Tuesday, August 31, 2010


U.S. Spending
6%---Health and Human Services
4%---Other Programs
3%---Department of Homeland Security
3% ---Housing and Urban Development
1%---Environmental Protection Agency
Just what is our Legacy anyway?
Source of Data: (Pamphlet)
"Just How Much of Our Money
Will Go to the Military Next Year?"
American Friends Service Committee
(putting Quaker Values into action).
Data were taken
from the President's 2011
federal discretionary budget
sent to Congress in January 2010.
For more information:


The truth
is the kindest thing
we can give folks in the end.
Harriet Beecher Stowe


The Gardener
knows the intimate tie
we have with the Earth.
The Great Mother
is the Source of All Life.
We can ill afford to damage
any part of that Web of Life
which supports Our Being.
Such actions would be
like the Infant
turning away
from the Mother's Breast.
Such actions choose
Death over Life.
Surely that is not
what we came here to do.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Celebrating Seasons

My name is Glinda
and I come from
a very strange Tribe.
Rather than cherishing
all Stages of the Life Cycle,
the People of my Tribe
elevate Young Adulthood,
holding it in highest Regard.
Its Physical Standard
and High Speed Chases
without consideration
of Consequence
become the Marker
upon which all is judged.
It is as if Life
begins and ends
in Young Adulthood.
are trained to look
and act like
they are "all growed up".
Middle and Ageing Adults
go to extended efforts
to appear Young,
in what they wear
and in painted Hair.
You name it.
The results are
quite bizarre.
Whole industries
are created to appear
what one is not:
The Frail Elder's
only crime
against the Tribe,
is that they can
no longer play
that game.
With their Physical Limitations
and inclination
to think out of that Fashion,
they are seqestered on shelves,
Out of Sight,
Out of Mind.
While the Whole of my Tribe
seems intent on High Speed Chases
of the Latest Trendy Fancy,
the Elderly are labeled as stuck
in some kind of time warp
where none of us
now want to live.
As a result,
we distance ourselves
from them.
When will the People of my Tribe
begin to cherish
all stages of the Life Cycle
for the Beauty the Creator intended?
The 4 Seasons of Life---
Childhood and Youth,
Young Adulthood,
Middle Adulthood,
Late Adulthood and Elder---
all have
their Purpose
and their Beauty
in the Great Scheme of Things.
What kind of Bizarre Tribe
have we created
when we do not honor
the Sacred Balance of these Things?
What Damage has been done
to the Precious Psyches
of all of us
when we cannot honor
that which we are?
How may I live my Life
to honor these Sacred Gifts?
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gleaming Jewels

When I 1st started
regularly visiting
the Nursing Home
early last year,
conventional thought
egged me on:
"Many of these Folks
are short timers.
Don't get too close.
You'll just lose them
and you'll be sad."
In these 20 months,
I have found
many unexpected Treasures:
Residents, Staff,
Family and Friends of Residents.
I have witnessed
Gratitude for any Kindness,
I have watched
Life wax and wane.
Some have passed
after what seemed like
an all too brief connection.
(who grew up with Dad),
(who made her room into a little apartment
and sewed up a storm),
(who passed at 100 and then some,
whose thinking was fuzzy
but radiant inner beauty was not),
(who knew my beloved Great Aunt Lu),
(who would ask of us as we came bearing treasures to share:
"Now what do you have for us today?").
Some of whom I did not even know their Names.
Yes, I have been sad at their loss.
But, more than anything,
my Life is enriched
by such beautiful associations
and at such
a Sacred Passage Place
of Life.
We are all going
through that same gateway.
They just happen to be going before.
I cannot even imagine how impoverished
my Life would be without these Gleaming Jewels along the Path.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Clown Theater Feedback

When I visited
the Nursing Home yesterday,
had much
praise and gratitude
for the Clowns
for their performance on Thursday.
Many leaned toward me
to ask questions
and share their thanks.
Sometimes words were limited
but the sparkle in their eyes
spoke volumes.
Other times,
Wisdom of Age was evident.
This is what I heard:
"That was really special."
"I really appreciate their efforts."
"Come back any time."
"It was really good
they went to all that effort."
"Keep on doing this,
because there are
a lot of sad people in the world."
"Thanks so much."
"You tell them that
D. and I really enjoyed it."
"You can tell them
they can come back
again and again."
"Thank you."
"Come back again,
... and again,
... and again."
"It was really good
for those poor old people
who can't get out,
...like me."
These are beautiful words.
Accompanying those words
were smiles and twinkles
that were beautiful to see.

Little Roos: Update

Richard processed 30 of the Little Roos this morning. Starting the process about 3am, he did the Lion's share of the work. Melanie and I came on board later in the morning. We looked over the Birds, removing anything else that didn't need to be there for finished Birds. That mostly included the Pin Feathers. We were done by about 10:30am, which included cleaning up the area. It felt good to do it together.

From there, the Birds went into the Refrigerator. In the next couple of days, we will look them over once again and freeze them up.

Little Roos

As I write this at 3:48am, Richard is outside processing the next batch of Little Roos. "Roos" is the name we fondly give to the Little Roosters.

He did 20 of the 66, 3 days ago. We kept them in a refrigerator. The Meat seems to relax, or soften a bit. That makes it more tender. Melanie did the last cleaning of the Roos yesterday morning. Fifteen of those 20 Roos are now in bags in the Freezer. I will can the rest. Those 20 Roos will feed our family for a long time.

I need to say up front that we process the Roos differently than is standard fare in our Culture. Most people delegate the processing to some big industrial processing plant out of sight and out of mind. If they have lived on Farms, a lot of Folks have their Gruesome Stories of what they call "butchering Chickens" and they are eager to tell. I don't even like to call it that. Once started, those Folks can go on and on about the details of their experience. Often, "humor" is implied as the Teller of the Tale will laugh and carry on. Maybe that is a likely consequence of an "advanced" Culture which has taught us to distance ourselves from Pain and Suffering in the world. That approach does not work for us on the Farm.

Here on the Farm, we are confronted by the Great Mystery in almost everything that we do, not the least of which is eating Meat. We recognize that for something to live, something must die. Richard says that if ever cannot do this, he will not eat Chicken.

Those Little Roos have been our Companions here on the Farm for about 20 weeks. When we opened their mailing box April 26th, we held them as wee little puffs of Down. We made sure they were well cared for from the "get go". After those 1st few days in their boxes in the garage, they have been free ranging, albeit within what originally seemed to be a generous pen. As the Roos have gotten larger, that Pen which has really not changed in size has gotten smaller.

We watched them grow into rambunctious Adolescents and now stately, almost Adults. We heard their 1st Crows. We even watched as Freddy, the Buff Orpington Rooster, would perch himself on a lawn chair outside their Pen, and go "crow for crow" with the "Littles".
As they have grown, we have watched them play their Rooster games. At this time, that's a lot of Testosterone for 1 pen. Some have become more dominant. One has especially gone a little farther beyond. All in 1 place, 66 Roosters are far too many for this Little Farm. These last 2 weeks, we have increasingly known the time was near.

We have taken special care to Thank them throughout, and especially before the processing has begun. I think they have known they will feed us, and they are good with that. Richard takes very special care as he "takes their lives". He wants to do it very mindfully. He is careful not to do too many that he becomes numb to what he is doing.

I am not sure how many he will do this morning. This is a very private time for him, because he has a very serious and mindful responsibility. He works quietly. He will open the Rooster House door and take the Roos 1 by 1.

He finds the very early morning time when they are sleeping quieter and best. It is least disruptive to all the Chickens (including of course the Roos) rather than doing it during the day when they are very active and alert.

The very early morning time is least disruptive to the Family too. But we all know what he is doing. He is taking their Lives to support our Lives. We sleep lightly at these times, if at all. This time, I choose to be up and clattering away at these keys.

Over the coming days, we will be confronted with the seriousnes of this part of the Farming Enterprise every time we open the Freezer Door and every time we have Chicken for a meal. Lessons of the Great Mystery abound. At the very most basic level, it's a celebration of Life itself. It's a Prayer of Gratitude for the Gift of Life to the Little Roos and the Creator who has provided for us all.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cane Watch

These days, we are ever watchful of the Sorghum Cane. Richard even tested the Cane for sweetness today. It is way too "Green".

On the 1 hand, I am happy to report that the Cane is tall and very vigorous. On the other, we are seeing some things that confront us with a familiar place: we don't quite know what is going on.

As an example, we have noted the Cane seems to have what Richard calls "water sprouts". Several stalks grow up around the 1st sprout from seed. The water sprouts are mostly as strong and vigorous as the central stalk. That has been neat to see. They seem like they will want to make juice too.

The photo below was taken on July 31. (All the rest were taken August 27.) The water sprouts are clearly visible as "clumps" from the same seed. The cane here is about 6-7 feet tall and without seedheads. Almost a month later, that same cane is now easily about 9-12 feet tall in spots. And the maturing seedheads dance proudly on top.Last week, we may have had a small funnel cloud that did damage on the northeast side of the field. Most of these stalks have now righted themselves. That is also neat to see. Once knocked down or leaning over, they try to stand upright over time. We Humans may find a lesson here if we watch closely. Hollis says it doesn't take much for the Cane to fall with the right wind. It is so tall and lovely at this stage the field can act like big dominoes.

Something that has been troubling to us has been that some of the lower leaves have turned brown. They seem dead and they seem like they are crawling up the stalk. They are at a level of 2-3 feet tall and seem confined to the east side of the field. The stalks still look perfectly healthy. I wonder what is going on inside.

We have not seen this before. I am wondering if any of the folks who also grow Cane in these parts have seen similar happenings, like Stan and Gigi at Sandhill. Richard wonders if some of this came from earlier Hail Damage. Hollis says it may be attributed to the fact that this season has been anything but normal.
The west side of the field is doing particularly well, similar to previous years.We got together with Hollis, Deleta, and Hollis Dale today. Hollis and family have been getting the site and equipment ready on the family farm. As we left, we could see a nice stack of beautiful wood already in place for the furnace.

Today's speculation has it that we will be working off the first batch about the 3rd Saturday in September. All of a sudden we have a date to set on the Calendar: September 18. As Deleta says, that will come around pretty fast. Of course, Nature knows when it will be right. We Humans just follow along.

A consistent theme in our farming initiative is that we are closer and closer to seeing the rhythms of Nature. We Humans are not in charge here. We have some successes and some not. We are increasingly grateful for every little bit of food that we do raise. Before, we just kept going to the Grocery Store without a clue as to what was happening behind the scenes. That surely has changed.


Richard and Rhiannon harvested the next batch of the biggest Carrots today. They left behind the littler ones in hopes that they fill out and can also be added to the Stash.

Richard and Rhiannon cleaned the Carrots and separated them into 2 groups. When they finished, they had 4 Gallons in the "To Can" stash and 2 Gallons in the "Winter Keepers". The "To Can" stash includes the irregularly formed Carrots, while the bigger Carrots that are relatively smooth and regular in shape are put into the "Winter Keeper Stash". The bucket below is in the "Winter Keeper" stash.The Carrots below definitely were in the category of more creatively formed. They kind of make me smile. We never know exactly what is happening under the ground or why. We often come up with some unexpected delights in art form. I remember Dewey Berkquist, who was a weather announcer on television up north 3 decades ago, would show unusual shapes in veggies at the end of his weather reports. I think we could have submitted these

4 Places at the Table

August 23:

We now have 4 places at the Table. Rhiannon is joining us for 2 weeks as an Intern. We are excited to have this very special Team Member on our Little Farm.

Getting to know a Fellow Journeyer who is concerned about similar issues is very important to us. Sharing the Journey is very lovely. Having Someone assist us in putting up Food, which is another way of saying nurturing Life, honors the Gift of the Creator and is a Sacred Act. Plus, having extra hands during the Harvest Season is a very beautiful Gift. We are deeply grateful.
We keep being confronted with all sorts of Unexpected Adventures on this Little Farm. It makes us smile in the present moment and in looking forward to the Path Ahead.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


At the Possibility Alliance, a Petrol and Electricity Free Farm and Education Center down the Lane, a Clown Camp is featured this week. Just typing this makes me smile.

I suggested they consider a performance at the Nursing Home where Mother is. And, today, all 20 some of the Clowns arrived there by Bike or Bus. On our way to town, we actually passed the Bikers south of town. Their 15 mile Bike Ride one way seemed no small commitment to deliver Joy by this Passenger (and addict to the Automobile) in our Car speeding past.

Did they ever put on a Show. Their performance was pure Fun, Joy, Love, Delight. It was just plain Over the Top. In a place where Joy is usually in short supply among the serious considerations of the Day, Smiles, Laughter and Applause were free flowing as they should be everywhere and all the time.

My favorite part was when the Clowns hung around afterwards to interact with Residents. Residents and Clowns bantered back and forth in a place where silence is too often found. Joy is a precious Gift which nourishes us all.

For those in our area, the Clowns from Clown Camp are offering a Clown Theater Extravaganza, Saturday, August 28, 6-7:30 p.m. at the Silver Rails Event Center in LaPlata. The Flyer for the event advises us that: The performance will feature "Dan Griffiths, who studied under the world famous mime Marcel Marceau and has peformed in over 45 states and 25 countries." Dan "will be leading a cast of over 20 clowns, actors, mimes from as far away as Montreal and San Francisco. Come enjoy Thrills, Laughter, Wonder, and Delight. It's a FUNdraiser for the Friends for LaPlata Preservation (FLIPP), The Green Theatre, and the Kirksville Permaculture Education Center (KPEC). Suggested donation is $5 for adults and children are free."

The little Flyer closes with a sneak peek of the show's: "Thrills! Laughter! Wonder! and Delight! ...Cake and Ice Cream... Music and Singing and Storytelling." "'If anyone among you thinks he is wise in this age let him become a fool that he may become wise.'" (1 Corinthians 18-19)

As the Clowns were preparing to leave the Nursing Home today, one resident was asked if she was ready for her usual afternoon nap. "After a program like this, I don't think so." Mother encouraged the Clowns to share their work widely: "There is a lot of sadness in the world."

Yes, Joy should be widely shared. Thank you Clowns and the Possibility Alliance for bringing these extraordinary gifts to our area.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pieces in Place

The last few days,
we have focused on
we knew
was coming.
The processing
of the Little Roosters
will begin.
The pieces are
in place
which will assist Richard
in a very significant role
on this little Farm.
He will do
about 12 each time,
which means the whole process
will take about 5 days.
Right now, I need to go say
Goodbye to those Little Guys
as they are tucked into Bed
and offer my humble Thanks
for their Gifts of Life.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

History Comes Alive

When I was growing up, I thought history was a dead and dreary subject. I shudder to think of the many hours I sat through a subject that seemed removed from life, or the life that I knew. I felt like I was sitting in a pile of dry, brittle, blowing, and disconnected leaves.

Yet, as a kid, I loved a pile of leaves in the fall. By contrast, those leaves of “history” as we were taught were without color; they were without life.

Looking more closely, I could see that “history” as taught at that time was largely the history of males who happened to be white, dead, and “winners” of the spoils of their time. Big pieces were missing, including the daily flow of lives, the lives and contribution of women, and the struggle and gifts of various ethnicities and racial groups.

Many years later, I came to see a history which had life breathed back into it. I came to know that our relatives lived in the context of their times. Their story (our story) was very much alive. To understand them, I needed to understand the context of their story to the degree that it could be fully reconstructed. That would be at best difficult, yet much was still possible to reconstruct.

What you will see in the following text are historical events that occurred primarily during the life times of Isaac and Catherine (Powell) South. Isaac and Catherine were my Great Great Grandparents.

They are buried at Ft. Madison Cemetery in northeastern Adair County. Their grave site is marked by a tall, old, sturdy, and unpretentious stone, seemingly outside the reaches of memory. They are easy to overlook by we modern ones who are intent upon the now and the immediate future. But I chose not to overlook them. This narrative is a piece which has allowed me to see them and history come alive.

The dates of their lifetimes are from 1833-1912. Isaac was born 1st and lived the longer. The dates of their lives are marked in between lines as follows. And their picture is above. You will see what was happening in their lives. It is brief and primarily constructed from clippings that Grandmother Lottie Hart Brenz (their Granddaughter) kept throughout her life. Plus, you will see what was going on in their historical context.

Admittedly, the events listed drew me in. Isaac and Catherine would surely write their own list. Other family members would construct their own list too.

Some of the events that I chose came from pieces that I know of their story. Railroads were significant, drawing away 2 of their sons to Colorado, serving as a major system of transportation and a major means of transforming their world.

"Books” in the family archive provided other important clues for my study. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was given to me many years ago by Mother, would be an example. I am eager to find it in our collection of packed treasures. I believe that it belonged to my Grandfather Fred A. Brenz (who married Lottie Hart, a Granddaughter of Isaac and Catherine).

The examples are also recollections that sit within the shadow of my own earlier memories. Old Hymns, which I heard while Aunt Louise Brenz Wells and the child that was me pounded at the piano keys on their farm, are primary. I also heard those Hymns being hummed from the likes of Aunt Lula Hart and others. While very rarely heard these days, those old Hymns ring out in the cherished archives of my heart and mind. I believe those memories, among others, are an extension of the lives of earlier ancestors.

Other recordings come from experiences in my own life which have had meaning, such as interest in John Muir, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, among others. Who knows? My ancestors may have had connections to them too.

Yet, in looking at a broader read of history, I find discomfort. Over the years, I have struggled to understand: “How could anyone in earlier times have supported ‘slavery’, or the horrific treatment of Native People whose land we now reside upon today, never mind the subjugation of Women?”

I have resolved those questions by believing that, while violence is to be deplored, people should be understood in the context of their times and that as a humanity we seek to move ever toward the Light. I know that those who follow us will see the primitiveness of our thinking and I hope they too will see that we did move ever toward the Light.

I have one further note. Reduction of “history” to a few short pages is not without its limitations. The treatment of Native American History in northeast Missouri is particularly incomplete. I have simply done the best that I could.

So there you have it. What follows is my collection of historical anecdotes which breathed life into the times of our earlier Ancestors. Richard and Melanie helped broaden my list and served as Readers of earlier versions of this text. Sources of dates and information are given. Personal information came from Grandmother Lottie Hart Brenz's Scrapbook of Clippings and family lore. Sources for information on historical context drew heavily from the online encyclopedia Wikipedia, which is among my favorites, as well as other sources. Family members and friends are invited to add their own dates.

And so, we begin:

1816: James Hart Stark and a small band of pioneers moved from Kentucky, settling on the west bank of the Mississippi in a place that would become Louisiana, Missouri. Stark brought a bundle of apple scions from his family orchard. Stark's efforts would be the foundation for Stark Brothers, orchardists who provided fruit trees to many, including my Grandfather Fred Albert Brenz and perhaps others in my family too.

1830: The 1830 Census lists the U.S. population of the 24 states to be 12,866,020 of which 2,009,043 were slaves. Population center was about 170 miles west of Washington, D.C. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1830_United_States_Census
The last state to have been admitted was Missouri in 1821.

1832: The Black Hawk War was fought in the Midwestern United States. The war was named for Black Hawk, war chief of the Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo tribes who fought for possession of lands in the area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Hawk_War
In Adair County, the Blackhawk War caused considerable fear among the early settlers although all fighting was far away. To ease fears, militia units were dispatched and 2 small forts constructed. A detachment of troops established Fort Matson (later called Fort Madison). After months of no hostile Native American activity in the Adair County area, both forts were abandoned. (Note: Isaac and Catherine South are buried at Fort Madison Cemetery, which is across the road from the site of old Ft. Matson.)
1833: Isaac South is born April 20 in Bethel, Ohio (Source: Isaac South Obituary #2). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adair_County,_Missouri
Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of the U.S.

1837: The Treaty of 1837 removed the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri into Kansas across the Missouri river to the Great Nemaha. The Missouri band became officially known as the Sac and Fox Nation of Missouri in Kansas and Nebraska. http://www.sacandfoxcasino.com/tribal-history.html

1838: Catherine Powell is born June 12 in Bethel, Ohio. (Source: Catherine Powell South Obituary 1& 2)
The artist George Catlin returns east, after visiting 50 Native American tribes whom he views as a vanishing race and some of whom were relatively untouched at the time of his visits. He assembles paintings and artifacts into his Indian Gallery and begins delivering public lectures from his personal recollections of life among the American Indians. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Catlin
The Cherokee Nation is forcibly removed in the winter from their lands in the Southeast United States to Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma), resulting in the deaths of 4,000. Removal resulted from the Treaty of New Echota, which exchanged Native American land in the East for lands West of the Mississippi, but which was never accepted by the leadership or majority of the Cherokee. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears

1839(~): Samuel Clemens (later known as the author Mark Twain) is 4 years old and moves with his family to Hannibal, Missouri. This port town on the Mississippi River serves as inspiration for the setting of his later books The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Twain

1841: From 1841 until 1869, the Oregon Trail was one of the main overland migration routes on the North American continent, leading from locations on the Missouri River to the Oregon Country. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oregon_Trail

1846: Elias Howe was awarded 1st U.S. patent for a sewing machine using lockstitch design. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elias_Howe
(Unknown) Isaac South is converted as a young man, joining the Baptist Church in Bethel, Ohio. (Source: Isaac South Obituary)

1848: Catherine Powell is converted as a young girl. (Source: Catherine Powell South Obituary #1).
The Seneca Falls Convention on women's rights was hosted by Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann M'Clintock and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, with some 300 attending. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women
At the time, women were considered property of husbands. They (we) could not vote, hold office, hold property, divorce, retain possession of children if divorced by husbands. (Source: PBS Special: Not for Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. A film by Ken Burns and Paul Barnes) http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/

1850-60: Created in the early 19th century, the Underground Railroad was at its height between 1850 and 1860. By 1850, 100,000 slaves had escaped via the "Railroad". Harriet Tubman makes 13 trips to the South helping to free 70 people. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underground_Railroad

1851 Stephen Foster writes “Old Folks at Home” (also known as “Swanee River”). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Foster

1852: Also mother to 7, Harriet Beecher Stowe begins publication of Uncle Tom's Cabin which depicts life of African-Americans under slavery. Political issues regarding slavery became tangible to millions, energizing anti-slavery forces in the North and provoking widespread anger in the South. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Beecher_Stowe

1853: Isaac South and Catherine Powell marry October 25, Bethel, Ohio. (Source: Isaac South Obituary #2) They are ages 19 and 14. [Glinda’s Note: Date of marriage (either 1853 or 1854) differs between Isaac and Catherine’s obituaries.]

1854: Isaac South and Catherine Powell marry October 25, Bethel, Ohio. (Source: Catherine Powell South Obituary) They are ages 20 and 15.
Henry David Thoreau publishes Walden, which is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, and manual for self reliance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walden

1855: Son William H. South is born. (Source: Orchard Mesa Cemetery-IOOF-records, Grand Junction, Colorado http://files.usgwarchives.org/co/mesa/cemeteries/omioofn.txt)

1856: Isaac and Catherine (Powell) South move from Ohio to Iowa. (Source: Isaac South Obituary #2; Catherine Powell South Obituary #1) They are about 23 and 18. .

1857: Dr. William S. Pitts writes "The Church in the Wildwood" following a coach ride that stopped in Bradford, Iowa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Church_in_the_Wildwood

1858: The 7 Lincoln-Douglas Debates brought together Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas for a seat in the United States Senate. All debates focused on slavery among other issues that Lincoln would face in his Presidency. Three debates (including 1 at Quincy, Illinois, October 13) drew especially large numbers and was of monumental importance to citizens across the nation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln%E2%80%93Douglas_debates_of_1858

1859: Daughter Louisa Mariah South is born July 29 in Lee County, Iowa. She is converted at an early age. (Source: Louisa Mariah South Obituary).

1860: The Pony Express begins in April and lasts until October 1861. This fast mail service crossed the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California, and was the west's most direct means of east-west communication before the telegraph. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pony_Express

1861-65: American Civil War is fought. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Civil_War

1862: The Homestead Act is enacted and is one of several United States federal laws giving applicants freehold title to up to 160 acres of undeveloped federal land outside the original 13 colonies. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestead_Act
Battle of Kirksville is fought August 6.

1864: The Sand Creek massacre occurs November 29 when a 700-man force of Colorado Territory militia attacked and destroyed a village of friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho encamped in southeastern Colorado Territory, killing and mutilating an estimated 70–163 Indians, 2/3 of whom were women and children. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sand_Creek_massacre
Stephen Foster, who will be acknowledged as the Father of American Music, dies at age 37. His works include: “Oh Susanna”, “My Old Kentucky Home”, “Beautiful Dreamer”, “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”.

1865: Daughter Emma South is born. (Source: Ft. Madison Cemetery Records on line. http://www.adairchs.org/cemeteries/FortMadison.pdf
Abraham Lincoln is assassinated on Good Friday, April 14. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assassination_of_Abraham_Lincoln
The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which officially abolishes slavery and involuntary servitude, except as punishment for a crime, is adopted December 6. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

1868: John Muir makes his 1st visit to Yosemite, staying for 2 weeks. "We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir

1869: On May 10, the ceremonial "Golden Spike" was driven joining rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States at Promontory Summit, Utah Territory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_spike

1871: The Great Chicago Fire burns from October 8 to October 10, killing hundreds and destroying 4 square miles. The fire was one of the largest U.S. disasters of the 19th century. Rebuilding begins almost immediately. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Chicago_Fire

1872: Daughter Mary L. South is born in Lee County Iowa, September 18.
Buffalo Bill Cody makes his stage debut in Chicago in The Scouts of the Prairie, one of the original Wild West Shows. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Bill

1873: Fanny Crosby, 1 of the most prolific hymnists in history who just happened to be blind, publishes “Blessed Assurance”. She writes at least 8,000 hymns under over a hundred pseudonyms over the course of her life (1820-1915). Hymns also include: “To God Be the Glory”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fanny_Crosby

1875: The name and backing of P.T. Barnum is added to what will become the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, or the “Greatest Show on Earth”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringling_Bros._and_Barnum_%26_Bailey_Circus

1876: Isaac and Catherine move with their family to Adair County. They reside in Adair County until death. (Isaac South’s Obituary #2). Isaac and Catherine are ages 43 and 38. (Note: John A. South’s 1918 obituary says he was “the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Isaac South, of Clay township”.)
F. & J. Heinz launch their Heinz Tomato Ketchup, advertised as: "Blessed relief for Mother and the other women in the household!" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketchup Branding products becomes a means of insuring consistency of product and customer allegiance.
The Centennial International Exhibition, the 1st World's Fair in the U.S., is held in Philadelphia. The Fair celebrates the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 10 million visitors attend, equal to 20% of the U.S. population (many were repeat visitors). Exhibits include: Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, Remington Typographic Machine (typewriter), Heinz Ketchup, Wallace-Farmer Electric Dynamo (precursor to electric light), Hires Root Beer, Kudzu (plant species suggested for erosion control).
Unkn Louisa Mariah South Hart is united with the Baptist church at Sperry. (Source: Louisa South Hart’s Obituary)

1877: Andrew W. Willauer (who will wed Granddaughter Daisy South) is born December 8.

1879: Daughter Louisa Mariah South marries Robert Nelson Hart August 31. She moves her membership to the M.E. Church South at Trinity where her husband is a member. (Source: Louisa Mariah South Hart Obituary)

1880: Census data show that Isaac South was head of household, married to “Cathrine” South, white, American, male, 47 years old, farmer, and resided in Clay Township, Adair County, Missouri. His mother’s birth place was New York and his father’s Ohio. (The 1880 Census took 7 years to complete.)
First attempt to construct the Panama Canal begins by the French and is later abandoned after 21,900 workers die, largely from disease and landslides. U.S. launches 2nd effort, resulting in 5,600 deaths and opening the Canal in 1914. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panama_Canal

1881: Clara Barton and a circle of acquaintances found the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. May 21. http://www.redcross.org/museum/history/brief.asp

1882: Granddaughter Daisy South is born September 4.
Grand Junction, Colorado, consisted of 150 men and two women. The town offered a free plot of land to the first woman married there in order to entice more women. The newly built bridge across the Colorado brought the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad to the area. http://www.ghostdepot.com/rg/mainline/marshall%20route/grandjct.htm

1883: Buffalo numbering 40-60 million prior to white settlement are systematically reduced to less than 1,000 as a means of eradicating the Indian presence.

1886: The Statue of Liberty, which is a gift of the people of France and dedicated October 28, becomes an iconic symbol of freedom and of the United States. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statue_of_Liberty

1887: Popular thinking is illustrated in published history text showing hierarchy of “civilized” (those who could read and write) over “uncivilized” (barbaric) peoples.

1890: On Dec. 29, the Wounded Knee Massacre occurs on the Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation, where the U.S. Cavalry fires indiscriminantly from all sides on Indian men, women, children and some of their own troops. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre

1892: A.T. Still founds the first school of osteopathy (American School of Osteopathy) in Kirksville, Missouri. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andrew_Taylor_Still

1897: Andrew Willauer starts as a Call Boy on the railroad in the Grand Junction, Colorado, area. His schooling is frequently interrupted by his duties, which frequently required riding as much as five miles on his bicycle. (Source: Andrew Willauer obituary) (Andy will marry Granddaughter Daisy South.)

1898: Son John A. South marries Fannie Pickens April 3. (Source: John A. South Obituary)
Spain and the U.S. enter the Spanish American War. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish%E2%80%93American_War

1901: Andy Willauer becomes a brakeman on the railroad.

1902: Daughter Emma South Stewart dies. (Source: Ft. Madison Cemetery Records on line. http://www.adairchs.org/cemeteries/FortMadison.pdf) She was pregnant and fell while hanging curtains. She is buried in Ft. Madison Cemetery with the baby in her arms. (Source: Family story)

1903: The Wright Brothers make the first controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_brothers

1904: The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the Saint Louis World's Fair, opens. Notable attendees included John Philip Sousa (whose band performed several times during the fair), Scott Joplin, Thomas Edison, 24 year old Helen Keller (who gave a lecture in the main auditorium), J.T. Stinson, (a well-regarded fruit specialist who introduced the phrase, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"), famous French organist Alexandre Guilmant (who played 40 recitals from memory on the great organ in Festival Hall, then the largest pipe organ in the world), Geronimo (the famous former Apache war chief who was "on display" in a teepee in the Ethnology Exhibit). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louisiana_Purchase_Exposition

1906: San Francisco is the site of a major earthquake. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1906_San_Francisco_earthquake

1907: Isaac and Catherine (Powell) South move to Schuyler County, Greentop. [Source: Catherine (Powell) South Obituary #1]
Granddaughter Daisy South marries Andrew Willauer January 23 in Grand Junction, Colorado. (Source: Andrew Willauer Obituary)
Early 20th century immigration to the United States sees a dramatic influx of people from Southern and Eastern Europe. European immigration peaks, when 1,285,349 persons entered the country in this year alone. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States

1908: Mary L. South marries Gideon Lorton in February 19. Gideon has a son Leslie by a previous marriage to Beatrice Pickens who died May 6, 1901. (Sources: Mary L South Lorton Obituary and Gideon Lorton Obituary).
The week prior to April 20, Mrs. Isaac South “visited her daughters near Trinity.” She returned home “accompanied by Mrs. Mary Lorton, Mrs. Lou Hart and Miss Lottie Hart who spent the day with Mr. and Mrs. South, it being the 75th birthday anniversary of Mr. South.” (Source: Article from Grandmother Lottie Hart Brenz’s Scrapbook of Clippings)
Andy Willauer becomes a railroad conductor, usually on the Grand Junction-Salida run.
The Ford Model T (also known as the Tin Lizzie) was produced by Henry Ford's Ford Motor Company from 1908 through 1927. The Model T set 1908 as the historic year that the automobile became popular. Ford's innovations included assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Model_T

1909: Isaac and Catherine (Powell) South live in Kirksville, where Granddaughter Lottie Hart (Brenz) stays during the week as she attends the Wagner Conservatory of Music. [Source: Family Story-Dorothy (Brenz) Bloskovich]
On October 25, 18 relatives of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac South assembled for their 55th wedding anniversary. (Source: Article from Grandmother Lottie Hart Brenz’s Scrapbook of Clippings)

1910: Isaac is in failing health the last 2 years of his life and “was very patient and willing to go. He never tired of talking of the heavenly home, telling his loved ones he longed to be there.” (Source: Isaac South Obituary #2)
Catherine (Powell) South dies June 26 at 72 years and 14 days. Death is caused by erysipelas and exema. She and Isaac lived together 55 years and 8 months. She has two daughters and one son dead, and two sons and two daughters living. Burial: Ft. Madison Cemetery. (Source: Catherine Powell South Obituary #1 & 2)

1911: Isaac makes his home in Kirksville. (Source: Isaac South Obituary)
Granddaughter Lottie Hart marries Fred A. Brenz, November 15.

1912: Isaac South dies of chronic nephritis April 27 at the home of his daughter Mary L. South Lorton on 401 East Washington Street, Kirksville, Missouri. He was 79 years and 7 days. He had been a resident of Adair County 35 years. Burial: Ft. Madison Cemetery (Source: Isaac South Obituary #1 & 2)
Louisa South Hart and her husband moved to Kirksville. She unites with the Mulanix ME. Church South. (Source: Louisa South Hart Obituary)
Charles Austin Miles publishes the hymn “In the Garden”.
William Howard Taft was the 27th U.S. President. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

1913: Daughter Louisa Mariah South Hart’s husband Robert Nelson dies. (Source: Louisa Mariah South Hart Obituary)

1917: Daughter Louisa Mariah South Hart dies September 17 at the home of her daughter Mrs. Fred A. Brenz (Lottie Hart) 5 miles northeast of Kirksville. She is 58 years, 1 month and 19 days. Burial: Ft. Madison Cemetery. (Source: Louisa Mariah South Hart Obituary)

1918: Son John A. South dies at his home in Dewey, Oklahoma. He leaves his wife Fannie, 3 children: Roscoe, Marion, Woodrow, and brother William H. South. He is buried in Cherry Vale, Kansas. (Source: John A. South Obituary)

1920: The 1920 Census lists the resident population of the United States as 106,021,537, an increase of 15.0 percent over the 92,228,496 recorded during the 1910 Census. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1920_United_States_Census In 1920, the U.S. included 48 states. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_date_of_statehood

1927: Son William H. South and his wife Addie A. die and are buried in Grand Junction, Colorado. (Source: http://files.usgwarchives.org/co/mesa/cemeteries/omioofn.txt.) Mary L. South Lorton is the only surviving child of Isaac and Catherine.

1932: Mary L. South Lorton dies at home July 5. She is 59 years, 9 months and 17 days of age. She is the last member of Isaac and Catherine's children. (Source: Mary L. South Lorton Obituary)

1943: Andy Willauer retires from the railroad.

Date Unknown: Daisy and Andy Willauer make trips by rail from their home in Grand Junction, Colorado, to northeast Missouri to visit the South family. On one such trip (between 1933-45), they go to Washington, DC, where Daisy, as President of the Colorado Red Cross, is a delegate to the Red Cross National Convention. Mrs. Franklin Roosevelt entertains the Red Cross in the Garden at the White House.

1965: Andy Willauer dies and is buried in Grand Junction, Colorado.

1976: Daisy Willauer dies and is buried in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Friday, August 20, 2010


We could hear and feel
Thor coming long before
He arrived.
He brought
along a spectacular Light Show.
The Lightning sometimes jumped
from Cloud to Cloud.
Other times,
it ran straight into the Earth.
We could feel
the House and Ground
rumble beneath our Feet.
We Humans are Small.
It's O.K. that way.
That's the Plan.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Full August Days

These days have been
so full
I haven't taken
much time
to write.
As the Days go by,
I don't focus on
how full
the Days are,
or the Big Picture
of what we have to do.
We just do
one thing
at a time.
it would be
over the top.
We have
4 Social Engagements
in 6 days,
which is way
out of the frame for us.
We had 37
at the Master Gardener Tour
and Pot Luck here
on Tuesday.
It was wonderful.
I think it is fair to say
"a good time was had by all."
I was reminded
the next day
that this body
is not as young
as it once was.
With some rest,
I am ready
to go again.
Tonight, Melanie and I
are going
to a Pot Luck
of fellow Homesteaders
we know
through the Possibility Alliance.
we are having
a Neighborhood Gathering,
which Melanie and Wendy
have created.
Thank goodness,
it isn't here.
And Sunday is
Melanie's Birthday.
In the middle of these things,
Harvest and Preservation have reached
Crescendo of the Garden Season Symphony.
The Piano came Tuesday.
So did the 2nd of 2 Dual Flush Toilets.
The semi driver tooted his horn
"toot toot"
as he approached
our Drive.
I now have the Toilet
in the back of my Car
and the Plumber comes
next week.
The Piano Tuner
came Wednesday.
Melanie and I
have been playing
around on the Keys ever since.
Jonathan comes back today
to continue
painting in the House.
The little House seems
more and more like Home.
This morning, Richard picked
5 Gallons of Tomatoes,
for Ravioli Sauce
and Baked Tomatoes.
He will can the Sauce
and freeze the Baked Tomatoes.
It looks like another day of Magic
right there at Home on the Gas Range.
Melanie and I are headed
to the Garden
to harvest Dry Beans,
because Rain is coming
perhaps even tonight.
My Mind wonders
about considering
Lessons of the Soil.
Melanie suggested
having a Harvest Dinner in October,
asking Folks
to bring Canned or Dried Foods
(with Recipes) to share.
Just another full August day
on Butterfly Hill Farm.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

An Every Day Ordinary August Day

Like Magic, Produce appears on the East Deck in August, marking the beginning of the peak period of Harvest. While we do have a sense as to what is coming, every day is a surprise. We are filled with Awe and Gratitude.

Wednesday evening, we 3 C's gathered the Edemame, which is a wonderful edible Soybean. We easily had 6 Gallons. Richard picked 5 Gallons of Heirloom Tomatoes on Thursday morning. They are waiting for him to take to the Nursing Home where Mother is. That 5 Gallon Bucket holds more than enough for Mother and her Friends there. It feels so good to share the Bounty, especially with Elders, many of whom were Gardeners and have known old Varieties.

Also on Thursday morning, Melanie picked some of the small Tomatoes. She and I cut them and placed them on Screens for dehydrating. Each Screen produces about 1 cup of Dried Tomatoes. Last year, we prepared 42 Cups. We love them. So we are targeting that range for dehydrating this year. Later in the afternoon, Melanie put the Edemame in boiling water for about 3-5 minutes. She then drained the Beans and cooled them a bit. We sat outside under the Austrees and hulled them.

We did have a few Chickens who graciously offered to help. Pinchy, the White Plymouth Rock, was more than excited that we would have a few beans which did not pass our quality standard for freezing. She blends right in to that Chicken Apron that Deleta made for me. I smiled.

Those 6 Gallons of Edemame made 12-2 Cup packages for Freezing, plus some to give to Sarah at the Possibility Alliance. They lost all their Beans to Rabbits.
I just love the Bright Beautiful Green of Edemame. They make a great Snack while in preparation too.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Update on Dry Edible Beans

August 10:

While productive, my Dry Edible Beans are not doing as well as in previous years. Pods are small, fewer Beans are developing, some Beans are under-developed or deformed, and their cycle is faster.

These are all symptoms of Plants under stress. Typically when a Plant is under stress it will go fast through its cycle toward Seed Production; I suppose that is reflective of its intense energy to create and survive.

I have no doubt that my Dry Edible Beans have seen more than their fair share of stress this growing Season, including Rains, Heat, Compacted Soil. Yikes. That wouldn't be fun. When I pulled Bean Pods off a few of the Plants, the whole Plant was sometimes pulled up. Roots seem to have been underdeveloped or have rotted. Yes, stress.

So I am spending time daily in the Garden picking Beans. The Rains (which have slowed) cause them to mold, so out of the Garden they must go when they are ready. I am shelling them, drying and turning them.

Today I even had some help from Company with the Shelling. That was fun shared time. My Dear Company and I looked with wonder at the magical little pod packages gently holding those Colorful Beans. They were like holiday Packages under the Tree of Life.

These Beans are Lina Cisco's Bird's Egg. They are a Horticultural Type. I love their lovely Pink Color on Cream Background. You will note other Beans in Bowls underneath. These days, horizontal surfaces are in high demand. We will probably still have quite a few Beans.

Seeing how vulnerable they are to the Cycles of Nature, every Bean just becomes that much more precious. All of Life is vulnerable to the Whims of the Great Mother too. That includes the 2-Leggeds, some of whom tend to think of themselves as All Powerful. We are not.

A Simply Glorious Day

Keren and Dori walk the 3 miles from the Farm down the road, just in time for an early morning "Bird Walk". We started out looking for Birds, but the Birds are quieter now. Instead, we focused on the rich tapestry of Plants unfolding. We found the Earth's radiant Beauty at every step and turn. We didn't want to miss a thing.
Every day on the Land is like no other. Something is always fresh and new. Other things are worn. Something is always rising. Other things are falling. I guess that is the Dance of Life. Everywhere we looked, we found Stories of the Land.After our Walk, we headed inside for our Breakfast, which I called an "Art Project". We used Nancy Burrow's Recipe for Crepes, whom I love and which I love. Our palette included numerous embellishments, including: Blueberries, Black Raspberries, Peaches, Strawberries, Fried Apples with Cinnamon and Honey (similar to what Aunt Lu used to make), Bananas, Pecans, Honey, Molasses, Edible Flowers to top it off. Each one of us created our own Breakfast Art. No 2 were the same. That was fun indeed. And we devoured them, lickety split.Afterwards, we headed out to the Garden to do some weeding. We did it principally because it needed to be done, but nevermind, we are also having company on Tuesday. The 4 of us are experienced Weeders, having spent many hours in gardening and having fallen in love a long time ago with Gardens. I am amazed how quickly we went through a substantial part of the Garden. I think the Garden was amazed too. The Plants just smiled and nodded their Thank Yous.

Later we had a late Lunch. We sat underneath the Austrees and enjoyed our nourishment from the Earth. We enjoyed sharing Stories and the Company of Each Other. It is always beautiful when Someone we know and love (Keren) expands our World by bringing in Someone Dear. And the fact they came to help in the Garden was just the Frosting on the Cake.While we 4 Humans pondered these things, the Sorghum Cane continued to grow tall and expand those Seedheads into the Sky. Yes, it was a simply Glorious Day.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Dear Master Gardeners

The 3 Crawfords are privileged to host the Adair County Master Gardener Meeting at Butterfly Hill Farm, Tues., Aug. 17, 6:30 p.m.

Our shared time together will feature tours/meanderings of our Gardens and Pot Luck. The theme of the Pot Luck is celebrating the abundance of the local. That could include a dish featuring produce you have grown, gotten from a neighbor or Farmer's Market, etc.. If that dish is a traditional recipe in your family, that would be terrific. (We will provide tableware and beverage.)

As you know, our little Farm focuses on sustainability and reclaiming traditions of living on the land (with new green concepts emerging). We 3 C's are growing as much of our own food as possible. At this season we are super busy. This morning, Richard just canned 14 pints of Tomato Sauce and I shall finish canning Chicken as soon as I push "send". (Richard just brought in 2 more buckets of Tomatoes. Yikes. I better hurry.) As if that is not enough, we are currently doing some interior painting/remodeling with green products. When you arrive, you will see we are a "work in progress".

And of course, this season has come with challenges for us all. When you arrive here, you will not find the perfection of a collection of silk flowers. You will find Nature's Hand. And you will surely find weeds. You may even find this Master Gardener's version of Wild Kingdom. Yet, through it all, the abundance is striking.

Please bring a lawn chair. We request that you car pool. We try to lessen the impact of the human footprint on the farm (which includes compaction of soil from autos). Thanks for helping us out here.

You may even find that some of your own favorite farm/gardening stories of old will want to tag along. Please bring them. In visiting with Jennifer, we may have 2 or 3 other folks join us who might provide an interesting mix to our conversation.

Best growing wishes,
glinda, richard and melanie (crawford)

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Hot nights make
for Challenging Sleep.
Maybe we are supposed to get up,
watch the Stars,
just be in Nature.
So we got up before 4 this morning.
Richard made a cup of Coffee
and took the 4 Leggeds
(Scamp, Max, Ladd)
on Rounds.
I came downstairs
and began to clatter away
at these Keys.
Richard came back in
to let me know
we must be in the middle
of the Perseids,
whose meteors make for a Phenomenal Light Show.
So I headed outside too.
We parked ourselves
in the Rocking Chairs
on the East Deck.
The Constellations
Cassieopia, Perseus and the House
were in the Eastern Sky.
The Milky Way ran East to West.
When I noted that it ran
North to South in the Winter,
Richard said it runs differently in Summer.
The "educated" person
that I am
once again
learned something new.
I looked intently
into the Black Night Sky.
Meteors were flashing.
Don't blink because you'll miss it.
In the meantime,
Richard heard
what sounded like
rattling in the Corn.
He headed out
with Flashlight in hand.
Upon return,
his conclusion was
that it must be the bursting
of the Seedheads
of the Sorghum Cane.
While we sat on the Deck,
all around,
we could hear
Ladd barking those short high pitched barks
which mean Visitors
we Humans could not sense.
In the background,
we heard that deep "Hah-Hah-Hah"
whose illusive identity
is still unknown to us.
We Humans know so little,
and we try to be open
to so much.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Meditation on Canning Chicken 2

Four days ago,
I put Frozen Chickens
into the Refrigerator
to begin a slow Thaw.
On the morning of Canning,
Richard put the Chickens
into 2 Big Kettles.
That includes Carcasses
from past Meals
or times we did not use
the whole Bird.
Once boiling,
those Sacred Gifts
of our Chickens
began a gentle Boil.
When tender,
we turned off the Burner
and let them cool.
That took a while
on this hot Day.
Plus, those Chickens seem
to hold their Heat.
Later that afternoon,
I began to slowly separate
Meat from Bones.
I had 3 containers going:
Meat, Bones/Skin/Cartilage, Broth.
While I separated,
my mind wondered
to the Little Roosters
in the Rooster Coop.
They have been
on this Farm
for 3 1/2 months.
They've gone
from little Balls of Fluff
we held in our hands
to big, regal Birds full of energy.
They went from Little Peeps
to Adolescent Roosters
practicing their 1st Crows.
That Coop now contains
66 Roosters full of vim and vinegar.
Soon, the Coop will be silent
as Richard will process the Birds.
I am left to ponder
the Gifts of the Roosters.
Richard took the Leavings
out to bury on the Land.
We give our Thanks
to the Little Roos
for their Gift of Life.
Their Gift of Life becomes
part of our Gift of Life.
They will become part of us.
I can only hope
our Walk is a fitting tribute
to something so rich and so deep,
something intended
by the Divine.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meditation on Canning Chicken 1

While canning Chicken this evening,
I watched the top knot
on the Canner
to make sure
it hovered
at 11 pounds pressure.
Those 75 minutes
went slow.
My thoughts
wander unencumbered
through new landscapes.
This time,
I mused on the Fear
of Canning
I have had
throughout my life.
I caught that
from my Mother,
who canned very little
when I was growing up.
I probably caught
that in my trainings
as a Home Economist too.
I wonder
where that came
from in our Culture
and what Purpose it serves.
Those Homemakers of yore
took on a serious responsibility
for their families.
They knew it,
they were smart,
they had skills in crafts
we "so-called advanced"
modern ones
have set aside.
They knew their risks
and took responsible actions
to the degree
they were capable.
They knew healthy Fear.
Fear is a natural emotion arising
when the Critter
which is us
feels under threat;
when Fear arises,
it comes with energy
intended for self protection.
You could call that
the Creator's Plan.
The Trouble is that Fear
became Terror
and Terror is up to no good.
That Excelerated Fear arose
in the last Century
at the same time period
that the Industrial Complex
became dominant in our lives.
That Terror kept us distant
from our own Kitchens
and our own abilties
to provide for our Families.
It launched us
into giving the responsibility
of providing food
to the Industrial Complex,
whose primary goal
became one of Bottom Line.
That Terror needs to be replaced
with some Healthy Skills.
The Kitchen of the Home
and the Homemakers
who tend it
need to come back
to Front and Center
in our Lives.
They need to sit
in a Place of Honor
they so deserve.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Ketchup and Kudzu

The year was 1876.

The Centennial International Exhibition, which commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence and is the 1st World's Fair in the U.S., is held in Philadelphia. 10 million visitors attend, many of whom are repeats. Total number is equal to 20% of the U.S. population at the time.

Exhibits include: Alexander Graham Bell's Telephone, Remington Typographic Machine (early Typewriter), Heinz Ketchup, Wallace-Farmer Electric Dynamo (predecessor to the electric light), Hires Root Beer, and Kudzu (a wonder plant for erosion control). F and J Heinz launch their Tomato Ketchup, advertised as: "Blessed relief for Mother and the other women in the household!"

For 134 years, we 2 leggeds have turned away from our own Kitchens and Craftmanship to Industry for Ketchup. We 3 C's are changing a bit of that right here on this Little Farm.

For that same number of years and longer, we 2 leggeds (particularly those of with a Euro-centric background) have been tinkering with this Continent without consideration for the natural paradise which is here. Kudzu is a prime example. Fortunately, Kudzu has not made it up to this area although it is a virtual plague in the southeastern U.S. We watch it and other introduced species intently. I guess we thought we could make the place "better". Unfortunately, those introductions have not considered consequences, many of which could not be known at the time or by Human introducers who do not have the capabilities of understanding the true complexity of Nature, a force far greater than us. Kudzu originally came from Japan and currently has been spreading at the rate of 150,000 acres annually. Yikes. We 3 C's try to celebrate those species which are home here.
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketchup; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centennial_Exposition; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kudzu


Everything is intense
at this time.
The heat is intense;
for these days,
weather forecasts
have consistently noted
a heat index
of 105-110 degrees.
That reminds me
of the wind chill factor
which we followed intently up North.
Down here,
we are on the other end.
Right alongside,
the Mother Earth
is producing
in abundance.
Each day,
we have new things
to harvest
and put by.
She calls the shots.
We go with the flow.
We bow
in reverence
and gratitude
toward the Power
that we see and feel.
This intensity supports
the Creation
of Life itself.
Today, Richard put up
Ketchup and Tomato Soup.
Those 10 Gallons of Tomatoes
made 10 Precious Pints of Ketchup.
Was it over 10 hours?
We didn't count.
I kept picking
my Glorious Dry Edible Beans.
Melanie is gone
for a few Days,
visiting friends
and attending
an Herbal Conference.
we will be canning Chicken
from the Freezer.
That comes just ahead
of cleaning out the Freezer
(which we should have done earlier)
and processing the Little Roos.
I think
about the intensity of Life
for us right now.
Many in the Natural world
would describe the same.
We are not separate
from any of that.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

8 Gallons of Tomatoes

August 2:

We could see the Rain coming in this morning. Richard brought in 8 gallons of Tomatoes from the Garden, anticipating some time inside. He canned 14 Quarts of Tomatoes, our 1st of the Season.

Broody Hennie

By Friday of last week,
I was feeling
like a Broody Hennie.
All I wanted to do
was stay home,
tend my Nest.
I was even starting
to puff up real big
and squawk
if anyone got too close.
It's been
busy around here
for far too long.
While mostly a good busy,
we have had
many challenges
this Growing Season:
Huge Amounts of Rain,
Heat, Heat, Heat,
Weeds, Weeds, Weeds,
Storms, Storms, Storms
(especially early on),
Compacted Soils,
Stressed Plants,
Stressed Humans.
We are so intent
attending to Challenges
of the Moment,
that sometimes
we get lost
and forget
who we are,
where we are.
But our Garden
is doing well,
launching new produce daily,
for which we are
deeply grateful.
Food Preservation
is in full swing.
Assuming all goes well,
the intensity of the Harvest
will go through October.
Plus, Jonathan is helping us
paint the interior
of our Little Home,
and attend to little Projects
which will help us settle.
That means
the usual things
are not found
in the usual places.
I have been
cleaning, cleaning, cleaning.
Just thinking
about all of these things,
my Feathers
begin puffing up
once again.
Last Friday was
Ethan's Birthday
and the Pie Goddess
that is Me
made 2 Pies.
At the last minute,
I sent the Pies
and stayed Home.
All of a sudden,
I wasn't so Cranky
any more.
That felt good.
Glinda Crawford, 2010