Monday, May 31, 2010

Notes on: Cabbages

Something has been riddling the Leaves on my beautiful and glorious Cabbages and I have found Cabbage Butterfly Larvae. We have had so much going on with Planting, I have not given them the attention that they need. Since we are growing Organically, I am looking for less toxic choices. This is what I have done so far.

I did use some Companion Planting. I am not sure if that has slowed down the process or not. I do know that it slows down Weeding, because I have to think a little more before I chop. Slowing down weeding is not always the best idea.

While I was weeding today, I noted a beautiful Cabbage Butterfly fluttering about. That little Companion seemed to leave Eggs on 3 of my Cabbages. I surely was not thrilled.

(1) I did try BT or Bacillus Thuringensis which is a commercial product marketed as Thuricide. I never like words ending in "-cide" because it means "kill". But of course, "kill" is the likely result, although I would rather wish that the Critters just peacefully leave my Garden. I mixed the BT up and put it in my little spray bottle. I did not like it. The area "smelled" and so did my hands. Several days later, the area still smelled. I have sensitivities to such things so that is alway a red flag.

I called my friend Kathy who is an Organic Gardener over in the Milan area. She suggested the following.

(2) Spray: 1 gallon Water, 2 Tablespoons (up to 3 Tablespoons) Hydrogen Peroxide, and 3 Tablespoons Molasses. Mix and spray.

(3) Diatomaceous Earth (DE): Gently powder plants.

We already had the DE so I powdered the Plants. My plan was to spray them after the next rain, which has not happened yet. Kathy said that those Critters which have been eating holes in my leaves will just crawl off and die.

My Cabbages look so beautiful. They are big and robust. I really want that to continue. In gardening, there is always something

In Praise of Mulch

We are having unseasonably Hot Weather here in the early Summer. All the Rains initially yielded waterlogging beneath the Soil. Plus, the Heat and Sun have baked the Soil and it is like a brick in spots.

The plants are showing signs of stress. How can they grow when the Soil is that hard and the heat is intense? They are just wee little. Some of the Onions are bolting, which means going to seed. The Sweet Potatoes Slips are not amused by the happenings of heat.

What can we 3 C's do to help off set this? The health of the Garden and producing our own Food for this season are at risk.

We are continuing to mulch Plants with Straw we purchased last year. Richard put down Straw around my Sweet Potatoes, his Green Onions and my Cabbages. I was methodically weeding around the Cabbages so he could lay down the Straw. The Straw will give some shade (which means the Plants will be cooler) and whatever moisture that is left in the ground will be protected too.So what do the Plants say about such doin's? I think they seem happier already. I know the Humans are.

Dry Edible Beans Are Up

Richard and Melanie let me know this morning that my Dry Edible Beans are up! They are among my favorites to grow in the Garden. So I ate some breakfast and off to the Garden I went for my own little inspection tour.

I planted my Dry Edible Beans of which I am very proud just 6 days ago. Because our window of planting was at last open just a bit, I skipped planting "in the sign". In fact, it was "root time". We seemed to be inbetween rains, but we have had no rain since.

To my delight, those little Bean Seedlings were indeed up across all the varieties. I headed back into house to get my record book to take a closer look.One by one, I looked at each of the rows. These varieties wanna grow: Henderson Bush Limas, Hutterite Soup, Tiger's Eye, Arikara Yellow, Boston's Favorite, Painted Pony, Cherokee Wax, Jacob's Cattle Gasless, Calypso, Blackeye Peas, Charlevoix Dark Red Kidney, Vermont Cranberry, Lina Cisco's Bird Egg, Sue's Jacob's Cattle, Karen's Bean. The latter 2 were given as gifts. Some had continuous row of Baby Seedlings. Others were just beginning their emergence.

I chuckle because when I was in the 5th Grade, we planted Bean Seeds as a part of a Science Project. Mine emerged, it was beautiful, but it died. I was really sad that my Bean Plant died. I think I even cried over that Seedling. As if that was not enough, I got an "M" (or "C") for that little episode and for the quarter in Science. I never did much care for my 5th grade teacher for that and some other reasons besides. Anyway, my little Bean Plant Episode in 5th Grade has been like a little splinter festering to emerge after all of these years. And it surely has.Back to the present: Melanie asked how I felt about all my little Seedlings. I was so excited. I kind of looked like a Little Sprout in the Garden myself.

Strawberry Season

May 29:

Strawberry Season has begun. We 3 C's headed to the Patch to pick the Berries this morning. Laden with Strawberries, we returned to the House. Melanie and I washed and stemmed the Berries. Then I placed them on any flat surface we could find that would carry them into the Freezer. Melanie and Richard took them to the Freezers. We will put them in Plastic Bags tomorrow.

We had 3 1/2 Gallons of Strawberries from our 1st picking. We should be picking in 2 more days. Melanie noted that Strawberry Season is about 2 days earlier than last year right here on the Farm.

Richard noted that the Best Strawberries came from the new bed he set up last year. Strawberries from the Old Bed (3 years old) were smaller; some were even harder. We are learning a lot. Isn't that why we came?

For the Turtles

I heard a 60ish Friend talking
about how he would shoot
those beautiful Turtles
on his pond bank.
I don't get it.
We seem to be faced
with a cultural tendency
in our "advanced" society to "kill".
If a "problem" arises,
shoot it,
poison it,
destroy it,
dominate it,
obliterate it.
Problem is:
We 2 leggeds
now have the capacity
to create systems of destruction
which could destroy us all.
With a lot of Folks
trigger happy
to destroy,
much is lost
and on a very broad scale.
The fabric of Life
which is the Creation of the Divine
is tattered
maybe even beyond repair.
Those little "problems"
exist for a purpose.
In fact,
they may not be
at all.
They represent
about Nature
and about ourselves.
We should listen more.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Notes on: Strawberries

The Strawberry Patch has looked like it is ready to pop. That 1st picking was extraordinary. We were counting ahead for abundance, which Gardeners should never do. The ground was still soggy, heat came, soils began to dry or rather bake, refreshing rain was elusive.

Melanie noted that timing of rains and supportive temperatures are essential for Strawberries to produce. I suppose we have read that in some text by some famous Strawberry Grower Guru somewhere. Seeing it 1st hand somehow made it "click".

Discoveries Down Here on the Farm

Planting should be complete
when Strawberries
are ready for harvest.
competing energies
are at work:
cool season/warm season.
Our planting
is late this year
due to Rains.
As Strawberries
are red ripe
in the patch,
I am cutting back
on what I have intended
to plant.
It seems more respectful
of Nature's energies,
and more respectful
of the limited energy
of me.
Neighbor Bonnie called:
Cherries are ready to pick.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Discoveries Down Here on the Farm

While we may plant
late into the Evening,
we should stop at that moment
just before Night settles in.
Fairies of the Night
create amusing patterns
in our work.
If one listens quietly,
you can hear them giggle.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Discoveries Down Here on the Farm

Planting prior to Rain
gives Seeds and Plants
a beautiful Send-off.
It minimizes
the Gardener's uncertainty.
It maximizes
Living Energy
and Gardener's success.
Glinda Crawford, 2010


Life is a Gift,
not a Given.
People of my "advanced" Culture
tend to live Life
as a "Given".
How would our Lives
be different
if we lived
what we've been given
as a Gift
of the Divine?
It's time we did.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Discoveries Down Here on the Farm

Curiosity is an innate virtue
among Living Beings.
Curiosity is essential
for a Life fully lived.
We have a whole lot
to be curious about
down here on the Farm.
Butterfly Hill Farm, 2010

Note: The Littles are fascinated by: the cord on the camera, the camera itself, that Giant who came into their yard, the cord on the Giant's pant leg, and especially that Giant's big yellow Feet.

Discovery Down Here on the Farm

City Clothes
don't last long
down on the Farm.
Farm Clothes
get tested
every day.
don't last
long either.
Butterfly Hill Farm, 2010

Discovery Down Here on the Farm

This little entry marks the beginning of some Discoveries we have made down here on the Farm. Some are whimsical. Some will be quite serious. All have meaning for our walk.

When we walked in the City or in the high speed Frenzy of our Culture, such discoveries were out of our reach. They now surround us on our Walk.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Prayer Request

Lisa Lone Fight shared this link on Facebook. It is a Prayer Request regarding the Oil Rupture. The Request is from Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the 19th Carrier of the Sacred Pipe of Buffalo Calf Woman.

Like a growing number in our time, I too believe that now is a time of much needed prayer. May we each do as we are called to do.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Visitors to the Farm

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Stacia, husband Chris, and daughter Neela
stopped by the Farm today.
It's not exactly on the way
from Colorado to St. Paul.
But it was today.
Stacia is one of my former students,
and one of my teachers too.
Stacia's professional work
has focused on horticultural therapy.
You could call that
using the Earth as teacher and healer.
On this beautiful day,
Neela and her companions
came to the Farm to play.
First, she visited the baby Chickens.
Throughout, she was fascinated
by all she could see.Next, we visited the Strawberry Bed.
She learned the difference
between a warm Strawberry straight from the patch
and a cold one transported long distances to the store.
Or perhaps, we all learned that.
She learned she should follow Melanie
to zero in on perfect Berries.
She learned Red Berries
are for picking and eating,
white Berries not.
She learned Farmers love Buckets.She learned Missouri is a shorter distance to travel than Colorado.
We are eager to have them back. After they left,
I thought "Farm Therapy",
why not?
That seems
to describe
what we're doing around here.
Glinda Crawford, 2010


Planting, planting, planting.
I can I always tell
when we're really busy around here.
I've 139 images on the camera today.
No time to write.
Planting, planting, planting.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A Wise Gardener starts with Soil.
The poorer the Soil,
the more the work,
the less the return.
The better the Soil,
the less the work,
the more the return.
A Wise Gardener starts with Soil.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


We're flyin'
Rain's a comin'
Soil's ready to work in parts
Stuff to plant.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Seed and Plant Exchange: A Beautiful Success

We 3 C's are moving slowly after the Seed and Plant Exchange we held here at the Farm yesterday. We are "full" of that wonderful feeling that comes from an event which was an unqualified success. We are "full" from experiencing so much loving energy as People came to the Farm.

Sixty-some people walked or drove down the Lane and our Drive (in cars or trucks, on bikes, in a chariot powered by Muse...yes, a chariot). Mostly they walked from the Lane with ample help for carrying their treasures. They held Plants and Seeds they loved and wanted to share.
We 60 some People mingled among our Human Family, listened to soft background Music as gifts of Musicians and their special friends (Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Mandolin), visited Gardens, watched the Chickens, relaxed on the lawn and in the shade, enjoyed Nature all around (including a flock of 200 White Pelicans overhead). We admired Plants and Seeds that were lovingly carried and now carefully displayed in the Garage. We visited with Friends old and new, sharing what we each liked to do in sustainability and areas about which we would like to learn. We pulled out more Stories from our Gardening and Family Treasure Trove. And we played besides.

By 3 p.m., Folks were beginning to complete the circle of their return. Once again, they carried Plants and Seeds, new found Friends of the afternoon. But this time, those Plants and Seeds were going to new Homes. All these things were anchored by smiles in celebration of the gifts of Gardening and the Earth, and the presence of beautiful Kindred Spirits.

Already, there is talk about our hosting a Seed and Plant Exchange next year. But for now, today and a slower pace are focuses of our day.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


We 3 C's are amazed and warmed to the core with all the help Folks are sharing for the Seed and Plant Exchange. The theme of the Gathering is "Gardeners Sharing Abundance". Abundance is happening on more levels than we can know. We are richly blessed and deeply grateful.

Travel to the Seed and Plant Exchange

For those coming to the Seed and Plant Exchange, consider carpooling (or walking, biking) if you can. It will be good for our Lane. It will make the distance shorter to walk. Plus, it will be good for our Earth too.

Most of the parking will be on the Lane. For those who need special assistance or who need to transport a large load of plants closer, come on down the drive.

We are not sure how many are coming, but it will indeed be a very special gathering. We are eager to see each of you soon!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Reflections on Seed and Plant Exchange

I was pondering the significance of our Seed and Plant Exchange which is scheduled for Sunday. On the surface, it seems like a simple hosting of a place where Folks can exchange Seeds and Plants. But for us, it is much more. In fact, it is a significant marker in our lives.

We moved to this little Farm 3 years ago, that is May 12, 2007. We took a leap. We left secure jobs (Richard retired in 2007 and me in 2005) and a community which had become family to us over a 32 year period. We were deeply concerned about Human Domination/Destruction of Earth Systems. We had read, researched, and taught much about sustainable life styles. We just had to put it into practice. That practice has been focused on growing as much of our own food as possible, among others.

So here we are. I can report that the learning curve has been steep. We moved from Gardening Zones 3 or 4 to 5b. The Soils, Diseases, Weeds, Bugs, Climate are substantially different. This is our 4th Gardening Season. I can report that we have learned many lessons. Every day, we seem to be making more baby steps, yet the foundation is now in place.

Our lives have been built upon learning, growing, serving. This little event is like an open house saying we are here, we are willing and eager to rise to the challenges on our plate. The "Back to the Land Movement" is arising. Many of the people are at last "coming home". We are among them and we will nurture as much of that energy as we can.

Life is good. Life is beautiful. We surely don't know exactly what the future will hold. Here we go.

Defining Moment

I am deeply concerned
the company
for the Oil Rupture
is leading the effort
toward stopping its flow.
This company has shown
the highest level
of irresponsibility
to humanity
and to all Beings.
it has based
its cobbled up efforts
on greed
and speed.
This effort
should be led
by the best
of our thinkers:
earth scientists,
wildlife managers,
ocean scientists,
with others.
This effort
should be held
in prayer
of all people
and all spiritual traditions.
The Earth
is both
more complex than we think,
She is
more complex
than we can think.
Any solution
should be
based upon
healthy respect
and humility for Life itself.
Much is
at stake
for more Beings
than we can know
and for future generations
who have as yet
not shown their faces
to us.
This event
is a defining moment
for our Species.
Which path will we take?
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Name Tags

Melanie and Rachel made "name tags" for the Herbs last night. Richard cut sticks and whittled "white space" for names. Then they painted them. I should say that we are now ready to introduce our Herbs to our Human Family.

Rachel is leaving soon. She was our 1st connection outside of Family when we arrived. I wonder if her 3 years here have gone as fast as ours. It was good to have her here last night. It was great to have her energy go into making this a little Farm. It seemed fitting at parting. We wish this Dear One well on the next adventures of Her Life's Journey.

By the way, those are Coleus (from Mother) and Sweet Potatoes (from Ilene, "Georgia Jet" variety) waving their little arms in "Hello" to those looking into this screen.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Chamomile Harvest

Melanie gathered Chamomile Blossoms today. That surely must be our 1st harvest for storing this Gardening Season. Those Chamomile Plants are blooming in profusion. She put the Blossoms in the dehydrator. They make a wonderful calming tea. Their aroma is wafting up the steps and will surely make for a lovely sleep.

Busy Busy

Emily and Keren joined us last Thursday to help in getting ready for the Seed and Plant Exchange. They are apprentices at Wren Song, which is a petro and electricity free farm/education center to the South of us. Keren came back on Sunday too.

We were really grateful for their assistance and to Wren Song too. On this day, they were helping with getting the area for the plants set up and making signs. Several others will be helping on the day of the event. This is really arising as a community effort, which is just as we had hoped.

We are really excited. We have tons of stuff to do in getting ready. Plus, the Sun has finally come out and we can begin to get into parts of the Garden for the warm season plantings. It will all come together. In the meantime, Max and Scamp (the Cats) remind us to stay cool about all things and catch some naps.


My Heros/Heroines when I was growing up:
Hellen Keller
Abraham Lincoln
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Martin Luther King
John F. Kennedy
Christine McCully (my 2nd grade teacher)
Clara Rubin (my 7th grade art teacher)
Annie Oakley
Sojourner's Club
My Great Aunt Lu
I am sure there are more.
I shall have to think on that.


How far you go
in life
depends on your
being tender with the young,
compassionate with the aged,
sympathetic with the striving
and tolerant of the weak and strong.
Because someday in your life
you will have been all of these.
George Washington Carver 1864-1943

Monday, May 17, 2010

Finger Pointing

There's a lot of finger pointing
regarding the Oil Spill.
While we Consumerist Humans
did not fire the gun,
we surely are guilty
of our fair share
of loading it.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Littles Update

The Littles are growing. We find them amazing. They are more and more active. They are flying all over. They are curious about the Camera and who is on the other side of the Lens.

Richard had mowed their yard at Melanie's request. At first that seemed like a mistake. But they seem to find worms more easily. The Grass Heads are within reach. The Clover is abundant. We don't lose them and it is much easier to make sure they are all in at night.
The Very Light Yellow Birds are White Plymouth Rock Cockerels. The Black Birds are the Barred Rocks. The Very Light Yellow Birds with Touches of Gray are Delawares.

Those "without tails" are Roosters. The instructions from the manager of the Chicken Doin's around here (Melanie) says to not make over the Roosters. When Rooster Chicks (Cockerels) are handled a lot as "pets", they have a tendency to "turn " on their Human Companions when they become adults. They seem to think of their Human Companions as members of their Flock and they need to be kept in line. It doesn't make for a fun dynamic. We have watched this happen before and we do not want to repeat it again.


The last few days have been rainy and cool. The ground is quite soupy. Some days we have been able to weed the raised beds. I have been slowly but surely weeding the Flower Beds and the "Kitchen Garden" in front. They are not done, but I have surely made some progress. I was out front puttering around a little while ago. But after last night's rain, it is almost too wet to do that.

The next few days are predicted to be warmer and dry. We have delayed planting the warm season plants and seeds. When that window of warm and dry appears, we will be very busy around here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

All Together Now

Melanie planted Peanuts in little Peat Pellets. She put them in their own little Green House and kept them evenly watered with Rain Water. Over time, they started to grow, and grow they did. They grew so much that they are starting to lift the top off their Green House.

The Little Peanuts remind us that when we all work together, much is possible. Even stuff we thought was not possible before gets lifted high.

Littles Are Growing

May 11:

Those Littles are really growing. They are now 2 1/2 weeks old and have gone from their boxes in the garage to the big house of their own. That isn't the Hen House, of course. The fence separates them from the Hennies and the Rooster. But the Hennies and the Rooster often show up outside and peer in.

The little Chicks are now going outside to play, scratch and eat bugs in the grasses. They run and they fly short distances. They are easily startled and stop in their tracks with their heads high peering all around. And they collapse into a rug of down and feathers for naps. Richard put some boards in their house for roosts. They like that.


the rupture
of the Oil Well in the Gulf
a rupture
in the thinking of the Humans
that we can do anything we please
to the Earth
without consequence.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Seed and Plant Exchange Rescheduled

The Seed and Plant Exchange has been re-scheduled to Sunday, May 23, 1-3 p.m. It just seems right considering the Rain expected tomorrow (with possible Thunderstorms) and the extended cool season. Many Gardeners have yet to get into their Gardens wich means it is tough to tell how many plants one might need.

All other information about the event is the same. Please pass the word along to anyone you know who had planned to attend or would be interested in attending.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We Will Do More

I was cruising the Cornell All About Birds web site and noted a piece called "Bad Timing for an Oil Spill" (with links). Prayers for our Feathered Companions are in order. Surely, the legacy of the 2-leggeds is not such a litany of destruction. I should rather it not be mine.

While fingers are being pointed toward responsible parties, we should not overlook the fact that we 2-leggeds of a western developed nation are putting high demands for consumer products made from oil. We are a huge part of the problem. Subsequently, we are part of the solution. Why have we overlooked this for so long?

We 3 C's have already reduced our use of oil related products here on the Farm. But I can promise you this: We will do more.

Nature Notes

Most of the Trees are fully leafed out. The Osage Orange is slow and surely must be about the last to leaf out. We have noted that in previous years too.

The Meadow and the Woods are lovely greens. I think that northeast Missouri could have a whole Crayola Box which is just shades of Green. And the Box would be one of those which had lots of Crayons.

The Warblers are back. We added Wilson's Warblers, Magnolia Warbler, Black and White Warblers to the list of the Farm. That brings us up to 140 species recorded. We saw Yellow Throats, which are also Warblers.

A male Flicker was displaying high in a tree. He spread his tail out in the shape of a fan. Rose Breasted Grosbeaks are back in good numbers. Richard thinks there are at least 3 pairs, if not more.

Richard also noted the Great Crested Flycatcher and the Wood Peewee. Amazing.

We had 2 birds that stumped Richard. He noted 2 Vultures flying high. A second look showed one more bird. "Is that a Cormorant?" We both got the Binocs out. Looking closely, Richard said it was an Anhinga, which has a long snake like neck, light colored head, some white on the dorsal side of the wings (dorsal is top). Anhingas would be more common all along the Gulf. Northernmost permanent range would be southern Arkansas. Sibley's shows that they have been spotted as far north as Minnesota. That makes 141 species for the Farm.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fun House Mirror

May 9:

We had a wonderful Mother's Day yesterday. I do not think it could have been better. I requested my favorite meal at this season: Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Asparagus, and Peach Pie.

We packaged up the whole works which was piping hot and took it in to share with Mother at the Nursing Home. Of course, she didn't want us to go to any trouble. But it wasn't. It was pure bliss instead. You could call it a picnic, which is reminiscent of those many picnics she packed up for us.

And how do the Green Onions fit in? I asked that Richard dig some Green Onions to take into the Nursing Home. Mother loves them. It isn't spring without them. We took in a few extra for those who could eat them as well. One of the Ladies said that was the best Green Onion she had ever had.

You will note that this picture is a little different than the 1 I put up for the banner. You could call it a "self portrait" of the photographer. No, I am not an Onion, although I do love Onions.

You will see me in the top of the stainless steel bowl. I am upside down (although I was not standing upside down). I have on the beautiful apron that Deleta made for me. It is getting quite a bit of use these days.

Looking closely, my head is teeny and squished, as Melanie said. It kind of looks like a Tuna Can. Or perhaps a version of E.T. It's been a long time since I have visited Mirrors at a Fun House, but I did on this day through the lens of my Camera. We 3 C's laughed. Laughs are good.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Slight Frost

We did have a slight frost on Sunday Morning. WeatherUnderground said the low temperature was 31 degrees. Richard noted frost everywhere, except next to buildings and around trees and shrubs. Now that's a lesson in micro-climate. It gives us a clue about areas of planting which extend the season. As Gardeners, we like that.

Richard said he has not seen any noticeable damage from the Frost so far. We are keeping our fingers crossed. The weather will stay cool in the days but is not expected to get that low. That's a relief.

I did a "walk about" in the Garden Sunday morning. I noticed a Bumblebee all huddled up in a Pansy. I suppose you could call it a "Bee Bedroom".

When I taught Environmental Studies classes at the University of North Dakota, I remember carrying in fall bouquets of Wild Prairie Plants for my students to see. I loved bringing "living materials" into the classroom. Classrooms can be such dead spaces.

On one occasion, I had carried in a Bee in a Bee Bedroom. Since the classroom was warmer, the Bee was beginning to warm up. The students who discovered it were startled. I think they expected me to kill the Bee. Instead, I stopped class and carried the Flower and Bee very carefully back outside. When I came back inside, we talked. It was really meaningful. What I did was perfectly natural to me but not to them. It introduced them to another way of being "with Nature", rather than "over Nature" which is so common in our culture.

I looked at that Bee all snuggled into that Pansy and I smiled. "It will warm up a little later," I said.

Ode to Joy

May 6:

"Buffalo Gal" is a rose we brought down from our yard in North Dakota. In the 3 years since our move, she has surely settled in very well here in our new Home.

On this morning of this new day, she is opening her 1st Bloom. Judging by the Buds she is offering up, this year she will be giving quite a show. As I remember last year, she bloomed into Fall. This year, I will have to pay better attention.

Each moment of Spring is another Gateway into the New. We stand in the middle of all that is and we give it our fullest attention. We don't want to miss any thing.

If I were to assign a feeling toward Spring, I should surely offer the word "Joy". I think of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". I love that Hymn. We get to stand in the midst of Creation. On a deeper level I know the meaning of: "Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee."

Saturday, May 8, 2010

What Tomorrow Brings

With the possibility of Frost, we did some covering up and mulching in this evening. Richard and Melanie covered up the Potato Plants which are emerging from the ground. They used Straw Mulch which we will spread open and leave down after the weather warms. Richard covered my Horticulture Beans with Straw Mulch. Neither of these Plants would be too thrilled with a Frost.

I put a big sheet over Buffalo Gal, the beautiful Rose out front which is covered with Buds. I picked some Flowers for Mother for Mother's Day. Richard gathered Lettuce and put it in the Refrigerator. We even covered up some Lettuce with another sheet. However, we have far too much to cover completely.

Melanie and I went to Sand Hill today. Sand Hill is an intentional community up in the Rutledge area. Today was their Beltane Celebration and a marker of their 36th year. We got to see their preparations to protect their Plants. Most of their Gardens (which were beautiful) seemed to be in raised beds. They are much easier to cover rather than Rows and Rows so common in style in our Culture.

This evening is just one more exercise in the fact that we Humans are not in charge here. As a Gardener, I find it sad to see see such vibrancy among the new Plants and know they are vulnerable in the face of a Frost.

We do not know what tomorrow brings. Gardeners and Farmers seem to face a considerable amount of uncertainty. I guess we need to just "let go". Whatever happens, somehow we will figure out how to deal with it.

Meditation on a Possible Frost

A Frost Advisory was posted on WeatherUnderground for our area this evening. Yikes. That does not mean that it will Frost, but it does put us on edge.

We went to Farmer's Market this morning. It was Cold. That North Wind was pretty insistent in commanding the space. I wonder if this is part of the system which brought Snow to western North Dakota and in Wyoming, which some friends have been writing about on Facebook. Regardless, I can sum it up in 1 word: Brrrrrrr.

The Thermometer on the Bank showed 42 degrees when we left Farmer's Market about 9:30 a.m. It had crept up 1 degree while we were there. Mother said this Cold Weather is highly unusual for this area at this time.

I think about all the Produce that we have out. How will it fare? The Potatoes are sending up their 1st shoots above the Ground. That Corn will not be happy. Nor will the Horticultural Beans which look so lovely over there by the Fence. What about those little Leeks? And that beautiful Fruit Crop? I don't even want to think about it. Fortunately, we do not have most of our Warm Season Veggies out.

These little experiences show us how tied to the Cycles of the Earth that we Humans are. Whatever way that she goes, we just have to adapt. In these days of expected Climate Change, we see some difficulties with the changes that we are seeing.

May 1 was May Day or "Beltane". It is one of the 8 "Spokes on the Wheel" or Earth Holidays. This Day marks a big shift in the Calendar of the Earth's Seasons with the "planting and growing time".

Indigenous Peoples have long believed that the Earth and the People are intimately bound. For the Earth to continue in her normal cycles, certain stories must be told and celebrations must be held to mark the connection of Humans to the Earth and the continuation of those "normal cycles". While I have been outside many of these celebrations for some time, I eagerly cherish a return.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Products Using Petroleum

One 42-gallon barrel of oil
makes 19.4 gallons of gasoline.
The rest (over half)
is used to make:
Diesel fuel
Motor Oil
Bearing Grease
Floor Wax
Ballpoint Pens
Football Cleats
Bicycle Tires
Sports Car Bodies
Nail Polish
Fishing lures
Golf Bags
Dishwasher parts
Tool Boxes
Shoe Polish
Motorcycle Helmet
Petroleum Jelly
Transparent Tape
CD Player
Faucet Washers
Food Preservatives
Vitamin Capsules
Panty Hose
Life Jackets
Rubbing Alcohol
TV Cabinets
Shag Rugs
Electrician's Tape
Tool Racks
Car Battery Cases
Insect Repellent
Oil Filters
Hair Coloring
Toilet Seats
Fishing Rods
Denture Adhesive
Ice Cube Trays
Synthetic Rubber
Plastic Wood
Electric Blankets
Tennis Rackets
Rubber Cement
Fishing Boots
Nylon Rope
Trash Bags
House Paint
Water Pipes
Hand Lotion
Roller Skates
Surf Boards
Paint Rollers
Shower Curtains
Guitar Strings
Safety Glasses
Football Helmets
Ice Chests
CD's & DVD's
Paint Brushes
Sun Glasses
Heart Valves
Artificial Turf
Artificial limbs
Model Cars
Folding Doors
Hair Curlers
Cold cream
Movie film
Soft Contact lenses
Drinking Cups
Fan Belts
Car Enamel
Shaving Cream
Golf Balls
The Grandmas would wonder:
How did you ever get yourself
into so much dependence
so quick?
I wonder:
How can we minimize
our use of Oil
right here
on the Farm?
The Earth
and all of Creation
would like that.
This partial list (144 out of 6000) came from:

Root Time

Inbetween the Rains and with Weather Warming in these parts in the Earth's Spring Cycle, Gardening Season is in high gear. These 3 weeks will be the big planting push for Gardening 2010. We try not to think about our Big Plan for the Garden. It would be far too overwhelming. Rather, we are thinking about it in manageable chunks and in ways that will focus our attention on the "small". We take comfort in: "What gets done is that which is supposed to get done."

For now, we are in the middle of "Root Time" according to the Stella Natura Calendar focusing on Biodynamic Gardening. The Old Timers would have called it "Gardening in the Sign" and many would not have done work on the Farm without it. Biodynamic Gardening is based on some of the same beliefs, yet it factors in even more information. We try to follow it as best we can. Intuitively, it just makes sense. Plus, we have so much at stake in growing as much of our own food as possible, why would we not? []

In the middle of all of that, Richard continues to build Raised Beds. They are sprouting in more and more places in the Garden. He can do that just about any time, as long as the Soil is accommodating and there is no Rain. This morning, he got things set up for the 2 additional Rain Barrels we will be putting in place close to the Garden. We will be having someone to work on the downspouts tomorrow, for both on and off the Rain Barrel Season. Plus, he will be installing our "dual flush toilet". (More about that later.)

Back to "Root Time": Yesterday, I shared over 13 dozen Leeks with Friends in the area. That adds to the 7 dozen I had already shared.

I put into Sand the Sweet Potato Starts which are now well rooted, plus I set the Mother Tubers aside to root more. So far, I have the potential for 79 Sweet Potato Plants, counting the 8 Mother Tubers. That assumes all goes well. Again, I am sure we will be giving some away.

Melanie and I planted Celeriac (46) and Leeks (36) as the daylight was waning. We already have a bunch in the ground. Today, I will finish the planting of Leeks with about 3 dozen just outside the Dining Room steps. I remember that we used them up through December last year. They just got better and better. At that time, it was more difficult for us to get into the Garden, plus it was nippy besides. Having them outside the Door in a Kitchen Garden was really smart.

Since we are moving speedily at this season, we sometimes do not have time to think. I made signs to post as to what time of planting that we are in. I used the back of a cereal box for separate cards on "Root", "Leaf", "Flower", "Fruit" Times. In the moments when I await the computer to warm up, I have been coloring them with my magical Colored Pencils. Yes, even as a grown-up, I love to color.

I posted the signs right in front of our noses as we walk out the Door into the Garden. So far it is working. Every day seems to be its own test.

Earth Speaks

Considering events
in the Gulf
these last few days,
the Earth seems
to be telling us
just what She thinks
of the Human Plan
to build Oil Wells
in her Precious Sea.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

Salad Inspirations

May 3:

These days, we are having lots of wonderful Salads straight from the Garden. Yum. We 3 C's try to eat Foods "in Season". When we do, those Foods are simply pure celebration and they have the best taste because they are from right here on the Farm.

Plus, those Culinary Delights have an added benefit: the cost of transportation is greatly reduced. That's important to us in an age when we are increasingly aware of the resources that we use. We used to pay no (or little) attention to such things, but we sure do now. And we feel a whole lot better about taking our place in the reduction of such things.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hanging around in the Garden

Sometimes when we hang around in the Garden, we get a little Goofy. We start out seriously discussing large and small plans. Then, I am pleased to report, the Goofiness sets in. You see, it doesn't work to just work all the time. So it isn't all work and no play around here.

Play is a very important part of what we do. For the Play to be the best, it just has to arise at some of the most unexpected times. Usually 1 of us will get it going. Then the play times roll.

Nature Notes

Three new migrants arrived on the Farm today. First, we noticed the Orioles. Once again, it was Richard who picked them out. The Baltimore Oriole arrived. Melanie immediately began thinking of putting out Oranges cut in half or Jellies. Then Richard had that far off look as he scanned the Austrees: "The Orchard Orioles are back!"

In the afternoon, I was in the Flower Garden. To my surprise, I saw my 1st Monarch Butterfly. "How far did you come?"

I checked into the Cornell University Website: All About Birds. If you have not checked it out and have an interest in Birds, you should. What an amazing resource.

Baltimore Orioles winter in Florida, the Caribbean, and northern South America. Orchard Orioles winter in Central America and the very northern tip of South America. What those wings have seen.

Monday, May 3, 2010

"I'm Back Too"

I absolutely love to weed my Flower Beds in the Spring. I am not sure who is nourished more: the Flowers, Earth or Me. I love to play in the Soil. I love to see what is growing. I love to see the new Seedlings that are up. I love to be in the midst of Creation and Critters dancing about.

I always find surprises. I have been waiting through many months to return to this same spot. Somehow, I just settle into my place in the Garden and the whole world just drops away. It is just the Plants, Soil, Critters, and Me.

Yesterday, I was weeding along the Stone Path. My head was tucked down and I was focused. Progress was definitely being made. I was on a mission. I had my hair pulled back into a Bright Red Cloth Scrunchy Melanie made for me for Christmas.

All of a sudden, I heard something roaring around my Head. At 1st, I was shocked. And then I laughed. That Critter was close and s/he was buzzing about. Sure enough, s/he was examining my Red Scrunchy. I knew right away who my little Greeter was. Hummingbirds are attracted to Red. I slowly moved a bit and there was the 1st Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the Season. In this case, s/he was he. That dazzling Ruby Throat just laughed at the presence of me.

I laughed right back too. I could hardly wait to tell Richard and Melanie. What an announcement: "I'm back too."

Nature Notes

Richard said that "Common Nighthawks" have arrived. He 1st noticed them this evening. I just love their sound in flight: "Bzzzzzt!" as they go buzzing about looking for juicy insects flying as high as they do. I usually hear them before I see them. When they arrive, I know that Spring is well underway.

I ask Richard where they winter. He said in his characteristic way: "That's a good question." It seems these days I am drawn toward understanding more of each Species' Story. Just like each Human, they too have a story.

In particular, I want to know those parts of our Amazing Earth which support their Being. And I am in awe regarding the vast territory those Strong and Beautiful Wings know. In this case, the Common Nighthawk winters in South America. That is just amazing.

I kind of chuckle at the name "Common Nighthawk". I wonder what name they have for us. Is it "Common Human" perhaps?

Wed Small Ones

April 29:

Baby White Plymouth Rock Chicks are under the rosy glow of their Heat Lamp. This is their 4th day on the Farm. They are about a week old. Gee, are they growing and changing.

They are getting bigger. They are more active. They are easily startled. The Chicks who are males have already begun to play their Male Game of Sparring. They love their little Dirt Cup. Whenever 1 of them finds a special treat, they run and run in their playpen box as if to say: "I have something and you don't. I am not sure what I have, but it's mine." Hearing their little feet running makes me smile.

We check in on the Baby Chickens about once every 2 hours. Like all Babies, 1 needs to check to make sure the conditions are just right to nourish their development. We are doing that with our Baby Plants too. As I clatter away at these keys, Melanie is bringing in the Tomatoes and Peppers. While a lovely Spring Day, that Gusty Wind is really something for new Plants not accustomed to such things. Their outing today is short.

Taking responsibility for Living Things is a big deal. We have to set out own agenda aside, because we don't want to mess up.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Migratory Birds
head northward
toward Nesting Grounds,
a Time Honored Practice
of the Turning of the Wheel.
On Wings
large and small,
they focus on a Grand Play
which would amaze the 2 Leggeds below.
Such designs are a glimpse
into the Great Mystery and
a celebration of the Grand Creation
of which we Humans are 1 small part.
The Migratory Routes
of the Winged Ones
are increasingly chopped up and
obliterated by Human Practices
of altering Landscapes
without consideration
for our Critter Kin.
Our Critter Kin
are also Creations of the Divine.
And now we have another dilemma.
That gushing Oil Well
is sending that Black Goo
into the Gulf and
into the rich Estuaries
which are homes
to countless Creatures.
many of those Feathered Migrants
this Fall
will return
to their own Sacred Lands
which border the Sea.
What will they find?
Whatever befalls that Landscape
befalls them.
Whatever befalls this Landscape
befalls us too.
How does 1 say:
"I'm sorry."
How does 1
make that Black Goo stop.
We are migrants too.
Glinda Crawford, 2010

A Shift in Practice

For now, I have "hidden" messages for the Blog. I didn't want to. But I was picking up some Spam, which is definitely not what I wanted to do. Apparently, the presence of Spam is common for Blogs which have been around for a while.

I shall be exploring some other options, because I have surely enjoyed the Heartfelt and Thoughtful Messages that I have received. I just need to stay focused on the Writing, while we are in a flurry with the Planting Season.

Diving into the nitty gritty of Blogdom is not one of my favorite things to do. But I will be attending to that in the future because I would like to receive those messages and post them too.

Nature Notes

These past few days, we have had periodic Rain and Wind as Fronts have moved through. We always wonder what Migratory Birds "will drop" into the Farm at this season as the Birds tend to ride these Fronts. This little practice maximizes their Energy for their long Flights. This is what we observed:

May 1: House Wren (coming from Wintering Grounds in: Southern U.S.), Rose Breasted Grosbeak (Central and South America), Barn Swallow (Argentina)
May 2: Indigo Bunting (South America), Great Crested Flycatcher (South America), Ruby Throated Hummingbird (Yucatan)

On the 1st day at the Farm, the Indigo Bunting sat on a Fencepost on the perimeter of the Garden which is the same place as last year. Is it the same Bird? Richard says it could well be. Last year, we thoroughly enjoyed the company of the Indigo Bunting as we worked in the Garden.

All 6 Species are among our Summer Nesters. So they will be our Companions right here on the Farm during the Growing Season ahead.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I am finding myself really sad
about the gushing oil well in the Gulf.
Something big is going to be lost.
I am one who believes
everything happens for a purpose.
Hopefully something even bigger will be found.
It is surely a time for prayer and reflection
for all those beings who will be affected
because of our insatiable appetite for oil.
Plus, prayer and reflection
on who we are and why we are here.
Glinda Crawford, 2010