Thursday, June 02, 2016

hard work and new ideas

Three acres of land forces you to work hard, but it also allows you to gain new insights into life and hatch new ideas about directions you may want to follow.

Today, all three were evident.

It was an easy start to the day: neither of us had to be anywhere at all at any particular time -- a rare phenomenon now that my schedule includes so much of Snowdrop and Ed's schedule includes continued work on his machine designs.

My morning walk to the coop allowed me to really take in the Siberian irises -- I know I've been pumping them up here, on Ocean, but it struck me that I lump them together for you as if they were one. In fact, just in the blue family of Siberians, I have so much variety in my flower beds, that I could talk about those alone and fill up a day's quota of farmette flowers.

Some examples:

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A sunrise for you, though perhaps not of the conventional kind...

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Breakfast on the porch.

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We discuss the day's project: the clearing of the grape vines and tidying and planting of last year's vegetable plot. We'd moved the tomatoes to a new bed -- here:

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Now comes the time to do something with the old veggie plot. It's heavily infested with bind weed and we'd considered various ways of eradicating the weed, preferably keeping the plot organic. The idea that finally stuck was to smother it with a fast growing cover crop -- buckwheat!

And here's where original plans begin to emerge: what if we were successful with our newest devotion to buckwheat? What if it was easy to grow? And would attract bees? Might we then attract bee keepers to throw down some hives for that exquisite buckwheat honey? And perhaps we could plow the northern fields (which I tried to coax into a prairie but gave up to weeds and grasses in the last few years)? Or better yet, borrow some goats, set them to pasture there, then plow and plant buckwheat? What if??

For now though, there is the hard work part: clearing the grapes and the plot, sowing the buckwheat -- we spend a good handful of hours on this. And it is hard, hard work.

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But it looks good now and we see grapes in their formative stage. (Maybe we should concentrate our efforts on grape production? What if?)

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As to thoughts on life -- where do they come in? Well, of course, we admit that we don't know much about anything. We don't really understand goats (though we think they eat everything in sight), and we barely know a few things about bees, and we are just learning about buckwheat. Doesn't it sometimes seem like we humans fumble and stumble, rather than proceeding in some systematic fashion toward enriching our lives on this small planet we call home? Aren't we uniquely capable of making mistakes, even as we speak with cocky certainty about what's right and what's wrong? Is our greatest talent the massive production of irrelevant opinions? Shouldn't we spend more time observing? Learning?

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So that's the life's thoughts part, generated while digging out quack grasses and then, in a more peaceful moment -- while throwing water with a hose over the buckwheat planted field.

In the late afternoon, we motorcycle our way over to the local farmers market. Perhaps this is a ho hum image for you, but for me, seeing the first local strawberries is just so wonderful. We've arrived!

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We pick up the usual curds and the last of the asparagus, the berries and, too, the first sugar snap peas.

Oh, it's good to be a Wisconsinite right now! (All the more so since I read that Europe and especially France have had record rainfalls this month. Sort of like Texas. It is so completely unfair to have good weather here while it is so putrid elsewhere! I'm sure we'll have our comeuppance, but this year, spring has been truly perfect.)

(My one rose.)

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(The second day lily. Fragrant. Lovely.)

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  1. Oh I do want cards with that photo of the garden with chicken (Is it Butter? ) in the foreground. Have you any time to get it up on Redbubble?

    1. I did load it, but because she (Scotch) moved, the resolution wont cut the minimum requirement for redbubble. You can get stickers or even a notebook, but no cards. Sorry!

  2. Not all of Europe! We've had a really nice spring from my perspective.

    You know... I can picture you and Ed wearing bee suits in future blog posts in my mind's eye... why have someone else do it? Beekeeping is a learnable skill. =)


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