What I Learned This Year

I stopped writing in my journal a few years ago (2014 New Year’s Resolution: Write in your journal!), and so I can’t remember what happened, even events from a few weeks past. Even epic events are forgotten quickly. It makes me sad, but I guess that’s one downside to living in the moment. Still, I did shoot some photos, and I’ve been closing out the year by uploading them on my computer. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Go slow, fava beans are worth it.

2. You can go back home again. My sister with morel mushrooms she picked on the ranch where we were born.

3. Make these walnut cookies that Rosetta Costantino wrote about in her new Southern Italian Dessert cookbook. The book is gorgeous, and even I can remember the recipe because it only has three ingredients. A egg. One cup of sugar. 2.5 cups of walnuts. I couldn’t help myself and sprinkled salt and fennel pollen over some fresh from the oven.


4. Grow pumpkins, like these sugar pies, which were prolific and one roasted made a great pumpkin pie. As for the rest, kabocha “jade” was the best of the batch (not pictured here).

5. You can do a vegetarian Thanksgiving. I wasn’t up for raising a turkey this year, so we did Indian inspired dishes. It was delish. Next year, though, I think we are going to get turkey legs and smoke the hell out of them, Texas style.

6. Conserva, sun dried tomato paste, is divine. Learn how to make it at my tomato processing class this August!

7. Plant a tree–or 8 of them. The citrus hedge I jackhammered a place for in the garden, was well worth it. They are doing great despite the frost and dry weather. We even have two tangelos on one of the youngest trees.

8. Forgive. It’s hard, but once you let that past go, you are free.

9. Finally, love them while they are here. We miss you Phil Druker.

Happy New Year to Everyone; I can’t wait for 2014!!

8 responses to “What I Learned This Year

  1. Can’t wait to read Gone Feral!

  2. i remember when i found your blog…i read the whole thing – i felt walls fall down in me and hope explode….i fell in love….and then found your sister and fell in love again!!! whatever was your past may not have always been good but it made you two and for that i am so thankful!!! you two give so much of yourselves to the world and have inspired me to be a better person…..best 2014 to you!! love the post and pics!!!!!

  3. lovely

  4. Oh my. How I love your list.

  5. Novella,

    I cried.


  6. Malissa Jones

    Oh Novella, It is high time that we are introduced! Firstly, you have influenced my life tremendously and I can’t wait to see it all come together. What you say? How? Well, a few years back a few friends of mine were discussing your book. They were impressed with your skills and ability to have an urban farm. Since I lived Chicago and having a back yard, I too was inspired to read your book and make something of this space given to me. I dabbled a bit with flowers and vegetables. I had some success, but this last year I just wasn’t interested. Spring hadn’t moved out of Chicago around planting time. I was discouraged and decided I needed a break. Ironically, my husband was in the same spot and we decided to take an early vacation to all places….Idaho. We loaded up our 3 kids and took off. We ended up on the east side of Idaho and then camped out at Farragut State Park. Time was ticking and we needed to return to our life in Chicago. All the way home, we kept asking ourselves how can we make it back to Idaho permanently? My hubby began working on finding a job and giving us a life. After much luck and wrangling, we made it! We just moved into a house in Moscow, ID 3 weeks ago. We have 3 acres (some hilly) and lots of ideas. I don’t think this would have happened if I hadn’t read your book or read your blogs. Keep doing what you are doing and inspire the masses! Hopefully one day if you come back to visit your dad, we could meet up! Congrats again on all your hard work…….

    Malissa Jones

    Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2013 23:51:20 +0000 To: malissa13@hotmail.com

  7. Just finished your book this week and adored it! I’ve been renting for years and leaving gardens behind. Your words have inspired me to keep at it, my son and I cleared an abandoned bed this morning for flowers, hopefully to feed some bees! Thanks for writing the way you do and growing things.

  8. I’ve been catching up on all of your posts and ordered Farm City last night. Reading your blog is bringing out the hippie in me 🙂 and I’m liking it! Thanks for sharing your lessons from 2013 and I look forward to hearing about your 2014 adventures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s