Sitting here by the pool with the afternoon sun on my legs and a cascade of trumpet flowers draping off the pergola above my head, I have but one recurring thought: life is good on Love Apple Farms. Alright, I may not have been thinking that yesterday when I lugged an enormous bucket of biodynamic worm tea back and forth for several hours to hand fertilize 15 beds of produce. But as hard as the eight-hour workdays can be, there are a disproportionately large number of beautiful moments here on the farm compared to anywhere else I’ve lived.
I suppose my “beautiful moments” philosophy needs a bit of an explanation. At the risk of sounding like a complete hippie (a charge easy to make considering I now wear tie-dyed Love Apple shirts every other day), I have a thing for beautiful moments that started around the time that I began keeping journals. It began as a New Year’s resolution—think of a memorable moment from the day before falling asleep, and at the end of every month record the 10 best moments in a list. Unfortunately I’ve long since abandoned the practice of listing them, but I still think of moments before bed sometimes and wonder if there’s any way I could ever truly capture them in writing.
And here, every day an ordinary moment will strike me as strange or lovely or funny. Like sitting by the redwood trees at dusk, passing around the airsoft rifle and shooting soda cans off a pile of bricks. Stealing the single strawberry from the garden pots, warm and a little tart because I couldn’t wait for it to ripen. Smelling the aroma of simmering malted barley in a beer making class, or eating a crispy fried farm egg on toast with avocado. Lying on the roof of the garden classroom on a Monday night and watching the stars.
For me it’s always been the small things, small moments that add up to something like contentment. Which is why when, the other night, I found myself suddenly craving carrot cake at 5:30 in the afternoon, I just went into the kitchen and made it. No one else was around. I probably should have been making dinner, something savory and practical. But I felt like carrot cake—more than that, I felt like making carrot cake alone in the afternoon, humming to myself in my own little beautiful moment.
Carrot Zucchini Cake with Walnuts
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 cup oil
2 cups grated carrot
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup walnut halves
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and baking soda. Add in the spices to taste (I like a few good shakes of each) and finish with a pinch of salt. Add the eggs and combine, then pour in the oil and mix well. Lastly put in the grated carrot, zucchini, and walnuts and bake for 45 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.