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Our Pay Dirt Farm School


Ice Cream


Hammock in the Plum Pit


Egg Puff with Syrup

Monday, July 21 (continued)

Man, is it ever hot. MaryJane offers me a glass and discusses the importance of drinking water during exertion. Water from the well is piped out to the garden and is nice and cold. Refreshing, clean, cool and good.

I’m pretty much on my own in the afternoon. I read a copy of “Illusions” by Richard Bach that MaryJane brought to me in the Plum Pit. It’s a light and playful afternoon read. There is one very important interruption to my hammock time in the Plum Pit — ice cream call! The crew is making homemade chocolate ice cream and hot brownies in the basement. The young crew is transfixed and totally focused on the ice cream and brownies. Me too. They had prepared a sample of MaryJane’s brownie mix from a new batch for quality control. It’s not hard to get taste testers when brownies are the subject, let alone when ice cream is involved.

Tuesday, July 22

Today I got to the shower by 6:05 and went to the bunkhouse by 6:35 to meet MaryJane. I woke up this morning thirsty and with a lot of sneezing. By 6:30 my head is hurting, but I’m not to be deterred. I grab my berry bucket and sling it over my neck. MaryJane leads me to the blueberry bushes in the garden and says she needs three cups.

For some reason, my head hurts so badly that I quit after only two cups. But there are plenty for our smoothie and a BakeOver. MaryJane shows me how to make a smoothie. She says that three ingredients are key, and we build on top of those: 1) frozen banana, 2) few scoops of frozen orange juice concentrate, and 3) few scoops of frozen pineapple concentrate. These go into a huge blender in the bunkhouse and we add frozen cubes of soaked flax seed, some yogurt, and about 1½ cups or so of blueberries. I can’t believe the flavor! The rest of my blueberries go into the BakeOver. We make a half-cup of MaryJane’s Buttermilk Biscuit Mix into an Egg Puff. Fantastic breakfast.

But the headache is severe, and MaryJane tells me to suspend activities and stay in the Plum Pit with a book. She thinks I’m dehydrated and probably reacting to the altitude and heat, and possibly to the detoxification already under way by switching to all organic foods. I drink water copiously, probably up to two gallons over the course of the day. I read a book she gives me, “You’re Not Sick, You’re Thirsty,” which tells me how to recognize the signs of dehydration. I’m a textbook case! But I feel better by lunch when MaryJane brings a sensational chopped salad.

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