Friday, November 5, 2010

Community Supported Fiber (CSF) Farms

Hi Friends, and happy Sunday! I'm back in the saddle over at Design Sponge, returning after a two-week hiatus with my "Small Measures with Ashley" column. This week's topic focuses on "Community Supported Fiber" farms, more commonly referred to as C.S.F.'s. I find the topic immensely intriguing, and hope you will too, especially with the chilly months staring us in the face (my mom and grandmother, who live an hour north of here, were slated to get snow last night; I haven't yet chatted with them this morning, so I'm not sure what has transpired yet...).

We're all getting our groove back, Chez English (well, Huxley is establishing his groove...). For the most part, things are grand. I'm slowly healing, learning (not without a fight!) to take it waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easy. I get winded pretty easily, so I take my time walking around the house, and let things slide a bit more than I usually would, house cleaning-wise. Hubs has been an absolute saint, cooking up delicious meals, taking care of our menagerie of animals (I haven't even made it out to the chicken coop in two weeks, but Glenn assures me that all is well and keeps me, ahem, abreast, of all the social goings-on out there), going to the fire department to ensure that the car seats are installed properly (would you believe we've had to purchase three-!!!-different models in search of one that fits our wee one???), and being generally awesome, per usual.

My mother-in-law stayed with us for 9 days and was an indispensable fount of assistance and advice. Huxley met his great-grandmother (my maternal grandmother), Ruby, this past Thursday. He also spent some quality time with his grandmother, Gigi (my mom), then and did so again yesterday while Hubs was at the Asheville Scrabble Club's annual tournament (I insisted that he go, which he somewhat reluctantly relented to, in an attempt at re-establishing normalcy around here, per the suggestion of our pediatricain).

Our tiny "pea pod" might not be so for too terribly much longer if he keeps up with the weight gain he managed this past week-at his weigh-in at the pediatrician's office on Tuesday, it was revealed that he'd gained 8 ounces in one week! Way to pack it up, pack it in, little Hux!

I'm learning the art and craft of breast-feeding every day. I have to admit, it's not as intuitive as I think most women are led to believe. Fortunately, the suggestions of my mother-in-law, coupled with the fantastic advice offered by the lactation consultants at the Western N.C. Breast-feeding Center found in Mission Hospital and the sage, seasoned words of Ina May Gaskin's Guide to Breastfeeding (big thanks to my sweet friend Jen for insightfully gifting us with this book at the Nugget Warming) are all aligning to get "peanut sauce" and myself on the right track.

Once I get a bit more sleep (one night this week, Huxley was up from 1:30 a.m.-4:15 a.m and then yesterday I mistakenly drank a full-strength latte-and enjoyed every drop of it, mind you-which kept him awake all day long; he's going through a growth spurt and is feeding like a tiny vampire!), a bit more recovery rest (I have to keep reminding myself that, a mere two weeks ago, the following happened: preeclampsia, induced labor, hemorrhage, and removal of a reproductive organ-sheesh!!!), and a bit more of an established sleep pattern down, I'll get busy with picture-taking and post some images here. I'm typically the sort of person who forgets to take photos anyways (at parties, on my honeymoon, almost all the time...), but I really do want to capture some images of him while he's still wee. That said, I'm cutting myself a HUGE wedge of slack, given all that's gone down recently.

Have a lovely week ahead, everyone!

* Image from here.


Christine Chitnis said...

I am coming out of lurking to say hello, finally, after following your blog for some time now!

I am the writer behind the Country Living article, and I am so appreciative of your beautifully written Design*Sponge post which brought attention to the wonderful world of CSF's. Thank you for highlighting Susan Gibbs...I have spent so much time getting to know her for the article, and she is as amazing as she sounds.

Congratulations on the birth of your little one...I gave birth to my first shortly after, on October I know exactly what you are going through. Luckily, my mom is staying with us and helping out. Who knew that such a little being would require so much laundry and general housework!?

Anyway, best wishes for a quick recovery...and enjoy this time! I am told it goes by much too fast!

elisa said...

i love ina may's work. have you every looked at discussion boards? great resources in the middle of the night. so many wonderful things going on, great that you have so much family and support. take it easy with your babe! off to read about the csfs, never heard of it, sounds exciting!

Denise said...

You might want to read another blog that I do - She had a post talking all about breast feeding that might interest you a couple of months ago. She also has a lot of posts relating to bringing up children, etc, etc. She pulls no punches either. Glad you are getting around better. Take care of you and your little family hear? Cause even though your DH did post he's just not you! ;)

Fresh Eggs Farm said... NEED to take it easy. It sounds like you are trying...but your body has just been through something INCREDIBLE...more than most births. If you take the time now to rest and care for you and your new baby you will be so happy you did so...who cares if the dishes don't get done, laundry sits for a little longer than are making sure that you heal and your baby grows :-) Take advantage of every moment that someone asks if they can help (something I never learned to do). So get comfy...stare into those sweet little baby eyes...snuggle with the hubs and enjoy...

afreckledlip said...

I just read the country living article and thought of it when I saw the title of your post. Here in Portland, Oregon we have small farms for most everything, but after hearing about these CSF I've been looking for something similar here, so luck yet. I love this idea. It's great to know where your purchases are coming from and to support small businesses.

Unknown said...

You sound great! So glad to hear Chez English is acclimating well!

Lindsay said...

Hey Ashley,
I'm a huge fan of your work on DesignSponge... I was wondering if you'd be willing to cover the basics of Cold Frames in one of your upcoming articles. I think it could be a good segue into the reality thats becoming our winter and a good way to get our greens with heavy frosts. Just a thought. Congrats on the new baby! - Lindsay

Natashia said...

rest assured breastfeeding gets easier, in a couple weeks you will just point him at the breast and away he will go! keep up with it, i honestly believe it is the most powerful tool you have as parents. and whenever you are in need of extra support i would HIGHLY recommend contacting your local le leche league.