Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New Digs

As the daylight was waning and the Chickens were beginning to settle themselves into their Roosts for the night, Melanie and Richard transferred 12 of the Littles into the Brooder House.  Those 12 were all little Pullets.  For a brief moment, the Teacher in me almost put a blank beside "Pullets" for the Reader to fill in.  But I resisted.

So who are the Pullets?  Pullets are young female Chickens, who will become part of our laying flock.  Up until now, the Pullets and the Cockerels (young Roosters) have all been in the same house. 

The numbers of Pullets broke down as follows:  6 Buff Orpingtons, 4 Delawares, and 2 New Hampshire Reds. I wonder what they are thinking about as they settle into their new Digs.

Life Is Good

 June 27:

The Baby Chickens are 2 months old and just about half grown. The "Littles" are carefully held in the "Rooster Pen". One of their favorite treats is Wheat that we have raised right here on the Farm. Richard cuts it using the Scythe that Gerald gave him. Then we toss in on the ground in their pen and look at them go. Life is good right here on the Farm. The simplest things are often the best.

Everyone Should Garden

Today, Cousin Lurah came to help Melanie in the Herb Garden.  They gathered Lavender and Calendula.  The Garden presents many opportunities to play, to spend time with those we know and love, to meet new people, to commune with plants and all the Critters there, to provide for our needs, and to learn and grow. Everyone should garden.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Walkabout

I headed on a Walkabout this morning.  I have been so busy with the Gardens that I have not spent as much time observing the changes on the Land.

As I headed North, I noted a stick stuck in the path.  It was in an area where a dead Tree had fallen in the most recent Storm which packed 70 mile per hour winds.  Yes, that stick was good and stuck in the path.  I pondered that a lot.

Continuing on, I had a snack of Black Raspberries.  They are just turning ripe.  Richard will be picking some soon over at Hollis'.  I love Black Raspberries.
On the east side of the Farm against the Osage Orange Hedge Row, I noted that lovely song "Drink your Tea...Drink your Tea."  That is the song of the Eastern Towhee.  I looked and looked and I could not see him.  The lovely Creature continued to sing. Then I looked more closely.  He was just about 12-15 feet away.  We 3 C's have been noting that more and more of the wild Creatures have been getting closer.  This is one example.

Garden Notes

Onions are just beginning to "lay down".  Almost overnight, they just "plop over" on their sides. When half or more of the Onions lay down, they are just about ready to harvest, with some steps for the Gardener inbetween.  Onions are cool season, so they complete their growth early and when the heat comes they are ready to harvest.  Soon, those Beds will be empty and ready for the next crop.  Stay tuned.

Those Tomato Plants are really growing.  Richard checks them daily and makes sure they are growing straight up inside their cages for support.  Some are beginning to blossom and a few have fruit.  Bear in mind that Tomatoes do not like wet conditions.  It is very important to keep their leaves above the Soil, which spreads disease.  The Straw Mulch keeps the mud from spattering up.  Stay tuned.

1st Cabbage

We harvested our 1st Cabbage of the season.  The variety was "Copenhagen Market".  The Cabbage was on the small side (2 pounds).  I just couldn't wait any longer.  It was compact and delicious.  That's a great start for the season. 

I made a Cole Slaw of shredded Cabbage, Carrots, and Green Onion Tops, chopped Raw Almonds, with a dressing of Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil.  This evening, Melanie made a cooked Cabbage dish in the Solar Oven.

I noted that the Lettuces are now done.  I guess it is the Cabbages turn.  It must be a Garden's relay race, with the Humans serving as Baton.  The Lettuces have just passed the Humans off to the Cabbages. This is turning into quite the race.

Red Rice Beans

We had this little strip of land at the edge of the Garden and we wondered what we might plant there.  While we were thinking, Richard built a long skinny raised bed.  Melanie knew right away what she wanted.  She headed to her seed stash and pulled out the Red Rice Beans.

We love Red Rice Beans.  This small Dry Edible Bean has been described as having a nutty flavor.  Unlike other Dry Edible Beans which require soaking and longer cooking times, Red Rice Beans cook in the same amount of time as Brown Rice.  Red Rice Beans are for those special meals that you decide 1 hour ahead of time exactly what you are going to have. Yes, we have been known to have a few of those times.

I do note that the vegetation along the fence may shade the Bed.  We will need to give the Bed a little more light so some of them will have to go.  This picture was taken after the latest Rain.  You will note that the Raised Bed drains well.

Buy Local

When we Consumers
fruits and vegetables
from other countries,
we stand a risk
of importing
bugs, weed seeds, diseases
from those places too.
Those "tag alongs" 
create havoc
on food crops
and ecosystems
often because
there are
no natural predators.
There is
nothing here
to hold them in check.
It has happened
countless times
Why would
we want
to do that?
Buy locally produced
food crops.
get to know
your Farmer too.
Glinda Crawford, 2011
An example in today's news:

A Natural Fit

brings me
face to face
with Soil,
Plants, and Critters.
brings me
face to face
with Life itself.
Gardeners become
can't help
It's a natural fit.
Glinda Crawford, 2011


June 24:

I weed away on the west Herb Bed while the Sun begins to make His Exit. As per usual, I have my Camera Companion in my Right Pocket. I turn to look at the Sun and I am filled with awe. I pull the Camera out. "Snap".

As I look at this little Farm, it seems to me we are creating Sanctuary. Or just perhaps, that is what the Farm is creating for us. The World outside is kind of jagged sometimes with harsh and seemingly unyielding points. Ouch. Having this little Sanctuary gives us roots and balance.

When we 1st came here 4 years ago, there wasn't much shade. The House stood bare with little protection. A harsh edge was present here and we surely still see that from time to time. But over time, we have been planting Trees, Shrubs, and sculpting Gardens. While these are long term practices, even now, the edge of the Wind and the Temperature seem to be moderating. We need to do more of this. For now, we can feel a kind of deep relaxation settling in. Isn't that what Homes are for?

Perhaps this is a metaphor for creating Sanctuary. This little Farm and all who reside here need Sanctuary. It is after all just the proper means of creating a lovely Nest. And in the meantime, as I weed this little Bed, the Wren sings and darts in and out of her House. This knowing is hers too.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Producing Food
is tied
to Weather and Climate.
On a Planet
where Climate
is increasingly out of skew,
producing Food
will be more difficult,
and, in some cases,
To accidentally
or on purpose
with patterns of Climate
is not the action
of a Species
that wants to survive.
Now, why on Earth,
would we want to do that?
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Do It Now

is real,
And it's tied
to Human Practice.
That includes
our every day
ordinary practices
to which
we give
little thought.
We Humans
with our insatiable Cravings
for the Planet's Resources
are the Problem.
We Humans on Crusade
where we seek to convert others
to similar unsustainable practices
are the Problem.
The Big Problem.
That means
we are
also a Solution
We Humans
are running out of time
on this one.
We may have waited
too long
to do the right thing.
What are we ready to give up?
Let's get serious about this one
And let's do it now.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

"Out of Whack"

Once again we went to bed under Tornado and Flash Flood watches until early a.m. Need I add that this has been a fairly regular occurrence off and on for the past month?  These are not the idyllic May and June memories of my childhood in Northeast Missouri.

Severe Thunderstorms with reports of winds at 70 mph went through the region just after midnight, leaving reports of downed trees and powerlines, high water in low lying areas, widespread power outages. 

Our power went out early on and 3 flashlights were in easy reach.   I headed to the basement.  Melanie followed shortly thereafter with 2 Cats who were not happy.  The Cat Carrier was found. Where is our battery powered Radio? OK: It's over there, but we have no "C" batteries. In some ways, it was more comforting to be present with the sounds of Nature rather than those mechanical Human Voices on alert.

Richard continued to monitor the situation above.  I think that might be a guy thing and it's important As the Storm moved through the area, he was outside checking the damage with flashlight in hand.  Sadly, we lost our 4 year old Apricot Tree which was young and laden with its 1st crop of delicious Fruit ready to pick.  The Wind snapped it off.  That Apricot was next to the House. The Gala Apple, which was planted in Memory of Dad, is on its side; 2 other Apple Trees are as well.  Hopefully we can right them with little damage. 

By the time we Humans started moving this morning, lights were back on, which means Freezers are running.  We breathe a sigh of relief when that happens. 

As we have a little more light outside, Richard headed out to the Garden to check for damage.  Things are tossed around a bit with what appears to be not a lot of long term damage.  Onions are flattened, but it is their season to flatten as they are just about ready to harvest.  Our beautiful Beans and Indian Corn are laid over on their sides, but they should come back O.K.  At least, that is their habit to right themselves after a big wind.

Richard says it looks like we got 2 inches of Rain. Again, I might add. Pretty good water drainage is taking place although Richard is watching the area of the walkout basement very closely.

Speaking of Rain, we are supposed to have Rain off and on throughout the day.  More Thunderstorms are forecast for late this afternoon.  The Rain we are getting is likely to be Rain that others in Drought Stricken Areas really need and should be getting.  Weather Patterns and Climate on this Beautiful Earth that we are blessed to call our Home and blessed to "steward" are definitely "out of whack".

Saturday, June 25, 2011


While living in Grand Forks
winter 1997,
I was sure
we were going
to have a big Flood.
Standard scientific forecasts
reassured otherwise.
Male knowledge
Head knowledge.
My knowing came
from the Feminine Intuitive Side
and it could not be dismissed.
I was not the only one.
Blizzards came and went.
Piles of snow deepened
amid the deep freeze
of North Dakota Winter.
From February on,
I went down
to the Red River daily,
and asked Her
to be my Teacher.
And yes,
we did have a Flood.
A Big Flood.
On this little Farm,
I am regularly in the Garden
with my Hands in the Soil
tending Plants.
The next stage
of my Living and Being 
has evolved.
I see myself as one on one,
as engaged
with each of those Plants,
with Soil,
with Earth,
with Creator.
And again,
I ask them to be my Teacher.
Always, I feel
the presence
of an expanding Circle
of my Dearest Friends.
Glinda Crawford, 2011 

From Dark to Light

Most of the day was dark, rainy and gloomy.  We 3 C's declared it a Slow Day, or perhaps the Day declared that for itself.  We Humans simply found our place in it.  We did get 2 1/2 inches of Rain in our trusty Rain Gauge. Toward later afternoon, the Sun broke through and we headed out to inspect the Garden. 

I chuckle when I see that Baptisia which is a Native Prairie Plant with Creamy White Flowers.  There it is in the middle of our Garden.  It is slow to come up, but it has staked claim to a corner of the Strawberry Bed.  I think those Flowers look like Silk. This is a regal and elegant flower which can grow fairly tall.
The Easter Lilies are in bloom.  I got this plant in memory of Dad in 2008.  Mother encouraged me to plant it in the Garden, which I did.  I had never done that before.  This is the 1st year that it has bloomed.  I think I will gather Lilies from those I give in memory and perhaps create a special bed of Flowers. That makes me smile just thinking of it.
The Arbor that Richard, Mike and Rhiannon made for me on my Birthday last fall is looking beautiful.  As I had hoped, the Arbor catches the mid afternoon shade and offers a lovely sanctuary through evening.  I do have some plants at the corners which should extend the wonders and benefits of shade.  The Fairy Rose is happy on the southeast side.  She is offering many clusters of beautiful deep pink blooms and was a gift from Victoria Albright a year ago.   
Sarah Saltmarsh gave me a white fall blooming Clematis.  As I had heard, it is vigorous and has staked a claim on the southwest side.  It should be glorious.  I just love gifts of plants from friends and family.  (I love giving them too.)  They make me smile.  I think the whole Garden smiles.

I laugh because the Birds have also found the Arbor.  They seem to like the Arbor as much as me.  Evidence has been left upon the seats.
The Lavendar is coming into full bloom.  Look how beautiful it looks against that wonderful Blue Sky with its puffy Clouds.  To get this view, you have to get down on the ground, or hold your camera down low.  The latter is what I did.  I never take any credit for these pictures.  It's like they take themselves.

Blueberry Time

June 24:

On this day, Melanie and I headed to Lost Branch Blueberry Farm for opening day of Blueberry Season.  Begun in 2004 (with preparation of the Soil), this Farm is a U-Pick operation run by the Price Family.  It is a treasure.  So are they.  Melanie and I picked for eating and for freezing and our skills are improving. 

Neither Melanie or I can imagine beginning a Blueberry Season without picking on opening day.  As June moves on, we carefully watch their web site for news of that special day. We do hope that over time we will have more of our own Blueberries, but we are very grateful to the Prices for their gifts until we do.

On this beautiful day, the parking lot was full.  We connected with old and new friends.  Melanie commented that Blueberries make her happy.  I overheard a little boy enthusiastically telling his Mother that he was going to make Blueberry Pancakes for all of his Grandparents.  He also asked if they could stop on the way home at a favorite store which has a lunch counter, ask for Ice Cream, and pour Blueberries on top. I can imagine that anyone within earshot was smiling.

The kind and range of interaction we had is not usually replicated on the produce aisle of the local big box store.  People for the most part were playful, joyous, and in awe at the Blueberries dripping from the Bushes.  We have snippets of such interactions at the local grocery store (and they are special indeed), but not to the extent that we had under that beautiful Blue Sky on land that was carefully tended where Blueberries were graciously offered. 

We will enjoy Blueberries from this day over the coming months.  Every time we open a bag, we will remember the beauty of this day.  Thank you, Robert and Kerri Price and family.

Pretty as a Picture

June 23:

The Lilies that Rachel gave me and the Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) are blooming in profusion. The whole place is as pretty as a picture. Many pictures.

Videos: Food for Thought in Transformational Times

I first began following Yes Magazine about 15 years ago.  Yes was and is significant in placing along my path powerful stories of people seeking alternative futures, sustainable practices, and justice for all.  These aren't just people talking about what should be done. They are doing it and they are being very successful at it.  Yes is a powerful player in inspiring and in keeping us focused on making changes important in these transformational times.

I just found out that Yes is celebrating 15 years.  Congratulations!  And gratitude to each and every one who has been involved in Yes. Please note a link below to videos of presentations at their celebration earlier this month.  Put your seatbelt on, or just maybe take that imprisoning restraint off.  Change is coming.  It is in our midst.  It is deep inside each and everyone of us.  We just have to set it free.  A different future is possible and it is pulsing stronger and stronger each day. 

In the meantime, I am headed back to the Garden as we 3 C's seek to grow our own food in healthy ways for us and for the Planet. The simple stuff brings us home, a place of our seeking and yearning for a very long time.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Video: Connection between Weather Events and Climate Change

You could call this food for thought for times requiring deep thinking and courage to peer outside the lines of our cultural imprisonment.  This video was based on an op-ed piece written by Bill McKibben for the Washington Post.  Those who follow us will be glad that we took a hard look at a reality many choose not to see.

Observation on: Windows

Windows look different
with early morning Sun streaming in
after a long period
of cloudy skies.
Where is my window cleaner?
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thoughts on Rising Waters

During these times, our thoughts drift to the flooding along the Missouri and the Souris.  We follow the news and we send love and healing wishes to all those who are affected, whether we know them (from our experience up North) or not. 

Having experienced the Grand Forks Flood of 1997, it is pretty easy to go there into our own shared space.  Of course, every experience is different but there are surely common themes for those who have experienced natural disasters.  And just perhaps, it is in these moments that hearts are open, regardless of whether we know someone there or not.  It sort of makes me wonder why those hearts would even consider being closed.  What purpose does that serve?

I do believe that Life comes with Challenges and Life comes with Lessons.  All of these "gifts" bring us into the fullest expression of who we are to be. 

I remember being evacuated at 3 a.m. to an Air Force gymnasium complete with 300 cots.  Nursing home patients were placed to the left.  I remember evacuating to Williston that night.  We were part of along line of cars headed west.  No one was headed east.  I remember being glued to any news from the town that was our home and the people who were our family there.  I remember returning home.  Yes, our house was still there; we hadn't been sure if it was.  We had water on 2 of 4 floors. I remember carrying those countless loads of soggy personal "precious" possessions to the berm.  I remember watching the piles of treasures trashed along the berm become a canyon for the cars to go down.  I remember the horrible smells.  I remember the Red Cross truck bringing food.  I remember having no lights, sewer, water, heat (and it snowed part of the time too).  I remember being able to see the Stars at night.  Why would we ever blot them out?  I remember being so grateful when the most basic of amenities returned.  I remember the cameraderie of neighbors.  Why didn't we get together much before?  I remember feeling the love and support of so many who were known and unknown to us.  I remember watching people age quickly as we worked through the stress of the times and transition.  Some died.  I remember the town felt like it had died and the people acted like something had died.  Something had.  Then a few years later something very beautiful was reborn.  I remember thinking about the stuff that I had carried to the berm.  It was only stuff.  We 3 made it fine.

May each and every person who is affected by these events find healing, peace, beauty, joy. May the doors that are being closed open up to new doors never known before.  May the beauty that is supposed to come through this experience radiate through us all.  May we as a Human Species come into the fullness of our being. It's time.

Thinning Time

I checked the Indian Corn Seed Packs and noted that the Plants should be thinned to 8 inches apart.  Seeds are planted about 2 times that, and more if they are older.  One of my least favorite things to do is to thin out those young Plants.  It seems like if they come up, they should be allowed to grow.  Besides, I don't like to kill anything. 

But that's what I did on this day.  I thanked the Seedlings for joining us for this short while on the Farm. I took some comfort in knowing the remaining Plants will grow bigger and stronger. 

You will note that the Pole Beans are coming up alongside some of the Corn Plants.  If you are a regular follower of this Blog, you might know that this Photo was taken in one of the 3 Sisters Gardens.  Here we go!

Red Clover Gathering

June 23:

On this day, Melanie gathered Red Clover to dry for her Herbal Medicine collection.

Bean Twist

On this day, Richard had headed into the Garden to weed.  I brought my notebook out and took notes on my Dry Edible Beans.  It is amazing to see how different they grow. Some observations in passing:
  • Some of the Bush Beans have started out with a bit of a "Pole Habit". 
  • I wonder if I left the Beans planted too thick.  The recommendation is to plant about 2x the amount of space that the adult plants need.  I have a hard time pulling out Beans. I may want to pay greater attention to this next year.
  • Last year's Beans were pretty "normal" to start out with.  Then they just sat there.  These Beans are continuing to grow and by comparison, they look really robust. The Raised Beds seemed to have made a huge difference.
  • I noted that the Pole Beans "pole" in a counter clockwise direction.  Melanie noted the same thing.  I wonder: Is normal for all Beans?  What "central intelligence" drives this?  How do they know?  Is there some advantage to this preference? Is it different in the Southern Hemisphere? 

Slower Day

June 22:

Today was a slow day. Skies were gray and overcast. Temperatures were cool. Is it going to rain? We kept watching the Sky.

While details still need tweaking, the Garden is planted, at last. The intensity of the push to plant has lessened. Now we watch and tend. And yes, we have begun the harvest too.

For what seems like a long time period now, we have been in a pattern of Heat, Thunderstorms, and Rain. Fortunately, we have not had Tornadoes. Skies have been intense and powerful at times. The Humans have been uneasy. For a few nights in a row, we had Tornado Watches as we went to bed.

Today was a slower day, for which we were grateful. I have a cold and am taking it easy. Overall, the 3 of us relaxed into a much needed bit of rest. When we were out and about, we did a little bit of weeding and it felt good.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"I Have a Code"

We have this little Slate which I put by the area you could call "Mission Control" on this little Farm.  That's where the phone, phone books, and calendars are.  Each day, I check the Biodynamic Calendar and I write on the board what's best to plant: Root, Flower, Leaf, Fruit.  So if you are at our house, you would know exactly what needs attention on that day.

Well, on this day, "I have a Code".  You know the kind: sniffles, sneezes, temperature fluctuations, speech which sounds and feels like the inside of a hollow drum, where are the tissues?  I don't like Summer Colds.  Colds at any other time are not of my preference either, but they do happen. 

So on this day, instead of putting the work in the Garden that needed attention on my little Slate, I decided to prompt myself to remember to rest.  I admit I am better at that some moments rather than others. Yes, I do get distracted on other things.  But yes, I am resting too.

In Praise of Winter Onions

When we 1st arrived on this Little Farm, one of Mother's friends gave us "Winter Onions", which others seem to call "Walking Onions". This dear Friend and Elder has had considerable experience living on the Farm. Whenever Folks like this speak, I listen up. Their Plants, Practice and Wisdom seem a rich treasure trove accumulated and passed down by caring Generations before.

These Winter Onions are marvelous wonders that overwinter.  Then, they are our 1st Onions to dig and use in early Spring.  When we 1st begin to harvest the Winter Onions, the Green Onions that we have planted are yet a dream of what we hope to harvest. When those Green Onions are ready for eating, we give the loyal Winter Onions upon which we have depended a rest.  It is at that time that these hardy robust Onions begin to set new Onions for planting and Flowers. 

I spent some time in the patch today gathering Onions bulbs for more planting here at the Farm and for our Friends. I just cannot imagine a Farm without them. As I worked with them today, I smiled.  And the smiles of the Onions and all those Generations before seemed to bless me and my family too.


June 18:

Butterflies and Flowers abound in this time of emergence. We Humans can only hope and pray that we do the same.


A man is rich
in proportion to the number of things
he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau

Should You Go Abroad

Should you go abroad,
you might want to pack
some food for thought
on your Carbon Footprint.

Should You Go Abroad

Should you go abroad,
consider the carbon footprint
of your excursion.
That's the Gift you leave
to Climate Disruption
and the Burden you forward
to Present and
Future Generations.
As a modern day version
of  the Crusaders of Old,
do not try to convert
everyone you see
to North American
patterns of consumption.
The Planet can't sustain it.
consider staying home.
And if you need to go,
seek to learn
from every experience.
Glinda Crawford, 2011 


Disruptions in Weather
yield increasing difficulties
in Growing Food. 
Most Gardeners would tell you
we are experiencing that.
My Croatian Ancestors
left their Homeland in 1908
because there was no Food.
Parents sent away
their children.
In those times,
they had
somewhere to go.
Today's and tomorrow's
massive scale of disruption
and the sheer weight
of Human Numbers
mean we have
nowhere to go.
Maybe the Journey
is not outside
but rather inside.
May we each do
what we have come here to do.
May we Humans
become the Beauty of Presence
we were intended.
Glinda Crawford, 2011


We were given
Those of my Kind
locked ourselves
outside the Gate.
oh where,
is the Key?
Glinda Crawford, 2011


tensions of these times
are nudges
from the Divine
to move
into the path
we Humans
are intended.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Earth provides
to satisfy every man's need,
but not
every man's greed.
Mahatma Gandhi

Just Who Are We Waiting For?

We Affluent
and so called "Modern" Humans
keep waiting
for someone else
to fix the problem.
We wait
for Lawmakers
to establish policies
that will do it all.
We wait
for Big Business
to change their practices
so that they are Greener
and more Respectful
of all Life Forms.
We naively assume 
that those who sell products
with decisions
based on personal gain
will automatically offer
something safe.
Not so.
A poisoned Planet,
rising Sea Levels,
Climate and Weather Patterns
out of Whack,
increasingly foul Air and Water,
degraded Soils,
diminished Species,
rising health issues
bear witness
to the havoc
we have created
in this Paradise
that we were given.
Assuming someone else
will rescue us
dumbs us all
We Humans
have the power
to change the mess out there
in every single step
that we take right here.
OK, Folks, let's do it. 
We are running
out of time
on this one.
We 3 C's
are not waiting
for anyone.
We are proceeding
with action strategies
that will make our world
a better place,
will lessen the impact
of these 3 Humans,
will allow us
to nod our heads and
say we did all that we could.
It isn't easy,
and we absolutely love
every step of it.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Yes, It's True

I have to chuckle as I post this image.  Who would have thought that we would have left the City Life 4 years ago and wound up with all of these new Adventures right here on this little Farm?  Who would have thought that with all the education that we have between us, that the learning just picked up speed?  A lot of people kick back in retirement, or so they say.  We didn't re-tire.  We've re-treaded.

This year we grew Wheat as a cover crop for the area that had been sown in Sorghum Cane last year. That Wheat is now ready for harvest and the Chickens are jumping for joy. The Adult Birds have full range of the field, so they can take care of themselves, thank you.  However, the Littles, who aren't so little any more, are stuck in their pen and need someone to harvest the Wheat and bring it to them. On his way to their pen from the field, Richard stopped by the house to give me a sneak peak of the latest happenings.

No, we don't plan to go big scale on this. At least, I don't think so. But, yes, it's true.  A person can do just about anything he or she sets their mind too.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day and Day of Rest

Today was Father's Day and it was very special indeed.  We celebrated with a quiet day on the Farm. Richard made choices of what he would like to eat.  Melanie and I had input too. 

We had a Brunch of Pancakes with freshly picked Berries (Strawberries, Juneberries, Black Raspberries).  The Strawberries and Juneberries are among the last of the season.  The Black Raspberries are just starting to come in.  It's their turn.

Richard and Melanie took a walk about the Farm.  They checked in on the Berries.  For dinner, we had Barbecued Chicken, Salad, and Grilled Potatoes with Chives.  The beauty of the Food that looked up to us from our plates was just about the most we could expect from this Little Farm.

We spent the evening meandering the Garden.  Yes, we did do some weeding.  I checked in on my Cabbages.  They have really taken a hit from the Cabbage worms. I picked off what I could and offered tasty treats to the Littles.  I then powdered them with Rye Flour.  I have got to do some serious thinking about the damage and damage control.  Later, I did some transplanting, but I tried to keep it low key.

On this Day, we celebrated the Gift of Dads, Richard especially.  It seems like it would be good to do some reflection on what it means to have a Dad and what it means to be a Mom. That seems deep and rich to think about.

I checked out the Biodynamic Calendar which told me that today was a Root Day.  I shook my head in the negative at that possibility. Then I wrote 2 notes on the Slate:  "Happy Father's Day" and "Day of Rest".  We have been really busy for quite a while here on the Farm.  It's time to get serious about periodic rests that replenish us all.

As we settle in this evening, I note that we are under "Tornado Watch" until 2a.m.  It's tough to get settled in the rest time, when storms are about.  As an aside, we will be having a Berry Cobbler which Melanie made in the Solar Oven today.  It features a potpourri of Berries from right here at the Farm.

We have much to be grateful for on this beautiful day.  And beautiful Dads, Dear Richard are at the top of the list.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Butterflies Abound

I took a few moments today to walkabout the Gardens with my camera.  At almost every turn, Butterflies greeted me amidst the smiling Flowers.  And where are you, Dear Monarch?  We have seen very few this season and we are eager for your return.

A Favorite Technique

I chuckle when I think about the things we have learned while on this little Gardening Adventure.  Some are complex.  Others are pretty simple.  Some are specific to the Plants and the Soil.  Others are handy dandy little tricks that make Gardening easier and faster. 

In the meantime, Soil, Plants and the skill of countless generations of Gardeners before mem look up at me, they nod and say: "Yes, she has learned a lot, but she has a lot more to learn."

So what am I chuckling about in this photo?  When I plant bigger Seeds, the ones that do not go airborne in the Wind, I often put them in the tail of my shirt.  And down the Row I go.

3 Sisters Garden

June 16:

When we got up this morning, we checked WeatherUnderground and noted Rain was on its way at 20 to 30 minutes out.  This day was a "Fruit Day" and I wanted to complete the 3 Sisters Gardens.  So Richard and I headed to that part of the Garden with Hoe and Seeds in hands.  Meanwhile, the eastern Sky was bright with the memory of Morning Sun, but the western Skies and those overhead were dark and swiftly moving to blot out the Sun in the Sky.

What is a 3 Sisters Garden?  Native Peoples of this Continent would often interplant 3 mutually beneficial Food Crops: Corn, Beans and Squash.  The Corn and Squash are heavy feeders, while the Beans put nitrogen back into the Soil.  The Corn grows tall and the Pole Beans wind their way up.  Meanwhile, Squashes push out large leaves, covering the ground and suppressing weeds. 

On this day, Richard weeded and I planted.   The Corn and Squash were up after being planted May 30.  All I needed to do was to add Pole Beans.  The 1st few years I have tried this, the Beans have pulled the Corn over.  I just learned last year that the Gardener should wait until the Corn is about 6-8 inches high.  In so doing, the Corn gets a jump start and can grow tall and strong, when the Beans are just beginning to emerge. 

I have one Garden dedicated toward honoring the 3 Gardening Tribes that were and are up on the Northern Plains, an area where we lived for 32 years.  The Gardening Tribes are the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (Sahnish).  I have had several students and friends who were from those Nations and were my teachers.  The last year that I taught, my Environmental Studies students and I went on a field trip to Ft. Berthold Reservation which is now the home for the Tribes; that field trip focused on the people, culture, history and gardening practices. 

My little Garden is a prayer that we may learn from the 1st Peoples and the North American Continent.  It seems to me that for much of the history of the European peoples on this Continent, we visitors have been trying to do a kind of "makeover", yielding disastrous results.  It's time that we settled on this land.  For one, I want to settle here and know my place on it. I want to live with the rhythms of this place, rather than against them.

As I look at this part of the Garden, the following varieties smile up at me:  Hidatsa Shield Figure Beans (newly planted on this day), Mandan Bride Indian Corn, Mandan Squash.  I also included Arikara Sunflowers which will provide good height for the Beans to grow as well, assuming all goes well.

I have 4 other beds of 3 Sisters Gardens. They include different varieties which are exciting to watch grow.

I should further note that I use Native American Varieties which I have received from a number of sources including Seed Savers Exchange, Seeds of Change, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, plus, this year, my friend Blanche.  When I plant these Heirloom Varieties, I honor Indigenous Peoples and I actively seek to live as Indigenous to this place.  And I choose to continue the long heritage of Gardeners in the choice of Heirloom Varieties.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Slide Show: Seed and Plant Exchange, May 21, 2011

Thanks to everyone for making the Seed and Plant Exchange a success! The Seed and Plant Exchange belongs to all of us.  We 3 C's were just privileged to host it.  And would you believe that this 2nd Annual Seed and Plant Exchange marks our 4th anniversary of moving to this little Farm? I think we are settling in.

Several folks were taking pics on this lovely day.  The pictures in this slide show were taken by Mia Hammond, Beth Campbell, and Rich McKinney.  Thanks!

Lead Exposure in Game

My family and I eat and enjoy Venison.  Eating Wild Game just seems right on a very deep level.  Just today, we have learned about emerging research which suggests that "eating venison, other game raises lead exposure".

Quite frankly, this makes me angry and anger is an appropriate response to situations which suggest threats.  That anger gives us extra energy which will somehow direct us to a solution unknown in the present moment. It further makes me angry that Venison is given to very vulnerable populations. 

Solutions seem simple.  We Humans with our supposedly Superior Brains will surely find a solution here. Those solutions will only come when we greet the Day with an Awakened Heart.

Great Hopes

It is unfathomable to me
that we Humans make so many Decisions
without consideration
for the consequences
those decisions have on Life.
With such an approach,
we play 
Russian Roulette
with Life itself.
Whose half-baked idea
was that
If we really want to be here,
it is time
we make the Big Change.
At 1st glance,
it appears complex
and impossible.
At 2nd glance,
it is as easy
as falling off a Log.
Choosing to live Life
as a means
of honoring Life
is about coming Home
to who we are meant to be.
It's about honoring
the Sacred Gift of Life
given by the Creator
who has great hopes
for us all.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Great Expectations

In days of yore,
knowledge of growing Food
was passed down
from Generation
to Generation.
Such knowledge
was necessary
for survival,
for sustaining Life.
It represented
a precious Gift,
the careful accumulation
of knowledge
from countless generations.
we in Modern Affluent Society
stepped outside the loop.
I guess
we thought
it was not important
for us to know.
We gave over
that responsibility
to Corporations,
Select Farmers,
Big Box Stores
whose motivation,
among perhaps others,
was economic gain.
As we Humans return
to the Land
and to growing our own Food,
we have Great Expectations.
Yet, we know
so little.
We have
so much to learn.
A different future
is possible.
And we have
innumerable Lessons
to learn.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Patti, Finn, and Asa Visit the Farm

On this cool and breezy day, we had some special guests for a brief time here on the Farm. Patti Szczys came with her husband Finn and 11 month old son Asa.  In the mid 1990s, Patti was a student in Richard's Wildlife Biology classes.  She took Environmental Studies classes from me that 1st year I taught them. Although Richard had seen her a few years ago, I hadn't seen her since 1998.  Where does the time go?  Patti is now a university faculty member in Conservation Biology in Connecticut.  Finn smiles proudly: "I'm a stay-at-home Dad." 

Over the years, we have kept in touch through holiday letters and occasional emails.  Plus, Patti is a regular follower of this Blog.  And she, Finn, and Asa are thinking ahead to the day when they will settle on their little acreage.

After sharing a meal, we headed for a walkabout on the Farm.  Our 1st stop was to check out baby Chickens.  Then we headed over to see the big Hennies and those stately Roosters.  Yes, Chickens may very well be on the horizon for them, so they had lots of questions.

Then we headed out to the Cane Field.  Sure enough, they knew already that we had just planted the Cane.  They wanted to know how it was doing.  And yes, if you look really closely, it is indeed just beginning to come up. We only planted it last Wednesday.

"Do you want to walk through the Garden?" The answer was yes, so into the Garden we headed. It is always wonderful to see what stories the Garden is ready to offer up. We didn't have to tell them much about what was going on in the Garden, because they knew from the Blog. 

Almost as quickly as they came, they were headed off again.  Since the Grandparents live in south Missouri, it is very likely that routine trips to Missouri will be in order.  And they let us know that they would stop by the Farm.  Thanks for sharing special time and space with us, Patti, Finn, and Asa.  Good wishes always from the 3 C's.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

We planted Flowers from Mother's this evening. I wanted to put some of her Old Farm Lilies out by the sign which marks our address. I don't know where she got those Lilies. She may have gotten them from Aunt Louise and Uncle Russell's farm. For me, those Lilies are markers of Farms and Rural Living. We see banks of them along the roadsides where houses now stand or used to stand.

I smile. They are simple, humble, and jubilant. Those rural Homemakers did their best to tuck beauty into all the corners while juggling a myriad of tasks in their very busy days.

Those Lilies once adorned a rural Farm. They came to the city to adorn my Mother's house and yard. Now they have returned to the country side. Somehow, they say to me "Welcome home." They say that to themselves too.
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New Peas and Potatoes

Tonight we had New Peas and Potatoes with our dinner.  Richard asked if I was going to make a White Sauce.  I had already decided "no", in the interest of not much energy.  I could tell that he was mulling over this in disbelief.  From a distance, I heard rustlings in the kitchen and I knew he had gone right to making White Sauce.  Not having White Sauce with New Peas and Potatoes must have seemed like an act of heresy.

So I headed into the kitchen and began making the White Sauce.  I do love to make White Sauce.  He had already dug the potatoes and washed them.  We had already picked the peas and I had shelled them.  He had dug the onions and washed them.  This time, I cut up the Green Onion tops and put them in bags for the freezer.  Now that is new experiment. 

When we sat down at the table, that wonderful dish just smiled up at us. It just can't be early summer without New Peas and Potatoes and White Sauce.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Family Help Me Out, Please

Their faces gaze intently out at me from that old grayish cream photo. I have some clues as to who they are. I know them and I know their names, but they are not yet connected to these images.  At least, not now.
I love family history work. It's like unraveling the best mystery ever.  It's about learning about my relatives and learning more about myself. 
I am struck by how many old photos that families have which have unidentifiable ancestors.  I believe that as the family tree spreads, we each have knowledge of specific relatives that are in our direct line.  As we gather around these photos, we can each bring clues.  Maybe it is the ancestors' way of bringing us together after our long journeys apart.  I like that.  So, relatives and community members, what do you think?
This is what I know about this photo:
  • Date: August 15, 1926
  • Location: "All met at Aunt Mary South Lorton's"
  • The back tells us: "Aunt Mary Lorton passed away Jul 5"; "Grandma Myers passed away Sept. 7 1838"; "Jesse passed away Dec 23 buried Dec 26 1938"; "Less Lorton left for Boise Idaho May 1938, came home the last of May or June 1st 1938"; "Fred passed away June 12-1944 buried June 14 1944"; "Uncle Gid Lorton died Apr 20 1944".
  • The people written about and noted above are included in the photo (Grandma Myers might be the exception?).
  • This photo belonged to Lottie Hart Brenz (who is pictured on the left); all of the descriptions of relationship would fit. Handwriting seems similar to other samples of her hand.
  • All of the individuals in the picture somehow are in relationship with Mary South Lorton.
Who is in the picture? I can identify the following:
  • Lottie Hart Brenz (woman at far left in vertically striped dress); Lottie is my Grandmother.
  • Mary South Lorton (woman at center, gray dress, no trim)
  • Thelma Louise Brenz, Lottie's oldest daughter (older child at Mary South Lorton's right shoulder)
  • Fred Albert Brenz, Lottie's husband (behind Mary South Lorton, with dark skin)
Potentially others:
  • Ruthirene Brenz and Dorothy Ione Brenz, Lottie and Fred's daughters (believed to be in front of Thelma Louise)
  • Hattie Louella Myers Hart, Jesse Hart, their 2 daughters Cecil and Freeda
  • Gid Lorton
  • Less Lorton (Cecil's husband)
Family help me out here...? Help me out with spellings too.  I have chosen to post this on our blog.  I will integrate names and corrections when they come. This is history coming alive.