Convince me that you have a seed there
and I am prepared to expect wonders.
Henry David Thoreau
Weatherwise, the last few days have been quite variable. Actually, the whole Spring has been. We have had rain and more rain. Many folks have talked about drought in the last few years; we are grateful that water reserves seem to be replenishing. While we have had some heat and sun lately on 2 days in particular, we seem to have had more cool days with gray skies. Today has been cool, gray, and overcast, with high humidity. Weather Underground says we have a 50% chance of rain today. I asked Richard and Melanie if it is raining; Richard looked outside at the yard light and said: "Something is coming down. Either it's rain or it could be flying June Bugs."
As of the last few days, the soil had begun to dry out. We don't dare work in the Garden until the soil is dry to the crumble stage. Should we become too eager and get into the Garden too soon, wet clay soils make clods that stay around for the entire growing season. That means Nature says that working in the Garden before we are supposed to is a no-no.
Through these things, Gardeners learn patience. And Gardeners learn quickly that we are not in charge.
Of the 3 of us, Richard has been gardening far longer. Consequently, he has most of his garden planted. Melanie and I are slower, but we are also launching into some new directions. Melanie has been reading about permaculture (which is a "permanent" system of agriculture emphasizing biodiversity). The 2 of us have also been intrigued by companion planting. Richard has too.
Companion planting is when you plant plants that grow best together. Just like people, some plants do better (or worse) when they are in the company of other plants. Some plants replenish the soil (peas and beans) and others take a lot out. Some plants attract insects which are beneficial to other plants. This style of gardening "inter-plants" which means putting companion plants right next to each other. This style of gardening is long on mixing things together. Because of their specific beneficial functions, flowers are an integral part of the vegetable patch.
We are beginners here and are taking in anything we can find. We have found a wonderful book (and a great companion for our adventures): Sally Cunningham's Great Garden Companions: A Companion Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden (Rodale Press, 1998).
So what have we done on these variable days?
Slow but sure, we are learning to "go with the flow". Everything has its own time and place.
Need I suggest more? You surely can add more to the list.
Such things are part of the reason why we came to the Farm. We could not change the system. We can support those amazing parts of the system which offer another alternative. We wanted to lessen our "footprint" on the Earth. We wanted to raise our own veggies. In a time of dramatic reduction in soil quality, we wanted to restore the land to the extent we are capable. We wanted to raise chickens in a climate of respect. We wanted to get to know them. Yes, we wanted to name them. Above all, we wanted to thank them for their gifts which support our lives.
I have a simple solution for the dilemma we seemed to have created. It can be boiled down to 2 words:
Pictures: (Above) #1: "Here's lookin' at you." (I wonder what stories they would write about these special days and their 2-Legged Feather-less Human Friends.) #2: They are all poise and grace sometimes. (Below) #3: They are a lap-full. "How's my right side?" #4: They run to the screen to see what is in that outer world. "Can we go out today? Please..."
I know we have substantially reduced our use of plastic. But I know that we can do more. We will step by step. And we shall have some fun along the way.
Photo above: Cloth bag recently returned from the store with Max the cat along side.