, bought something, shared hope, tipped me, given advice... my dear friends who bought scarves, earnings..paying good money for Forever Coupon Gear logo-shirts, scarves and buttons, believing in me, liking my ideas, sharing with me their own…

I am propelled on by love. 

 

Turns out selling tea is a lot harder than one thinks- to do it legit, you need a registered processing facility, documentable flow for ingredients and storage, all sorts of red tape and hurdles. But when you commit to something, you do it. So I have faithfully gone to market every Saturday since December 13, 2014 and to the Wednesday afternoon market. Every time I have tried to make it a little more efficient, a little better, focused but broader, going where wisdom and blessing seem to guide.

Here we are, 7 months in and I sold my house in Port Angeles, moved to a farm in Sequim with a really nice commercial processing kitchen. I am happy, free and driven. A legitimate food processor passionate about local food, quality ingredients and community connection. I have it all lined up and reality organized enough that I am about to step it up and be there: selling teas and all the other fun things I’ve added to my license online and in stores. Mostly working at home, and maintaining the freedom to be there for my children- ultimately working for myself and able to make sure that I feel good about every decision I make, how I spend my time, my money and those whom I let in.

Watch me go. 

Iced drinks, are hot! and by hot i mean Yes!!! Wed/Sat PA market

Hello friends, we will also be at the Wednesday afternoon summer market in Port Angeles.

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We have an ice machine! Summer is here and iced drinks are where its at!

This week we have a PomegranateCreamSlush, Icy Pink lemonade slushines (pomegranate juice, organic lemon juice and organic honey, yum!), iced tea and GoodnessHorchata (made with almonds, rice, cinnamon and honey).  As we get settled into our new facility we will also be offering our drinks bottled and ready to go!

If coffee is your thang, come and enjoy an iced cold-brew coffee paired with organic 1/2 and 1/2 or our horchata. Have you experienced the low-acid delight of strong and smooth cold brew?  We blend together the medium-roasted Mexican Feminino from Grounds for Change with their dark Peruvian Feminino for a complex and delightful coffee experience.  As always, we can add cardamon, cayenne, cacao and cinnamon to your coffee to spice it up and make it fun. 

With a hot aeropress or pour-over, why not add tad of organic maple syrup- and a splash of cacao, have you tried a minimal mocha? Pretty raw, powerful, visceral even? Can a coffee drink be that? Come tell us what you want and we'll give it a go!

Now serving breakfast and lunch

Good day!

For breakfast we offer delightful oat-date cakes which are most excellent with a cup of tea, coffee or glass of Maple Milk.  Our oat cakes feature Nash's organic produce's oat groats and maple milk is organic maple syrup and raw milk from the dungeness creamery- yes! You can also pair up your drink with a wholesome and hearty Peanutbutter-buckwheat cookie, sweetened with palm sugar and organic chocolate chips.

Our lunch offering is Market Menagerie Tacos- made with our own GoodnessTortillas (Nash's field corn, avocado oil, sea salt and lime), Pacific Pantry chorus, Johnston farms slaw and local cheese, or organic if unavailable.

Come and try our unique, healthy, organic super foods and super drinks- everything we make is organic, carefully sourced and designed to have every single ingredient have a benefit, a reason to be and packed with goodness from source to process. Thanks for visiting!

 

*You can also purchase tins of raw masa to make tortillas or tamales at home, or pressed into 4" rounds ready for cooking for an unbeatable fresh-tortilla experience.*

Hear ye hear ye! Its good to have goals!

Our website is live!

In keeping with our mission for Spring, we are achieving our goals to be completed by the 1st of summer:

-have our website rocklin' 

-locally grown organic corn tortillas for sale at market (raw, cook at home formed masa)

-Market Menagerie tacos for sale: GoodnessTortillas, Pacific Pantry Chorizo, Johnston farm slaw, Jose's salsa

Upcoming, will be there by the 21st or else!:

-Products for sale locally in a store

-Product page on the website

-bottled teas and botanical cold brew available in the refrigerate for anytime use

 

Watch us go, woohoo!

I love that these goals were set in March, and not really addressed until recently when I realized I happened to be hitting them : )