Skip to main content

Another 31 Done

Some of Koyasan's many moss-covered Buddhas.
It's hard to believe the Blogathon is over already. As always, there is some relief and some sadness. Relief that the pressure is off to post every day, and sadness that the other 250 (give or take) people I've been working with this month will wander off into their own electronic lives. There's also, to be frank, some sadness that the pressure to post every day is off, too. I work better with firm deadlines and the prospect of a stern tone. Perhaps that's the result of my Midwest upbringing.

And as usual I'm coming away with more than a few lessons learned over the course of the month. Here are the highlights.

1. I'm actually pretty good at this. 
OK, I usually don't toot my own horn quite so much, but I seriously find that I enjoy reading my own writing and that my content is good. I work hard to not put up fluff material just to fill the space, and I spend a fair amount of time researching my content. Crafting the paragraphs is getting faster, but I still work carefully to make sure the words flow well to produce an image or feeling I think readers can relate to and enjoy. I may only have a handful of followers, but if those folks are going to take the time to read what I've got to say the least I can do is give them my best.

2. I love writing this blog.
This goes with the first one, but I think it's important to say directly. Writing this blog helps me sort out the things I'm doing in the garden, on the farm, and in the kitchen, and tie them all together. I throw in a bit of travel now and again because everywhere is something to taste, to see, and to share. There are those that pooh-pooh blogging, but this month helped me clarify that I don't agree with them. I might just be another voice in the wilderness (of my garden, that is), but I'm creating community, sharing what I think is relevant, and hopefully offering a bit of enjoyment to boot.

3. Scheduling is invaluable.
I wrote about this earlier, but I've found it such a brilliant thing that it's worth mentioning again. Sitting down to write out a basic schedule of things I want to write about for the month was clarifying, fun, and helped me remember the many things I wanted to talk about here. Most of all it helped me and my Muse work out a balance in our schedules, and there's something to be said for that.

4. I'm not writing in a vacuum.
The community of blogging and writing is wonderful, and through the Blogathon I've met some really great people doing impressive things. Many of them have commented here, written guest posts for me, and helped me grow as a person and as a writer. That may sound trite, but it is true. Such encouragement and feedback has improved the quality of my writing, given me focus, and made this whole process more enjoyable. Others stop by to tell me they decided to visit a farmers market based on my recommendation or to say they like what they see enough to ask me to write for or with them. How happy a thing is that?

5. I suspect I could do this the other 11 months of the year.
While this month was challenging, it was not as impossible as I thought it would be at the beginning. And I enjoyed it. Now, I'm thinking that maybe I could do this the remainder of the year. Maybe. As I ponder upcoming travel plans to China (so excited!), Tohoku, and Hokkaido, I wonder if I'm crazy. But then, isn't that just more things to write about every day? Hmmmm...


Unknown said…
I'm not sure if I could blog every day for the year. Do you think you'll try that now?
Annette Gendler said…
You are crazy, Joan, but guess what, I have been thinking the same! While I'm a bit tired of having to post every day, I've also thought maybe I could keep it up through June. How about that? Shall we challenge ourselves?
Tia Bach said…
Your insights closely mirror my own. I love blogging, but now I don't feel so alone (between this year's challenge and last).

I'm thinking about 4 posts a week. It will seem like a vacation! ;-)
Well, I guess I've already missed my goal a bit. I do like the idea of a challenge, though, Annette. Shall we? I'd be game and I think it would give me the push I need to keep up the work.

Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro