Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Story

Years ago, I read a story which I have repeated often.  I do not know the source, but I believe that it is old and it is indigenous.  The story goes:

1st of all, I should tell you that I do not intend to do this to a Frog.  My choice to live a non-violent life style does not permit such options.  But let's get on with the story.

If you were to put a big pot of water on a fire to boil and then you threw a Frog towards the boiling water, the Frog would immediately sense danger.  That Frog would do everything possible to avoid that danger.  He would contort his body and go through all kinds of immediate visceral reactions.  And he just might jump free.

If, however, you were to place that same pot above the fire pit with water at the temperature of the air and then put the Frog in it, the Frog would be reasonably content in this space. Then put on the wood, light the fire, and stoke it.  The water will heat up slowly.  The Frog will have no sense of danger because the danger comes slowly.  By the time the Frog recognizes that s/he is in trouble, it is too late.

And I may add to this little story:  Such is the circumstance of our times.  OK, Frogs, it is time for us to leap free. See you outside.

To Choose

To choose a Path
which goes
the Life Giving Powers
of this Earth,
whether by Accident
or on Purpose,
leads one and one's kind
to Death.
It can happen fast,
in an instant.
Or it can happen slowly,
so slowly that
one cannot see
their demise.
that burden
may be placed fully 
on our Heirs.
If we listen closely,
we may hear
their voices:
"Nice gift,
Dad, Mom,
Grandma, Grandpa."
were you
To choose a path
which goes
with the Life Giving Powers
of this Earth
honors Gifts
of Creation and Life,
Sacred Gifts
of the Divine.
There are
no guaruntees.
But this surely brings
a promise
the current Path
cannot provide.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Report for Today

Richard and Melanie put those little Tomatoes on the Dehydrator.  Salsa is on and so too is Tomato Soup.  In the meantime, I was in high gear working on my 45th Class Reunion and the Art Show which is a part of that.  It was a wild and crazy day.  More is coming together and a pattern is unfolding.  I shall be writing about this soon.

3/4 Inch

We got 3/4 inch of Rain today.  It was sheer bliss.  How does one say "Thank you?"  Every pore of my body uplifts in praise to the Creator for this precious Gift. We are a Water Planet.  For Life to sustain, all things must be in balance.  May all that we do honor that Gift of Life and seek to support that Precious Balance that lies at the essence of all Living Things.

Smells Like Rain

Once again, it smells like Rain but we really aren't getting any.  When the Summer began, we had a lot of Rain.  I felt really sad because we seemed to be getting someone else's Rain, considering all the droughts around.  Now somebody else is getting our Rain.  Planet is mixed up, just like the Humans. 

Consider this a Prayer to return to a normal cycle of Living Things on this Great Planet Swirling in the Cosmic Sea.  Consider this a Prayer for the Humans to return to Natural Cycles where every action supports Life.

Monday, August 29, 2011


About 2am this morning, Richard began processing the Little Roosters.  Sixteen of the 52 were done in a period of a little over 7 hours.  He "dresses" them very early in the morning when it is still dark and they are on their roosts.  It seems far less disruptive than when they are awake and scattered all over the pen.  Melanie helped him as it got light. 

When they were finished, they put the 16 little Roosters into the Refrigerator to cool and soften their meat for a day or two.  Then we will package them and put them into the Freezer.

I couldn't sleep, so I got up at 2:30am and headed to the computer to work on the Art Show of my Class Reunion which is coming up in about 3 weeks.  I'll be talking more about this later. 

These days we are really really busy.  The days are full.  We are running different directions.  And we build in some very important time at other times during the day.

Sunday, August 28, 2011


August 19:
I looked out through the window and to my amazement (or perhaps not), the word "Joy" was written in the Sky. What a beautiful way to start the day!

In Motion

These days, we 3 C's have a lot of irons in the fire, as the Old Timers would say.  The months of August, September, and October put us into maximum harvest, if we have put the right energy at the right time into the Garden and if it is a good year for specific crops. 
These are moments, days, weeks, and months of high energy demands.  Everything seems to be happening at once.  Fruits and vegetables seem to arrive at their peak overnight.  And we Humans must turn on a dime to make sure they are processed at peak.  For us that means maximum yield and maximum vitality for the Humans who will use them for nourishment.  To delay means increasing likelihood of loss.  And yes, we have had some losses recently as we have waited a little long.
During this season, some things get stacked up for "later".  Some places are not so tidy.  Yet, all of that interferes with flow.  We try to keep the house picked up and cleaned because this makes for essential qualities of a nurturing nest to complete the tasks at hand.

We usually try to take Sunday as a day of rest.  Yet, sometimes at this season, we really need that extra time too.  If we need to use it in that way, we try to take it at a slower pace.

So what is going on in this moment?  Richard and Melanie are getting ready to make Bread and Butter Pickles.  I usually take the lead here.  Richard has the pickles, onions, peppers sliced and in water and salt solution; they are under ice and will be ready to process soon. 

I finished putting away the tea towels.  Laundry is especially important at these busy seasons.  I spent time tidying up the dining room table which has become laden with projects and their remnants.  In particular, I sorted Dry Edible Beans.  I winnowed the larger quantities (particularly those whose harvest is complete) and placed them in jars. I put them out so we could see them in a kind of shrine to harvest.  They look so pretty. 

After polling our needs, Richard is headed off to town to get some supplies for upcoming projects.  It is important to have supplies on hand for the most pressing projects, but also for those that will be coming up soon. 

Melanie is making 2 varieties of fermented teas, one of which will be Kombucha, which we love.  I am clattering away at these keys for a bit of reporting, but will soon move on to the Art Show which is coming up in 3 weeks.  Yikes.

I find it synchronous that this crescendo of activity surely is repeated all around us.  Since we Humans have a tendency to think we are the center of the Universe, we miss other exquisite acts of the show. 

Sunlight is decreasing markedly and the Sun is visibly moving more southward on the horizon.  Oops.  The Sun is not moving on the horizon.  The axis of our Earth is much more noticeable as we shift from late Summer into Fall and the position of the Sun in relation to the Earth changes. We Humans are just little specks on this side of the horizon.

As I clatter away at these keys, I see the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds buzzing about.  They seem to be picking up speed and feverishly feeding.  Yes, they will be leaving soon.  They need to eat in such a way that their beautiful body chemistry can support their long flight to their winter homes in Central America.  I smile, because after we complete our food store, we are not going anywhere.  Thank goodness.

I have occasionally seen fat Monarch Caterpillars munching away on Milkweeds.  They are probably in chrysalis now.  In the next few days, they will emerge as beautiful Butterflies on brand new wings.  During the week of my birthday (which is next week), the Monarchs will begin their annual migration to a very specific location in the highlands of Mexico.  Once again, my sense of awe is tuned up as I consider that these Butterflies will find their way to their winter homes, places they have not been before. 

Thinking about these things once again puts me in a position of awe.  For so long, I only paid attention to the Human Story.  The more I am aware of the world around me and my place in it, it seems that we are all in motion and we all move in relationship to each other.  We Humans stay right here and canning and preserving are our fare.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

It's Time

Last May, we received 52 baby Roosters (Cockerels) and 12 baby Hens (Pullets).  All are heirloom breeds (White Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Delawares, New Hampshire Reds). The Baby Peeps came from 2 sources:  Murray-McMurray Hatchery in Iowa ( and Paul Harder, a Farmer in our general area ( 

If you have been following this Blog, you may remember that the Hens are intended to add to the laying Flock, while the Roosters will be our Freezer (Meat) Birds. We 3 C's have been careful not to tell the Roosters their destination. And we have been careful that when company comes they do not talk about such delicate matters in their presence either.

Since we received the Baby Chickens, we have been taking very good care of them.  They are our partners here on this Little Farm.  They provide us food, companionship, and they help to restore the soil.  While in our care, they have been fed mostly organic food.  Since they have been big enough, they have been free range, with lots of space to scratch, play, take dust baths, and find delicious bugs to eat. 

The Baby Chickens are now about 4 months old.  The Pullets range freely in the same yard as the Older Hennies.  They stay together but they stay separate from the Older Hennies.  I suppose you could call that "out of respect" but rather they know their place.  "Peck order" is real in Chicken-dom. 

The Cockerels are in what has been described as the luxurious Rooster Pen.  Melanie would quickly add that we have some plans for this one which are not yet complete. 

The point of this little entry is to focus on the Cockerels, the Little "Roos" as we fondly call them.  Until recently, we would have described the Cockerels as the sweetest little Roosters.  They still are sweet.  But the hormones seem to be kicking in.  They are now more aggressive with each other.  It's not bad, I would add, but there is a shift.  And it will heat up.

A few are sparring.  Their Rooster games now show factors of dominance.  A few are practicing their new found Crows.  What a surprise it must be for a developing Rooster to open his mouth and emit a Crow.  Of course, their early Crows are not as polished as our 4 year old Rooster Freddie. Sometimes the early Crows don't include all of the syllables.  Often, they sound like they are crowing in a tin can.  At least that is how I would describe it and I am a Human.  I am not sure how they as Roosters would describe it.

The long and short of this little entry is that it is pretty obvious that is now time to process the little Roosters.  They are big enough.  Their behavior indicates that it is time too.  Richard takes the lead here.  He usually does it at night to create the least disruption.  Melanie and I will help with the finishing. We try to do all things on this Little Farm to show respect for the Circle of Life and respect for the Gift of Life from Living Beings.

It's somber time here on the Farm.  I spent some time standing in front of their pen this evening.  I thanked them for the gifts of their lives and themselves on this Little Farm.

Higher Road

Climate Change
is an issue
of National
Climate Change
is an issue
of Personal
What steps
in our everyday lives
are we willing
to take
along a higher road?
Those who follow
will be glad
we did.
Those who live today
will be too.
To be sure,
we'll have
some adjustments,
but our lives will be
richer and fuller
because we did.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Women's Voices Now

As young children,
we knew
what we wanted
and how we were going
to get there. 
Time passed.
We were channeled
into tightly scripted shoes
of "Do's" and "Do Nots". 
This was particularly true
for Girls and Women
in a culture
which elevated
the Male
above all else. 
I am soon
to be 63
and I am pleased
to report
that the scripts
are being tossed away. 
That fire
the Young Child
still burns bright
inside of Me. 
This time,
it is not going
to be denied.
The World needs
unfettered Women's Voices Now.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Canning Tomatoes

Richard and Melanie headed to the pantry shelves to count jars of Tomatoes this morning.  We can't know completely how many we need to can this year until we count what is remaining.  Word has it that we have jars of Tomatoes and Tomato related products on our shelves from previous years:  Ketchup (6 pints), Tomato Sauce (3 pints), Spaghetti Sauce (2 pints), Salsa (30 pints), Whole Tomatoes (33 Quarts), Tomato Soup (1 quart), Tomato Juice (1 quart), and Tomato Sauce (1 quart).

In the meantime, Richard had also gathered 9 gallons of Tomatoes from the Garden.  They are ready to go.  So he has the Kitchen all set up to can Tomatoes today. 

A call from Hollis' lets us know that a distant relative is here for a very brief time.  The Tomato Canner stopped in his tracks.  He and Melanie went over to Hollis' for a brief visit.  We always make time for such special gatherings. Tomato Canning will be back in production soon.

What's Going On?

 I noted 2 Oak Trees on our Farm that don't appear to be in good shape.  These are images that I took.  The above leaf shows what appears to be beginning damage. No bugs seem in sight.  Over time, the portion inbetween the veins is all worn away. Some green remains around the veins.

Eventually, all the leaves turn a greyish brown with their lack of green.  They look almost surreal with their transparent look. From a distance, the trees stand out against the green all around.  Looking more closely, the trees are still producing a very few green leaves on the ends of the branches. Both of these trees are young trees. 
I have noticed what seems like the same damage but not near so extensive on a few other trees on our property.  Plus, I noticed that our neighbor to the south has a couple of trees which have this brown look too.

We are not sure what's up, but we are concerned.  I am sending a link to this page to Jennifer Schutter (Missouri University Extension Horticulturist) and Yvette Amerman (Missouri Department of Conservation Forester).  Hopefully, they will have some ideas as to what is going on.

I read several years ago as climate changes, plants and animals will be in the wrong place.  Animals can move, although the habitat may not be right after they get there.  Plants can move too, but they are slower and the conditions may not be accomodating. Trees will take a direct hit.  The wrong climate to which they are subjected will weaken their systems.  Over time, they will be more susceptible to damage by insects and diseases.  The Humans will get all crazy trying to rid the plant of the disease or bug.  But the problem is far deeper than that and it is likely not one they will see. I am not sure where I read this but I believe it was from a writing of Bill McKibben. 

I do not know if that is what is happening here.  But we are concerned.
Yvette forwarded notes from the MDC Entomologist.  She notes that either way it is late enough in the year that the trees should recover next year.

Yes, it’s some kind of leaf skeletonizer. It’s possible that it could be a moth caterpillar like one of the species on shingle oak, but we don’t usually see damage on other oaks when skeletonizers are out in large numbers on shingle oak.

The other possibility that might be more likely is the scarlet oak sawfly. It’s one of the slug-like sawflies. Occasionally we see them reach large populations on a few trees in 1 or 2 locations. Typically their populations crash after that one year and we don’t see them again. So at this late point in the season, I would not worry about these. Some info:

Monday, August 22, 2011

Melanie's Birthday

Today is Melanie's 40th Birthday.  I can hardly believe it.  Where has the time gone?  Just 40 years ago about this time, she was less than 2 hours away from arriving.  As a young Mother-about-to-be, I was really wondering what was going on. 

After all these years, I am deeply blessed to be gifted with this Beautiful Treasure in my Life.  Happy Birthday, Dear Melanie!'

In our Family, we (Melanie and I especially) have come to conclude that the Birthday is the special day to celebrate the Gift of that Person, the Gift of this Life.  Yes, we are a year older and for some that is an issue.  But rather it is a day to just celebrate Being.  Not surprisingly, we have concluded that 1 day is not enough.  We should celebrate the whole month.  And we do.  Plus we have different people in our lives.  We know those people in different ways.  That means that we can and should celebrate in different ways. 

Yesterday, we celebrated Melanie's Birthday Eve.  She invited a few friends over.  We range in age from 4 to 62.  We gathered Flowers for Melanie, had munchies (including Watermelon "Sassy"), and had a Henna Party.  Henna is from India, and it is a natural dye used in makingTattoos that will fade in 2-3 weeks.  Making Henna Tattoos are often used for Celebrations, Weddings, and Rites of Passage. Turning 40 is a celebration iand it is also a Rite of Passage. 

Tag Along

August 17:

A Butterfly tags along on the way back from the Cane Field. I just love the company that I keep.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Taking Action on Tar Sands, Keystone Pipeline, Climate Change

Bill McKibben is an environmental writer of considerable scientific base, eloquence and recognition.  I first became aware of him when I read The End of Nature (1989).  In this book, which is viewed by some as the first on climate change, he talks about how Nature had operated independent of the Human since the beginning of time.  However, we were entering an age when Nature would be increasingly effected by the Human.

The End of Nature was published 22 years ago and he was right.  Bill McKibben has continued to write prolifically ever since.  Most recently, he with countless others have been turning up the heat on their own actions toward raising awareness and seeking change on climate change. 

In the coming days, you may be noting events in Washington, DC, which are called a "watershed moment for Obama". The focus is on the Keystone Pipeline and the Tar Sands in Canada.  The Tar Sands will extract Oil from deposits of sand and the Keystone Pipeline will bring the dirty Oil through Canada, Midwest and to Texas.  The Keystone Pipeline needs Obama's signature. 

These projects represent a trail of devastation which is almost beyond comprehension.  Not only does it impact and change forever Indigenous Lands, but the massive scale of this initiative and its inefficiency will raise the temperature of the Planet 2 degrees when complete.  Such madness bent on destruction must stop.

I have to say that I am no stranger to taking a stand on issues that matter to me after my thoughtful review.  But I have been reluctant on some matters.  That time has passed.  We are running out of time on these issues.  In fact, we may be out of time on these issues. It is time for a redirection and it needs to happen now.  Corporate voices with vested interests on these issues have controlled our information, thinking and our actions for too long.  This needs to change.  Let it be our time to stand up on these issues.  The little Ones who are not born yet will be glad that we did.

It is indeed an exciting time to be alive. We are taking back and cherishing the gifts of Life and the Precious Planet upon which Life as we know it depends.

Happenings and Insights

These late Summer Days are chocked full of happenings and insights.  If we were in high speed before, we are being asked to push it up a notch or 2 or 3.  All of Nature is doing the same. 

Sunflowers continue to bloom.  I am so glad that I planted several different stands at several different times.  Some are done and spent as Flowers but they are in full Seed production.  The Goldfinches have found them.  We will surely be cutting down a few Flowers for Bird/Chicken Food over the Winter.  For now, I enjoy their stately vibrant grace. More are to come and some are gigantic.
Keren visited us for a few days.  It is always so wonderful to see her and share the Farm with her.  She and Melanie wove themselves in and out of the Garden doing whatever was next up on the agenda.  One day it was picking and drying small Tomatoes.  Dried Tomatoes have become one of our favorites. We rehydrate them in vinegar, drain and immerse in oil with Thyme.  This is great on Salads and in Omelets, or just by themselves for a little snack.  Melanie makes a Tomato Pesto too, which could easily become frosting on Cake.  Just kidding.  But we do love it.

One morning, I looked out front and there were 2 Mama Turkeys with 13 Poults coming down the drive.  We stood quietly watching them with  Binocs in hand. And of course, this pic is not the best.  Yet it is the best that I have.  You would have had to be there.
On her last evening here, Keren made a wonderful Indian meal for us.  I don't know what it is about East Indian Food.  I love the mix of Spices and the combinations which I never would have adventured so far to combine.  The Food is deeply satisfying on a level that I simply cannot describe.  It isn't heavy like so much of our food here in the West. It doesn't just sit there. It's yummy and we love it.  Years ago, Melanie and I got Richard an Indian Cookbook for his birthday.  The Cookbook has become one of our favorite gifts, for all 3 of us.
We do not have as many Tomatoes as usual, whatever usual is.  The mini-drought and extreme heat seem to have taken their toll.  But we have plenty, for which I am very grateful.

I just love Tomato Season.  Those rich colors stare up at me, inviting a Festival of Color and Savory Delights.

Fresh Tomatoes straight from the Garden provide a great example that Food is best when it is in season and local.  Nothing else compares.  Skip the Fossil Fuels involved in production and transportation when eaten out of season from produce at the grocery store.  Hold off on those perfectly round objects which look like Tomatoes and don't hold up to the standard of the Garden.  Just dive into real Tomatoes and give ourselves a treat. Lower that thermostat on Climate Change too.  Such a deal and it is right here in our backyard.  The Grandmas knew all along that there is nothing like fresh from the Garden. That surely is how we are supposed to eat.
The little Roosters have really grown and we can hardly believe it.  It's late August and that means they are soon to go into the Freezer.  This will be a tough group for that, because they are very sweet.  For whatever reason, they are not yet up to their boyhood games of aggression so characteristic of Roosters as they grow.  Usually, when this happens, it somehow is easier to take that next step. 

Note the "backlighting" which the Photographer chose on purpose.  Portraits are often taken this way and they create an interesting effect. It works for People and it works for Roosters too.
We have been taking some walkabouts and they have been welcome.  Yet, we noted some damage to 2 Oak Trees.  We are not sure what this is. I did a "Google" and still didn't find what I was looking for.  I shall have to send copies of these photos to Jennifer Schutter, our Extension Horticulturist.  It is so wonderful to have her help for our Garden.

The Arbor is always ready for a respite or for company. Garden colors are going into peak, but they will soon decline as we move through late Summer into Fall.  We are savoring every moment.
And then, this tag-along Butterfly found my Hat. I couldn't have planned a better embellishment if I tried.
Richard dug the next round of Carrots, which may be the last.  They are vigorous.  He and Melanie have also been canning Carrots for the Pantry. The Fridge is full. These 2 Carrots are huge.

Admittedly, we are in denial that we are headed into Late Summer.  The Gardening Season has been wild.  The heavy rains and intense storms earlier, then intense heat added to drought seemed to take their toll. We seemed to always be responding to the latest Weather Event and we were weary.  I can only imagine how the Plants felt.  We Humans could come inside for a bit of cool and they could not. 

Some crops have done well.  But others have been stressed.  Richard did well with Green Beans, but they were lower in quantity and they just almost immediately stopped production.  On a regular year, he would have gotten more.  We have plenty and we are grateful.  I am sad to say that my Dry Edible Beans have not done as well as hoped.  I will have some.  They either have not produced pods on beautiful foliage, or they have produced pods and the beans inside have not developed properly. 

I talked with Brad Whitaker last weekend.  Farmer Brad always has insights to share which help us understand what is going on.  He suggested that the heavy rains encouraged shallow root growth earlier in the season.  When the plants needed deep roots during the drought, the roots just weren't there.  He also asked if we had replenished the Soil with organic material.  We could do better here.

In the meantime, we are watching the Sorghum Cane.  It is shorter than normal.  Some of the leaves are sprinkled with a rusty color typical of harvest time, and we are far from that.  A few have tops that have rotted.  Generally, it looks pretty good, except for the size.  We are watching our window of time.  The late planting means that we could well have crop, but it will be pushing up against frost on the other end.  Frost renders the Cane unusable.

I shake my head and think: "All that work and the crop could be gone, just like that."  Gardening surely is an act of faith and I just need to "let it go" as it is supposed to be.  That's not easy for a Human who likes to think she is in control.

These last few days, the Seedheads of the Sorghum Cane have begun to appear on about 2/3 of the crop.  The rest should be soon to follow.  After the Seedheads appear, we are usually a month out from Harvest.
This whole season has been a huge lesson in shifts of Climate and their effects on growing Food and the Human. Our health, wellbeing, and Being is tied to the Health of this Beautiful Planet with which we were entrusted.  Hearing reports of drought, crop failure and starvation from eastern Africa are very unsettling, as they should be.  Climate change is real and we Humans are the major factor in it.  We 3 C's continue to do what we can to lessen our effects on it.  I am so grateful that we have made this choice and are on this path. It is not easy but we are focused on doing the best that we can.  How could we not?

Thursday, August 18, 2011


August 12:

Richard continues to process the Onions that we have grown. The Onions in this picture are "Candy Onions" and they will be our main keepers into, and hopefully through, winter.

After Richard dug them 2-3 weeks ago, they have been curing. They have been sitting in the garage and subject to air flow which dries and hardens their outer skin. Richard has then cut off their tops (stems).

He turns them occasionally and examines them very carefully to make sure no soft spots have developed. Onions can go bad relatively quickly. If they have soft spots, he puts them in another pile, which we will use them quickly.

In total, we had a great Onion crop this year. We had about 500 Onions in 2 varieties: Candy and Walla Walla. We figure that they averaged 1/2 pound in weight. You can do the math.

And yes, that's a lot of Onions. And yes, we use a lot of Onions. However, we may use some of them in trade. For example, we have a friend who has Cucumbers for Pickling. We have a hard time growing Cukes. She suggested we work on a trade. And we like that idea. We are sharing abundance.
This has been our best year so far for Onions.  In fact, it far exceeds what we have produced before.  To what do we attribute this success:  planting biodynamically (in the "root" sign), planting as early as we can get them in, using Onions which are at the optimum of their vitality, planting in soils which are softer and loamier, keeping plants well weeded and mulched with straw, visiting them regularly and talking to them. We really are novices at the last.  But I think it makes a huge difference. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Much Awaited Rain

Today we had about 3/4 inch of Rain, after a dry time and a summer season that has seemed at best out of sorts.  The Rain was gentle and kind.  We are very grateful.  It was like a soothing balm.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Greeting the Day

These days I try to be up
to see the Sun rise. 
It's a little easier
because I need to remember
to turn off
the Amish Buggy Light
in the Corn.
Plus Grandfather Sun
is getting up a little later.
When I do see
that Glorious Golden Ball of Fire arise,
I greet the Day:
"Good Morning,
Grandfather Sun.
Thank you
for the Gift of this Day.
May I treat it
as the Gift it is intended."
Glinda Crawford, 2011

The Bigger Question

Headline news
this morning:
"Shoppers Lift Economy
But Will They
Keep Spending?"
Bigger questions are:
"When Will We Humans
Begin Conserving?
When Will We Use
the Precious Limited Resources
of this Planet
as if the Future Mattered?"
That's when the Human lifts Ecology
to Her proper place
and our proper role within Her.
Now that's
headline news
this Mother is waiting for.
Glinda Crawford, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011


The generation
that allows this to happen
will suffer beyond all.
Handsome Lake, Seneca

Women's Gathering

The Folks down South called and suggested we have a Women's Gathering.  And that is just what we are going to.  Turning on a dime, it is going to happen tomorrow.  And that's a very fine idea.

Staying Tuned

The temperatures have cooled and we are all very grateful.  That intense heat made us tired.  I think we are still recovering from it. We 3 Humans worked around it as much as we could, rising early and working outside, resting in the afternoon in the cool air conditioned house, and working outside in the evening.  We kept the Chickens watered and as comfortable as possible.  They spent most of their time in the shade. They are smart that way.

The Littles have really grown.  The picture above shows the 4 of the 12 Pullets who have moved from the Brooder House to the Hen House.  They stay really close together and they bow graciously and knowingly to the bigger Chickens.  It doesn't take them long to figure out peck order and their place in it. They are smart that way.

This morning, Richard let the Chickens out and they came pouring out of their Coop into the Big Yard.  One of the Little Pullets was among them.  She was dashing into that outside world with glee.  Then all of a sudden, she recognized that she was without her cohort.  Back to the Coop she went. Lickety split.

The Cockerels are growing.  They are a very gentle bunch. We all know that it will be tougher this year to "harvest them".  They are soon to become Freezer Birds.  Usually by this time, they are pulling out all of their boy games, challenging and fighting with each other.  In some ways, it makes it easier to say "Good-bye".  Not so this year.

We have had very little rain of late. Today we got a welcome 1/4 inch.  We surely could use more.  Certain Crops have been challenged by the Heat and the lack of Rain.  Some of my Dry Edible Beans have done well, but some have almost no pods and others have pods with Beans that are poorly developed.  That makes me sad.  We have quite a few Tomatoes, but we don't seem to have as much Fruit on the Vine.  Again, the lack of Rain seems to be a huge factor. We are getting more lessons on Climate Change and its effect on growing Food.  We also need to take some notes on this as to what does well and what doesn't.

The Sorghum Cane is growing, but it is not nearly as tall as in previously years.  Of course, it was planted later and, since it needs 120 days, it has just barely the "time to make crop".  We are on pins and needles about this one because Sorghum Molasses is very important to us.  We are bound by Frost on the other end; 1st frost date in these parts is October 10; Frost renders Cane unusable. So that's the reason why we cast a wary eye.

Occasionally a Plant sends up a slightly withered Leaf. Again, Rain seems to be the factor.  We are continually presented with insights that show how dependent we are on the Earth and her Cycles. 
My Sunflowers are looking beautifully.  I have planted several different varieties and I have staggered them at different times.

Whoa, Glinda! Sorry, Folks, I have an errand to run.  Be right back.

OK, I'm back.  It's dark now and the Moon, which will be full tomorrow, is making her Presence known, with a Veil to cover her lovely Face.  I lost 1/4 of my Indian Corn (Mandan Bride) to some neighbors with the last name of "Raccoon".  They climbed the 6 foot fence and had a big party right out there in my Corn Patch.  I was none too happy.  What's a body to do?

A friend, who is a well known grower of Veggies in these parts, suggested using an Amish Buggy Light.  Apparently, Raccoons are not fond of such things.  So Richard and I headed into Amish Country which isn't far away and found a Buggy light for my Corn.  It does zap Batteries pretty quickly, which I am not excited about.  Next year, hopefully, I will have an electric fence. 

Since we have been using the light, the Raccoons have not been back.  I turn it on when it gets dark and turn it off when it gets light.  Now, I suppose I wouldn't have had to say that.  You would have figured that out. I have the light turned so that it will not bother the Chickens or reflect back on the House.

Back to the Sunflowers:  Since I staggered the planting of the Sunflowers, they are putting on quite a show.  They are a continual parade of blooms.  I love it when the Seeds begin to develop.  Some little Birds have already found the Seeds and they are pretty happy about that. I love all this activity in the Garden.

Melanie noticed a Bee lounging on some Sunflower Petals this evening.  Looking more closely, we discovered the Bee was actually taking a Bath.  I tried to take a picture but the Bee flew off.  I think that was a private moment. Of course it would be.  And I apologize for the disruption.  Humans with Cameras can be a funny lot.
And on this beautiful day, we noticed that Mother's Miracle Lilies were in bloom.  I didn't even notice that they were pointing skyward and beginning to bloom.  That made me smile.
We have had other happenings.  Richard was driving back from town.  On the top of the drive, he noted that a Grasshopper was flying along side his window.  He checked the Speedometer and that Grasshopper was flying 12 miles per hour.  I think the Grasshopper checked his Speedometer and noted that large tin box on wheels with the nice man inside was traveling 12 miles per hour. 

When sitting outside earlier this week after supper, Melanie noted that a Fawn had come up to the top of the Path and was curiously looking at us.  We just smiled at the Spotted One.  Then in a flash, the Fawn was off into the Woods.

Stuff's always happening here on the Farm.  We just stay tuned, not wishing to miss a thing.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mailbox News

Our mailbox continues to drop letters and numbers that we bought to stick.  On the south side, the only complete letters that remain say "AW".  And I think that is a good place to be.  I should like that our Farm and our presence here maintain in very step the sense of "AWE" in being alive and in being surrounded by so many precious beings who are our family and community to us. How could we not?

Bird Walk at the Possibility Alliance Saturday

In a time of utter disregard and illiteracy about the Precious Creatures that surround the Human in our "advanced civilization", a Precious Few in our midst know these Precious Creatures, love them, and have capabilities of telling their stories in ways that open our Hearts.  In my experience, they are the "Keepers of the Stories of the Land".  They are treasures in our midst.

My husband is one of them and he is far too humble to invite or accept such praises.  But I am his wife, I have known him for almost half a century, and I am the principal writer on this Blog.  Tee hee hee.  Ah, the power of the pen, or rather the fingers on these keys.  But back to the subject:  Richard is a professional Ornithologist, and Birds are far more than a pedigree to him. 

Saturday, he's leading a Bird Walk at the Possibility Alliance.  You are welcome to join us.  Wear Walking Shoes, bring Binocs and Bird Books if you have them. 

Prior to these walks, I always wonder what magic is in store for us.  Who will greet us from the Natural World?  Who will invite us into their space?  What stories will we learn?  This is the time when when many of the Birds have completed their nesting cycles and are getting ready for annual migration.  They have big travel plans ahead.  Thinking back on these many many excursions intio Nature, I am never disappointed. 

Think about Where Your Resources Come From

When you turn on that ignition, flip that switch, set that thermostat lower or higher than it should go, I would have one simple request:  Think about where your resources come from.  I'm not the only one.  A whole Raft of People carefully screened from public view, a whole Ark of Creatures who cannot speak our Human Tongue, those Little Ones who come after us with hopes and dreams to fulfill, and the Earth herself make that request of us too.  We can do better.   We must do better.  And we must do it now.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sharing from the IEN Meeting

On Wednesday, August 10, 5:30pm, Ilse Christen and I will share gleanings from the Indigenous Environmental Network "Protecting Mother Earth Gathering" which we recently attended at Ft. Berthold. Our sharing will be here at the Farm.  Anyone interested is welcome.

Following, we will have a Potluck featuring Foods with Origins from the Americas.  Bring a dish to share. Pondering Foods with Origins in the Americas?  We have a lot of choices: 

RSVPs are not necessary but they are welcome.

Suddenly, It's Tomatoes

Suddenly, the Tomatoes are coming in.  Tomorrow, Richard begins canning.  We don't know how many we will have, but we will be grateful for every single one.