Skip to main content

Something New Every Year. . . .

"When the student is ready, the master appears." ~Buddhist Proverb

I learn something new every year that I garden. Mother Nature tends to casually send a lesson my way as soon as I employee my hand with soil, water and seed.

I spent the majority of the winter planning the layout of what would become my largest vegetable garden(s) to date. While snow covered the garden site I carefully mapped out a companion gardening technique that seemed reasonable. When it came time to finally plant I started by putting in spinach seed followed by two varieties of lettuce seed. I admired my work and went in for the night. Hours later the winds picked up as New York started to feel some of the distant effects of the southern storms and eventually my infant garden was being pounded by sheets of rain.

Historically in April my little corner of the Earth gets about 3.5 inches of rain. This year we got just under 9 inches. I never really noticed the slight slant of my lawn until it became a source of running water during the storms. As the tiny lettuce seeds where flushed across the garden I realized it was 1 point Mother Nature, 0 for me.

Luckily I had decided that this year I was going to stagger my plantings so that I was able to have vegetables over a longer period of time rather than being forced to eat salad three times a day to keep up with the produce. So today I went out and planted the remaining seed. I have my fingers crossed, hopefully the showers have passed for the most part.

In the mean time we have continue to work steadily trying to get all the plants in before May 12th or so. Tonight my oldest daughter and I put the chard in. We also have planted four varieties of potato, including Adirondack Blue and also Adirondack Red. We spread the red cabbage among two garden sites and added another round of broccoli to replace the Romanesca Broccoli that did not survive the storms, maybe that actually makes the score 2-0?

With a focus on the long term we have finally started a rhubarb patch and bought a few canes of black raspberries. At the end of the day I would have to say that things are moving along nicely. I just have to remember who is really in charge.


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…