Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sunshine Pie

July 27:

I made a Homemade Peach Pie for Sarah's Birthday Dessert Buffet this evening. I used a Lattice and Leaf Design for the Crust, which I reserve for special occasions. Those Peaches were from our Tree. They were like pure sunshine for a very Special Person on a very Special Day.


Our House's Plan
was originally designed
for a Minnesota Lake Cabin
is getting
some modifications
to make it into
a Missouri Farm House.
We have not
always been sure
what it needs,
what we need,
and what can be done.
But we are getting there.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Nothing Much Is Happening

We have entered
the Season when
Is Happening
Around Here".
That's a Family Joke.
When said,
it stops us in our tracks,
our heads nod
and the corners
of our mouths turn
into whimsical smiles.
It's code for
Is Happening
Around Here."
We're so busy
we seldom make notes
about Daily Fare.
Looking at the sharp reduction
of notes on Calendar
the Outsider would think
"Nothing Happened".
The Insider
has a different view:
Tomatoes are picking up speed.
Last week, we had just a few,
for a splash of color and taste
for Snacks and at Family Meals.
Yesterday, Richard announced
he can no longer carry inside
Tomatoes in the hem
of his T-Shirt;
small buckets are now in order.
Green Beans and Carrots
are ready to can.
Green Beans are on slow down.
We haven't even started Carrots.
The Sorghum Cane
grows noticeably
from one end of the day
to the other.
Last Wednesday,
Melanie and I were
on the Master Gardener Program
at the Nursing Home.
We gave a tour
of Veggies, Flowers, and Preservation
around the Farm.
We stood at our cranky Mikes
in front of Elders
now parked in Wheel Chairs and on Walkers
but whose experience
makes ours look like
we have just arrived
at the 1st day of school.
Lacey's Careful Clutch of Eggs
should begin
to hatch at earliest today.
We've made
a significant dent
in Weeds in all the Gardens.
Turn our backs
and more appear.
Nature reminds us:
"Cover my Soil."
Richard built
3 more raised Beds
Planting for Fall Harvest
needs to begin.
I must watch
my Dry Edible Beans carefully.
Dry Pods announce
a few are ready to harvest.
With all these Rains,
they can resprout
and mold quickly.
We are needing
more and more horizontal space
for Harvest.
Herbs are ready to pick and dry.
The Dehydrator is on most days,
wafting up the latest aroma
through our Little House.
Meanwhile we have
side dramas.
Jonathan is making
significant progress
painting the Interior.
While it looks like
an obstacle course
around here
and the routine is stored
in non-routine places,
our Little House is at last
looking more like
Our Home.
I continue
to make huge progress
on Family History.
The way
through that maze
is more clear.
We have a lead
on a Piano.
Soon Melanie will be headed
to an herbal conference
and visiting too.
That makes
for some special preparations
around here.
We have 20 some
Master Gardeners
expected for Garden Tour
and Local Fare Pot Luck
August 17.
That is right
around the corner.
August 1
through October
marks high Season
for Harvest and Preservation
in these parts.
the Precious Little Roosters
could begin
about the 3rd week
of August.
That always stops us
in our tracks.
We need to can last year's meat
which is in the Freezer.
Cleaning out the Freezers
would be nice.
Looking a little further ahead,
we will be making Molasses in another month.
And of course,
these are Human plans.
Nature knows.
We just follow her lead.
When we are blessed with each day,
we don't really
have a plan
for what we will do.
Nature serves up
what is right.
We are increasingly smart
about the Heat.
We work outside when it is right.
We take Naps.
Abundance, gratitude
and awe abound.
This is all just
a little warm up
for the main show.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Puppet Show

We went to Sarah and Ethan's for the celebration of Sarah's Birthday this evening. Among other parts of the day's festivities, Puppet Shows were planned. We 3 C's even had our own Puppet Show. In preparation, Melanie lined up our animal stuffies and began to plot a script. This little activity stepped us right out of our elements (especially the Gray Hairs), but it was just pure fun.

I ponder the lack of Creativity of our Kind. Rather than expecting to be entertained and staring at the Tube, we need to do more of this kind of thing. Somehow it gets the batteries charged. The spunk follows.


July 23:

The Peaches are all picked from the Peach Tree. The Mama Tree looks happy and content; She also seems a bit more restful. We Humans now have Peaches: Frozen, Canned, Preserved, Dried. We even gave some away.

I cannot believe "how fast the Peaches went". Once they were ready to pick, they were ready to process and fast. The whole affair was complete in less than a week.

I took 2 Peaches in for Mother and me to enjoy today. We sat there underneath the outdoor Pavilion. We were alone in a very big space. It was just the Peaches and the 2 of us. We enjoyed every bite. At the end, Mother asked if we could dry her Peach Pit. I said: "Yes." "Then you can plant it," she said. Our 2 Peach Pits are now sitting on the Window Sill above our Kitchen Sink.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Finding Community

We occasionally have Folks who ask us: "When you make this kind of shift, how do you find Community to support the practice?" To which I would 1st note: "When you are ready, the Teacher will emerge."

We have been embarking on this practice for a period of 15 years. Once we launched the practice, it was so deeply satisfying and deeply right, we just could not turn back. We just kept on, adding more and more, going deeper, feeling better and feeling right. Some thoughts along our way in answer to the question above are as follows. At each of these treasured locations, we have found Kindred Spirits with whom we share the Path. I would probably call it "sheer magic" as I think about the dynamic, the conversations, the relationships that have unfolded.
  • Shop at a Natural Food Store. Ours up North was Amazing Grains. We shifted toward buying almost all of our groceries there. They had a little Food Bar with great Soups, Sandwiches, Teas, Desserts, Smoothies, and such. They even offered monthly evening meals along special themes.
  • Join a Co-op where People buy natural and organic Foods in Bulk. Ours is delivered once a month at a local Church. Our smiles widen to see the collective who gather there.
  • Buy Raw Milk direct from a local Farmer. Our "Milk Club" meets once a week for Milk and other related dairy products, Meats, Feed for the Animals, among others; they come direct from a farm family who live about an hour away. About 12 to 15 Families are involved. We love them. They are very much a part of our support network. We share Plants, Stories, Problems, Solutions as we gather on that hard parking lot across the Seasons.
  • Shop at Farmers' Markets, or just hang out there.
  • Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where you contract with a Farmer who provides Fresh Produce (sometimes Meat and Eggs too) across the growing season.
  • Know your Farmer. I think it is a Sacred Act to provide Food for another.
  • Many Farmers and their Families like it when you come out. If yours does, plan on an excursion at a time which is mutually beneficial.
  • Seek out Free Range Chickens directly purchased from a local Farmer. This initiative really opened us up to community right here in our new home. Two Phone Calls was all it took; the Natural Foods Community was right there at our fingertips, whereas it had been unknown before.
  • Go to "you picks", like Orchards, Berry Patches. Marvel at what shows up and who shows up. I have had some marvelous conversations with People I never knew existed before. But I guess I find that I can talk to just about anybody.
  • Grow your own Food in a community plot if you don't have space at home.
  • Make a commitment to eat local. Some put "within 50 to 100 miles" as the limit. Others extend it to bordering states. Allow a certain number of Foods which go beyond (for vinegars, flours, etc.)
  • Check out places which offer Yoga, Acupunture, Tai Chi, Meditation, Naturopathic Medicine. Kindred spirits are likely to abound.
  • While in the beginning I felt "alone" in this practice, I began to find community at every turn. Remember, this is a movement and it is huge. Folks are at long last coming home to the Earth. Celebration and awe become surprise companions along the Path.

Richly Blessed

July 21:

These days, Butterflies abound. A few days ago, I drove south to Wren Song, which is 3 miles away. Butterflies were everywhere on the gravel road which was wet and sandy. Many were newly hatched Red Spotted Purples. I drove very slowly, so as not to hit them. Some moments, I felt like I was driving at the same speed I could have walked. How beautiful it would have been to have walked through all of those Butterflies.

Yesterday, this Butterfly landed on the deck. Obviously, s/he is older and tattered. Perhaps some of the tattering came from the recent storms. In this brief encounter, I am reminded that Life, whether it is in a Butterfly's Lifetime or a Human's, is short.

I remember a Dear Friend, Sharon Oldham Lambeth, who taught me much about living in her dying from cancer. That last summer, which I believe was 1993, she said that she would wake up each day and know she only had so much energy. From knowing that energy limit, she would choose what she would do for the day. At the time, she hoped to choose to come to our Garden because we were on the City Garden Tour up North. She told me she might need to sit all around the walk through the Garden, but she hoped to be there. And she was.

On this day, we were joined by Dear Friends Bill, Daisy, Leo, and Posy. In the middle of our Dinner on the Deck, 2 new Red Spotted Purples flew right through the middle of our Table. We are richly blessed.

Friday, July 23, 2010

In Praise of Peach Boxes

When we lived in North Dakota, we would often buy boxes of Peaches (or other Fruit) to can, freeze or dry. Somehow we had the presence of mind to save the boxes. And save we did.

We even went to the extent of having empty Fruit Boxes shipped with our Furniture and other possessions when we moved here 3 years ago. Please note the little Green tag on the middle box; that tag notes the box was item # 227 on that Big Semi Truck filled with 17,000 pounds of our stuff.

I find it amusing to think about what People save. For some, those little practices are just the ticket for making the work of the home go smoothly; for others outside this practice, their puzzlement is clearly in view.

Saving Peach Boxes sounded strange then and it sounds strange now. But have those boxes ever come in handy. We put Fresh Fruit in them, waiting in cue for processing. Sometimes I even carry Fresh Pies in them when we are headed to a Gathering.

These days, some of the boxes hold Fresh Peaches from our Tree. The boxes are shallow, so the Fruit will not bruise. They are not packed, so air can flow freely. They stack nicely. If you listen closely, you might even hear Melanie quietly dipping in and out of the water to get ready to can them up soon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Welcome, Dear Ones!

Dear Friends Bill, Daisy, Leo and Posy joined us for a short while on the Farm. We had not seen them since the fall 2006. We have known Bill for 35 years as our relationship began in North Dakota many years ago. Daisy, Leo and Posy came later. "They are family" and we are warmed deeply by having them in our world.

We were all excited that they could be here. We were equally excited to watch 5 year old Leo and 2 year old Posy on the Farm.

Those 2 beautiful Children were curious about everything. Leo wanted to know what kind of animals that we have. "Do you have Pigs?" To which Melanie replied, "No, but we would like to have Pigs." "Do you have Goats?" "No." "Do you have a Cow?" "No." Leo also let us know that he would like to pet a Horse. In the meantime, Posy packed around the Ziplock Bag with little plastic Farm Animals everywhere she went.
Shortly after they arrived, Melanie took them to see the Chickens. They made themselves right at home with the new little Hennies. The little Hennies were skittish at first, which is to be expected. The Kids were patient and followed Melanie's lead. Both Posy and Leo wanted to hold them and they held them very very carefully. It was sweet to see.We actually have a Chicken named Posey and another named Daisy. We don't have a big need for male names with the Chickens, for obvious reasons. Leo would be a great name for a long term resident Rooster. And I can't wait to have a Duck named Bill. That will have to wait for the Pond.

A while later, Melanie introduced Posy, the Human, to Posey the Chicken. To which Posy, the Human, replied: "It's nice to meet you."

We celebrated Leo's 5th Birthday at Dinner Time. Leo and Posy helped Melanie put the Chickens to bed. Leo also posted a special request of Richard for the morning: "Can I help you let the little Roosters out?" We had told him of their excitement in meeting the day. I wouldn't want to miss that either.

Our time with them was short but very sweet. As we waved Good-Bye from the Austrees and they drove down the Lane waving and honking, we are already looking forward to the next visit. Don't stay in the City too long.

I think it should be a Basic Human Right that Everyone has access to a Farm: Little People, Big People, Elderly. It should be a Farm with lots of Animals, Gardens of Flowers and Veggies, Farm Bounty you grow with your own Hands, homegrown Foods spread on a fine table, and Plenty of Wild Things. Such an experience would be about the best Book you could ever hope to read, the best DVD you could ever hope to see, the best ziplock bag of treasures you could ever hope to carry.

Melanie tells us that this is part of the reason why she wants more varieties of Animals on the Farm. I think she is definitely on the right track.

Storms and Buckets of Rain

As we were doing Evening Chores July 19, we were met by gray and ominous Skies in the Northwest. I do not know what they call these Skies, but they portend Weather Drama somewhere close, perhaps here. As the Skies darkened, some of the Clouds were in dark Bluish Green layers inbetween the Black.

The Night was Wild, with huge amounts of Rain, High Winds, Hail. We Humans had little Sleep. We listened to High Winds with thoughts of vulnerable tall things like Sorghum Cane, Sunflowers, Corn, and our beautiful Garden. We heard Heavy Rains pour down the sides of the House. We wondered about the Chickens in their 3 Houses. During Lulls, we Humans would poke our heads outside and we heard Water rushing everywhere.

When Storms were at peak, we stood in the Family Room with Windows on 3 Sides. The Great Earth Mother's Light Show put Human Contrivings to a pitiful Small Order. Lightning went Cloud to Cloud. On more occasions than I care to count, Thunder and Lightning struck at almost the same time. For a few moments, Hail came. I cried because Hail is especially destructive to the Garden.
That next morning, we cruised the Garden and the Big Field. We were looking for markers as to Rain Amounts. WeatherUnderground said Precipitation exceeded 6 inches. We surely got more. Yet, this Green Pickle Bucket had no Water in it. But it had huge holes at the bottom. The Gray Bucket below stood in the Dry Edible Bean Patch; it was empty the night before. On this next morning past the Storm, the Bucket was full, which means we got at least 10 inches of Rain. All Buckets without holes in the Garden were full. Even the little 2 Gallon Bucket slightly under the West Porch was mostly full.We checked out the Cane Field. The Sorghum Cane, so far, looks like it weathered the Storm well.
In the meantime, the busy Wren had mouths to feed in the Gourd Bird House at the top of the Teepee of sticks that Richard built. She was bedraggled and wet, but she had a mission.We Humans were tired and bedraggled those next 2 days. Even the Cats and the Dog slept in well past their normal energized wake up times. We took some slow and easy time. Yet, the Garden called as nothing stops there. Richard picked and canned more Green Beans. Richard was afraid he was getting behind on the Beans. Hollis Dale, Malinda and Lurah came to pick too.
Nothing stops here. The Wheel of Life just keeps right on Turning.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July Heat

July 18:

Two thoughts unfold: July Heat brings Happy Plants who thrive at Garden's Mid Season. Last evening, I focused on Aromas, whose Parent Plants launch generously into the Warm Summer Air.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


The little Peeps are now 12 weeks old. Already those little Pullets are developing their own personalities. And of course, they are looking different too.

Should you come to the Farm, we would definitely want you to meet our sweet Clara. Actually, she would be 1 of the 1st to greet you. Once you walked into the Coop, she would be at your feet looking up. If you were sitting in the Coop on the Jungle Gym, she would probably launch herself up on to your shoulders.

Clara is a Delaware Hennie. She is pretty much all white, with delicate spots of black/charcoal gray on her shoulders, wings and tail. She is just beginning to develop her comb. She's kind of all gangly like a teenager. But they all look like that just now. You will notice a smudge of soft brown at the back of her long beautiful neck. That smudge of soft brown comes with a story.

You see, we hang those old timey Fly Paper Strips in the Chicken Houses to keep the Fly population down. A couple of weeks ago, we found quite a bit of activity in the Brooder House where the Pullets hang out. Wouldn't you know the Fly Paper Strip had come down on dear unsuspecting Clara. She must have took off running. But even when she slowed down, the other little Pullets put up quite a fuss with her new and unfamiliar trailing tail. A reminder of that day is carried in that smudge of soft brown at the base of her neck.

Today we lost one of the Baby Peeps. Recently, Little Peep had ceased to grow and be as vital as the other Littles. Melanie gave this little one considerable support, but it was not to be. Before the Little passed, Clara could be observed snuggling up to Little Peep. After Little Peep passed, Richard placed him along the fence outside the Coop. Once again, Clara came close. When Richard took him away for burial, Clara followed Richard down the fence as he carried Little Peep away.

Before I came to the Farm, it never occurred to me that Chickens would each have their own personalities. I cannot believe that a so-called "educated person" would never consider such a thing. Clara and all the other Chickens are quite the teachers, you see.

In Praise of Carrots

July 9:

We have entered a stage where we will hopefully use only Carrots grown on our Farm. That "hopefully" is dependent upon our Great Mother Earth, which is a Plain Fact ever clearer to us.

At last, the Crop looks wonderful, but you never can tell. We also will put in a Fall Crop. Last year, our Carrot stash from the Garden lasted 6 Months. And we love Carrots.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fly Strips

These days,
it is really hot
and dry.
We do chores
and evening.
are quiet times,
as we seek out
We scan
the horizon
for clouds.
The Garden
needs rain.
We Humans
like Fly Strips.
Flies don't land.
before bed
are just the trick.
Sweet dreams.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Berries and Cream

Richard purchased
a pint of Cream
for the express purpose
of having
freshly picked
and Cream.
Gotta go.
I hear the silverware
being jingled
in the drawer.
That's the last step
a beautiful Treat.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Lacey's on the Nest

Yesterday, Melanie put the once again broody Hennie Lacey on 10 Lovely Brown Eggs. Melanie carefully gathered those Eggs from the Buff Orpington Hennies. And believe it or not, she knew exactly who the Contributors were.

Assuming all goes well, those Eggs should hatch in 21 days (from yesterday). Last year, we Humans watched the doin's very carefully. This year, we trust Lacey knows exactly what she is doing, without all the Human attention. We Humans have plenty to do ourselves with all the activity on this Little Farm.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Painting Project

We have been
these 1st 3 years
on the Farm.
Learning Curve
has been
We 3 C's
have focused
on growing
and processing
our own Food.
We have also been slowly
but surely making changes
in the House:
New Windows and Doors,
high efficiency Furnace/Heat Pump,
Dual-Flush Toilet
(push button 1 for Liquid, 2 for Solid),
Wood Stove and Rock Wall.
The focus has been living sustainably
which means using the least amount of resources
and putting the least amount of toxins in the environment.
We have painted
3 Rooms.
Other projects
of finishing
have just waited.
We have had
no spare Brain Cells,
no spare Time,
no Energy
to take on anything more.
Cash is limited too.
when we spend
resources inside,
we don't have
them outside.
And you can't have a Farm
without amendments.
Farming is not cheap.
We have cut
when we can.
A Friend is
coming tomorrow
to help with painting.
We are ever so grateful.
In this moment,
Furniture in this room
is all dis-com-bobulated.
Soon, painting drop cloths
will cover this computer.
My hands will likely
not be skipping
around on these keys
as much as usual.
But I will be back soon.
And we will be gleeful
to continue to make this little House
and this Little Farm our home.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Guests from the Nursing Home

Yesterday afternoon, we had a beautiful gathering here at the Farm with 16 Guests from the Nursing Home. Neighbors held out a welcome sign and waved when our Guests were coming and going.

Hollis had picked beautiful Blackberries for this special occasion. (Thank you, Hollis!) We greeted them with little cups of those fresh Blackberries, Peaches, and Blueberries. The latter Fruits were from our little Farm.

Their Driver drove the little Bus right into the yard, past the Star Quilt hanging on the Clothesline, and inbetween the Chicken Coops and the Garden. The height of the Bus and the closeness to the Coops and Gardens permitted the best views.

I shared a collander of freshly picked Veggies: Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Onions, Carrots. I told them about the 9 Raccoons who had visited the night before. They suggested a Dummy and Tin Pans as deterents. We put those right up when they left.

Melanie brought "Della", the Delaware Pullet, on board for all to see. It was the 1st time Della had been on a Bus and surrounded by so many adoring Fans. Della was named after Mother's Aunt Della.

I shared Old Fashioned Flowers and gave them the Bouquet for them to take back. I discovered the Bouquet on the main table in the hallway when I went in today.

As they were leaving, Melanie brought around a basket of freshly baked Molasses Cookies, which they devoured. You can always tell when someone really likes something, because they take 2nds without even thinking about it. Melanie told them we make Molasses at the Family Farm too.

Most of them left with very big Smiles, Thank You's and Waves to us here on the Farm. The Little Bus honked going down the Lane as they headed back to their world. Reports have it that they were really talking about it on the way back.

The time they were here was short (about 30 minutes) and it went really fast. The time of preparation was relatively short but intense. After they left, we plopped ourselves down with the rest of Fruit Cups and Cookies.

I cannot imagine doing something more satisfying. We 3 C's just smiled those big Smiles that stretch from deep inside to all the way out. Our Neighbors were smiling too and had their own Stories to report too. A Neighbor, who waved as they were leaving, said this opened her up for some new ideas she had never thought about before. It surely did for us too.


We have been told
Little Baby Female Chicks
develop tail feathers 1st.
That has been our experience too.
So, within those 1st weeks,
Melanie carefully separated
the Boys from the Girls
based on this simple formula.
The Girls made their headquarters
in the Brooder House.
The Boys were hanging out
in the Rooster Pen
with the White Rocks.
Things worked beautifully
for the Delawares.
Something went awry
for the Barred Rocks.
Over time,
the "Pullets" were looking
like Cockerels
and the "Cockerels" were looking
like Pullets.
Behaviors of the "Pullets"
and "Cockerels"
were reversed.
Some of the Little Peeps
had taken on names
which don't quite fit any more.
Sylvia became Sylvester.
So we 3 slow Humans began
to accept the obvious.
And last night we pulled
a "switcheroo".
The "Pullets" were relocated
to the Cockerels,
and the "Cockerels"
found themselves
among the Pullets.
Things are not always as they seem.
We just keep learning around here.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Company's Comin'

Assuming all goes well this afternoon,
16 passengers from the Nursing Home
will board their little bus.
They will head
across the rolling green hills
to our little Farm.
They won't be here long.
We are working on preparations now.
Would all those along the way
wave in greeting
as the Great Grandmas
and Great Grandpas
return to the country?
All of the Earth
are ecstatic with their return.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

9 Too Many

Last night before bed was
a beautiful Summer evening:
We were settling in
for the night's slumber.
I was the last to head for bed,
when Melanie whispered from inside her room:
"Tell Dad the Raccoons are back."
I took the news
to the sleeping one,
who came downstairs
and checked out the doin's
in the backyard.
We could hear the racket
as our backyard had been transformed
into theirs.
Richard shined the flashlight all about.
"9 Raccoons"
was the count.
Even, a 'Possum
was lumbering down the path
to join the mix.
I remember
when we were married
and living away,
we would return to stay
with Richard's Mother
on the Farm.
On more than 1 occasion,
we would find her
in the middle of the night
at the foot of our bed,
"Richard, get up quick.
Raccoons are in the corn."
As a City Girl at the time,
I did not understand
her urgency.
Now a Farm Girl,
I more than do.
Corn is coming in.
Peaches are almost ripe.
Two sets of eyes
stared down at us
from their perch
in the Golden Delicious Apple Tree
which is loaded.
Chickens are close at hand.
We need an invisible bubble
between us and them.
Popular logic would just
load the Gun.
We try to be
practitioners of non-violence
in these parts.
We know that to eliminate them,
in any shape or form,
just brings in more
to take their place.
Richard quietly asked:
"If you have any way
of communicating with them,
now is the time."
That isn't a skill
I have completely developed
in my bag of tricks.
When I went to bed,
he was loading his gun,
which he did not want to do.
When I got up this morning,
he had 1 Raccoon in a trap.
When he took out the trash,
he headed south to put
the both angry
and terrified Raccoon
in a more wild place.
Once again, we face a dilemma
right here
on this little Farm.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fabulous Firsts

Richard picked the First Sweet Corn this morning.
I don't know what it is about Firsts from the Garden.
They are the best.
They are deeply satisfying
even before they are eaten.
We planted the Seeds,
watched Plants grow,
tended Crop,
hoed and weeded,
were ever mindful of all the things
that interfere with the growing of Food.
a few weeks later,
the luscious Food is
right there in our hands,
on its way to Tummies.
Gratitude abounds.
While unseen by the dulled Human
for far too long before,
the Great Mystery
is sweetly visible
in the rhythm
of Daily Lives.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Morning Visitors before Breakfast

This morning, Melanie found 4 Visitors in our backyard. Since then, the Raccoon Removal Project has been somewhat successful. Now we have 2, or is it 3?

Richard has tried poking them down with long sticks and hosing them down. He has tried ladders and climbing the Tree. Those that remain are at the tippy top of the Austree. Sometimes they venture down to the Bird Feeder for some Sunflower Seed Snacks.

Richard says Raccoons are easily socialized around Humans. He wants them no place close to the Yard. There's no Welcome Mat in sight.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Recipe: Waffles

Combine 2 1/4 Cups Flour, 4 Teaspoons Baking Powder, 1/4 Teaspoon Salt. (I use Organic Unbleached White Flour with up to 3/4 cup Organic Whole Wheat Flour.) Run through Sifter to evenly disperse all ingredients. (I use a Strainer because I no longer have a Sifter.)

Combine 2 Large Beaten Eggs, 2 1/4 Cup Raw Milk, 3/4 Cup Oil (I use Grape Seed Oil). Beat until evenly blended.

Add liquid to dry ingredients. Stir gently only until moistened. Batter will be somewhat lumpy. (Waffles are a quick bread and can easily be overbeaten. Overbeating causes a tougher product filled with tunnels. Not good.)

Heat Waffle Iron. When heated, add batter, filling only about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Cook until moisture does not rise from Iron and Waffles are evenly browned. ~~~~
On this day, we had our Waffles with Butter, Maple Syrup (from Rachel) and Blueberries, fresh picked yesterday. The original recipe was from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. We got a Waffle Iron for a Wedding Present from Aunt Mary and Uncle Wayne.

This is a recipe that I have been making and altering for a very long time. Because we use the freshest, most organic of ingredients, we no longer use sugar in the Recipe. I use Large Eggs. This produces a Waffle which is "eggier" or more "custard like"; these are flavors that we love.

Ever So Good

Nature seems "Off".
Climate has changed.
Gardening, in the face of these shifts,
Just because
we plant a Seed
does not mean
we grow a Crop.
We have
to study more.
We are
on our Knees
at the Feet
of this Great Earth.
We see
how intimately
we are
to the Cycles of Life.
We have shifted gears
from the Entitlement orientation,
from the Humans over Nature orientation
of our Culture.
We have shifted gears
to seeing ourselves
as a part of that Great Circle of Life,
rather than separate from it.
We are deeply grated
for the Gift of Life
given us by the Creator
and sustained
by this Great Mother Earth.
Life is ever so good.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Green Beans Begin

we had
our 1st Green Beans
from the Garden.
The Variety
was "Contenders".
They were
and tender.
by the looks
of things,
more are coming.
We are
Glinda Crawford, 201o


All things
return to the Earth
as part of that Great Cycle
which is Mystery
and sustaining of Life.
Only my Kind
think themselves
above these Rules.
I wonder
from what Place
this thinking and
this elemental Fear came.
I wonder
what Purpose it serves.
I wonder when we will return.
All of Nature
the same.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Cookbook Friend

Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. Des Moines, IA: Meredith Publishing Company. Copyright, 1965.
It's tattered, it's worn, it's torn, it's wonderful. I cannot imagine a Farm House or any midwestern Kitchen without this delight.
When Richard and I were married in 1966, I did not have 1 cookbook to my name. While I was no stranger to cooking even then at 18, I had much to learn. Richard took note. That next fall, he gave me a box of 33 Cookbooks. Working at a Book Store had its perks. The inscription is noted October 27, 1967.
This Cookbook and I have been enduring and endearing Friends for almost 43 years.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Planting Time: Late Summer

I checked out the Planting Calendar from the University of Missouri Extension Service. This is a great road map for the Gardener. Late Summer Planting Times for Northern Missouri are as follows:

May 1-July 20: Sweet Corn
July 20-25: Kohlrabi
July 20-30: Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower
July 20-August 5: Turnips
July 20-August 10: Spinach
July 25-30: Broccoli, Butterhead Lettuce
July 25-August 1: Beets
July 25-August 5: Bush Green Beans, Half Runner Type Beans, Yellow Bush Beans
August 1-15: Leaf Lettuce
August 1-20: Radishes
August 1-30: Mustard

I have to say that I really don't feel like we have completed "Spring Planting". That seems odd. The Rains came down. The Weeds came up. Yes, the Raised Beds have made all the difference. But we have been busy busy trying to reclaim the Garden. That however is happening and it feels really good. Most of the Gardens are weeded; even the Grandmother's Flower Garden is taking its due.

Should we choose to plant more, these are some thoughts on Fall Gardening. At this stage, we are trying to be respectful of respectful Limits for Gardeners. We will have to wait and see what we choose to do.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Blueberries to Share

Melanie and I picked about 2 1/2 Gallons of Blueberries for the Residents at the Nursing Home where Mother is. The owners of the Blueberry Farm allowed us to glean. They were very moved to share their abundance. It felt good all the way around.

Monday, July 5, 2010

It Takes 2

We 3 C's had a great Breakfast this morning. I made Blueberry Wild Rice Pancakes from a mix given to us from Dorreen. The mix came from Native Harvest, on White Earth Reservation in northern Minnesota. The Blueberries were in the Freezer and were picked from the local Blueberry Farm. We added some wonderful embellishments; Maple Syrup (which was a gift from Steven) was a favorite.

While we were having Breakfast this morning, Melanie noted 2 Downy Woodpeckers doing the same on the Mullein Seed Head. We got out the Binoculars for a closer inspection. Mrs. Downy was feeding her Youngster. She would gather Mullein Seeds in her Beak. When it was full, She would feed them to the Little One who was actually bigger than She. Yes, it takes 2.

I decided to try to take a picture. I put the Digital Camera on 12 power. It wasn't bad for a shot, if one managed to use their imagination. Melanie suggested we try to use the Binocs and the Camera. She held the Binocs and I held the Camera. Since I could see through the Viewing, I would try to move the Camera and Binocs around until we found the Downies. Fortunately, the Downies were intent upon their Breakfast, so we had some time. Melanie and I looked pretty amusing while we were orchestrating these Shots. Yes, it takes 2.

Grandmother Lottie's Scrapbook

I continue to pour over Grandmother Lottie's Scrapbook of Clippings, as do others. In the photo above, Mother's 2nd Cousin Carrie dives right into the Book. We could hardly pull her away. Her Mother Stella (who was Lottie's 1st Cousin) also made a similar Book. The Cousins were very close and they shared a common Community. This Book (along with Stella's) actually brought together Mother, Carrie, her Daughter Linda, Melanie and Me. This was (and is) treasured time indeed. We will gather again on Wednesday. We just cannot seem to get enough.

In the moment, I am inventorying its contents. So far, the list of contents is 27 pages long and in double columns. This listing is a bit of a Road Map into something that is huge, rich and deep.

This Gift of my Grandmother and my taking time to immerse myself in it offer a rare and precious glimpse of her Life and Times. Plus, I am pausing for reflection on my own Life and Times too. My intent is to make the Book available to her Descendants and to some of those who connect into the Community she loved so well. I hope to complete this relatively quickly and so far I am speeding right along.

When I complete the inventory, I shall construct (with the help of those who knew her) a story of her Life. It will be complete with Pictures. Otherwise, you wouldn't even know who did it.

I think of the Cemeteries where the Old Ones are buried. They seem outside the consideration of Busy Modern Life. Yet, those Folks who are buried there are a part of who we are. Our Lives are incomplete without knowing them.

I am heading back into it...

When Will We Flower?

We gave it all away:
raising our Children,
growing our Food,
preparing our Food,
knowing Nature,
building our own Houses,
fixing stuff,
predicting Weather,
making things we use,
exchanging our identities
for Paper Heroes
and Things
outside ourselves,
our own Pain
and the Pain
in the World
around us,
using the Earth
in a way
that compromises
Life itself.
What purpose
does this serve?
Is this
what the Creator
I don't think so.
We act like
who have slaves
to do our Bid.
The system
we have created
does not elevate us,
but rather
descends us
into a Prison
of our own Making.
When will we flower
into that which
we were intended?
Glinda Crawford, 2010


Days always seem
filled with Randoms
here on the Farm.
While we almost always have a Plan,
Nature serves up the Agenda for the Day.
It was mostly a quieter Day today
which is the way we like Sundays to be.
We did meander
our Landscape of Needs.
Melanie gathered
Purple Clover Flowers
for the Medicinary.
She noted fewer this year.
What is that about?
With Heavy Rains
predicted by the Humans
who pride themselves
being trained to know such things,
Melanie gathered
Heads from Marcia's Poppies,
now laden with and scattering Seeds about.
I am ending
my Apologies to the Beans
that I do not know their Names.
On this day,
I marked 12 stakes
with their Names.
However, I need 12 more.
Most are for my Beloved Dry Edibles.
I always like to know People's Names.
It seems little Different
with my Friends, the Plants.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Nature Notes

On this side of Summer Solstice, Length of Day has decreased perceptively, at least according to one sensitive to such things. That would be Richard, one of our Early Risers.

I feel a touch of Sadness with the retreat of my Friend, the Sun. Yet my Sadness is accompanied by a profound gratitude that the Cycle of Life continues.

While we hear much beautiful Bird Song, that too has decreased. Baby Birds, accompanied by attentive Parents, are everywhere. Last Evening, we noted a Baby Bluebird, newly emerged from the Nest Box. With muted colors for that 1st excursion, s/he was clinging to the Fence with Feet and Legs Spraddled in different directions. Seemingly, the Little One was not ready to leave that position any time soon. While the Humans were investigating the doin's, Mama Bluebird was sailing close overhead. "Move on." And so we did.

Blackberries are beginning to ripen on the Meadow. They are everywhere. In the time that we have lived here, I have never seen so many. They must be liking the Rains, and it must be their Day to shine. The Humans are grateful. One could hear the Plop-Plop in the little Bucket as we grazed the Meadows. Our Smiles just outside of Taste Buds and over delighted Tummies were clearly visible too.

I investigated the Compass Plant over in the "Fingers", which is what we've called the North Woods and Meadow which together look like a Hand. The Compass Plant has sent 5 Flower Stalks reaching for the Sky. All are beginning to bloom.

While on my way to the Compass Plant, I noted a Praying Mantis which was about 1 1/2 inches long. I have loved and been intrigued by those Insects all my Life. I just never thought I would share a Home with them.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


July 3:

We are not sure what this Flower is, but it is a Medicinal growing in the Herb Garden. We actually have 2 Plants which Melanie thought were different and planted them intentionally in the Herb Garden. After watching them closely, we Humans noted that their Habit and Flowers are the same.

Obviously, some more Research is needed here. Breathing space for the Busy Humans would also be good. Many Puzzles unfold in the Garden and sometimes we have little space to track them down. We do what we can do. And all of that feels very good.

These lovely yellow spidery Flowers are sneaking out from their Plant Stations for a bit of rest on one of the Benches in the Garden. That sounds like a good idea.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Liberating Cane and Humans Too

July 2:

All of the Rains have meant that the Sorghum Cane has been growing just beyond our reach. And alongside, Opportunistic Weeds have proliferated.

I suppose you could call this day "Liberate Cane." It was such a beautiful Summer Day. Finally, the Soil was dry enough to weed the Sorghum Cane. Two days ago, Richard used Tillie, the Rototiller, to weed between the Rows.

Here, Melanie and Olivia are handweeding, while Richard and Anthony are behind the Camera's Lens and they are doing the same. There is 1 addition: Richard and Anthony each had a Hoe. I did weed a bit, but my job was to feed the Crew. It is truly amazing how fast the work goes when 1 is in Community. The Old Timers knew that.

In total, the Crew of 4 took 4 Hours to weed 16 Rows. That felt so very very good. The Cane seemed as Happy as the Humans.

Richard has a little more to do. He is "side dressing" the Cane with Fertilizer (12-12-12). That is not our 1st option, but in this case it should help the Cane out. Combined with the Rain which is expected, this should give the Cane a boost too.

We continue to be confronted with the tension between the Human Plan and Nature's Plan. When one only shops at the Store, one misses this Grand Drama. We 3 C's seek to find our way through these things. It isn't easy. But we seem to submit to Nature being in charge. That's a hard one for we Humans to accept, but it is surely the reality of the Living System of which we are part.

Maybe as we are liberating Cane, we are also liberating the Humans from that system which has kept us removed from Nature. Considerable insight unfolds as we work the Soil.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lunch for the Work Crew

Lunch for the Work Crew consisted of Homemade Biscuits and Gravy, and Cole Slaw. Our version of Biscuits and Gravy included: Canned Venison (the Juice with Flour as thickener was made into Gravy), Homemade Biscuits (made from Whole Wheat and Regular Flour), an assortment of Herbs on top. The Cole Slaw included: Shredded Cabbage, Shredded Carrots, Garlic Top (chopped), Lemon Juice, Olive Oil and Salt and Pepper.

Plus we had Iced Tea made from Peppermint. I made the latter in the Sun Oven. It was actually my 1st experience using the Sun Oven. While stirring over the Hot Stove, I came to the Brilliant Conclusion that whatever we could do that would take heat away from the Kitchen would be a good idea.

Full Bloom

June 27:

Our little Prairie Patch west of the House is in full bloom. And, the Butterflies are dancing about. Meanwhile, the Pasture Sage is prolific.

June 27:

Our little Prairie Patch west of the House is in full bloom. And, the Butterflies are dancing about.