Skip to main content

Earth Day and Birthdays

"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children." ~Native American Proverb

As most people are aware yesterday was Earth Day, though we all know everyday is Earth Day, I hope. What far fewer people are most likely aware of is that it was my youngest daughters birthday as well.

We started the morning off going to the local farmers market, Frog Pond Farms, and purchased a few items for the garden. Some of the veggies and herbs are still a couple of weeks away from being put in the ground but that is alright. Afterwards we took a quick peek at the animals, the chickens and guinea hens, the geese and the sheep, goats and pigs. . . . we skipped the turkeys this week though as my son got a little too close to the pen on our last trip and was reminded to back up with a sharp peck on the finger.

When we got home I spent about a half hour finalizing the main garden removing grass and adding compost. Though it was a bit chilly my oldest daughter and my son were right on top of things and immediately began working the soil with a rake and hoe as I added compost. I enjoy gardening to begin with but working with the both of them is such a treat. They genuinely love it and have so many good questions and keep me on my toes because as we all know you can't get much by a curious mind.

After a brief break my wife helped construct a trellis for the peas out of some apple tree branches that had been pruned earlier in the spring and then began working on her flower gardens out front of the house. Sophia and I then went and planted some spinach seed, two varieties of lettuce from seed, red and white onion bulbs and some shallots. We also planted two varieties of peas, one is a British pea called green arrow and the other was from our own seed stock, the yellow snap pea from India.

Looking out the window I am not sure how much work we will get done today as it is pouring rain, a very cold rain. But that is alright all in all yesterday was a very good day. Lots of gardening, lots of cakes and tons of laughter and smiles.


Popular posts from this blog

Swedish Flower Hen

The rare Swedish Flower Hen has a unique story. Called Skånsk blommehöna(Bloom Hen) in their native country of Sweden this landrace breed was thought to be extinct in the 1970's. (The term landrace refers to the fact that S.F.H.'s were free to develop for nearly five hundreds years without interference from man, so to speak). But in the late 1980's the Swedish Poultry Country Club located isolated flocks in the villages of Esarp, Tofta and Vomb. The gene bank that was eventually created by the S.P.C.C. was successful and there are approximately 1,300 Swedish Flower Hens currently in Sweden.

While enthusiast of rare breeds continue to work hard to increase the numbers it is painfully obvious why they slowly fell out of favor nearly 100 years ago. Though rare and visually stunning they cannot equal the number of eggs some of the top laying hens produce in a peak yearly cycle. Swedish Flower Hens average around 150 eggs over the course of 12 months. Compare that with the nea…

In Winter

I enjoy winter when it arrives at the homestead. Though the gardens are long since dormant there is still plenty to do.The rabbits and the chickens need constant care. A couple of times a day I have to break ice from the animals water and make sure they have enough warm bedding.

I don't mind though. No matter how cold it gets. There is poetry in the garden during summer. Birds sing with triumphant melody. Soft summer rains baptize new growth. But the winter features a more solitary form of art. For the most part there is a resonating silence that is a canvas for the occasional temperamental gust of wind and snow. These same squalls force the breathe from my lungs and scatter the frozen mist before my eyes. Then, once again, there is silence. As any good steward I try not to disturb this peace. If anything, I try to move unnoticed among it.

When it is cold enough the trees will produce an individual moan as they threaten to splinter in the darkness of the woods. They all have their…

The Land of Plenty

The idea that I am about to present to you is certainly nothing new. Wonderful organizations such as Ample HarvestPlant a Row for the Hungry and countless food banks and pantries across the country have been confronting the issue of hunger in our communities head on for some time.

Food insecurity is a cornerstone of the human condition. A little research will lead you to discover a long history of charity in opposition. For example, the seventh century Irish Benedictine monk St. Fiacre who was a master herbalist eventually settled in France and practiced a reverse tithe by keeping 10% of his harvest while giving away 90% to those less fortunate.

Life is complicated, as we all know. There are no easy answers to any of the problems that plague our society but there are some very simple issues that could be addressed that could in turn have a ripple effect on a number of other dilemmas such as poverty, health and even violence.

According to the USDA 40% of the $161 billion dollars’ (yo…