Flee fro the prees, and dwelle with sothfastnesse;
Suffyce unto thy thyng, though hit be smal…
However just and anxious I have been,
I will stop and step back
from the crowd of those who may agree
with what I say, and be apart.
There is no earthly promise of life or peace
but where the roots branch and weave
their patient silent passages in the dark;
uprooted, I have been furious without an aim.
I am not bound for any public place,
but for ground of my own
where I have planted vines and orchard trees,
and in the heat of the day climbed up
into the healing shadow of the woods.
Better than any argument is to rise at dawn
and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup
— Wendell Berry
So far, no disasters with the seedlings, so they are still doing well:
I also have some lettuce starts as part of the Slow Food Huron Valley seed trial:
Lettuce Test Plot
The upper left is ‘Grand Rapids’:
In front of that is some ‘Black-Seeded Simpson’ I planted for comparison:
Front and center is ‘Sunset’:
And the front right variety is ‘Sanguine Amerliore’ (also known as ‘Strawberry Cabbage Lettuce’):
The two rows that aren’t doing so well are the ‘Cimmaron’ and ‘Australian Yellow Leaf’ that I planted for comparison (top center and top right).
I’ve also started a four-pack of the ‘Mini Yellow Bell’ pepper which is in with the rest of my pepper seedlings. I have some ‘Hanson’ head lettuce growing which is the SFHV trial variety but which I selected on my own to try as a fall planting last year.
My little table of seedlings, almost two weeks ago:
Pepper and tomato starts, 4/10/2011
This was almost two weeks ago, so they’re bigger now. I’ve repotted the largest tomatoes already, and need to do some more.
As you can see, I am doing my traditional overplanting of tomatoes — we can really only eat so many, even if they are tasty heirlooms. The plan is to try canning some salsa this fall. The peppers should help with that, too. Last year was the first time I’ve ever gotten any yield at all with peppers. Hopefully, that wasn’t a fluke.
From Sharon Astyk:
So close your eyes. Or first, open them, and look at your property – or your friendly neighbor’s property, or your church’s lot, or your community garden plot. Now that you’ve got it in your head, close your eyes. And take what’s there and add on – what do you want to see? Look at it closely. Smell it. Taste it. Listen to it….
What do you see? A small farm of a few acres, with pigs that root out weeds and manure the ground and then feed your family, and chickens for eggs and a small woodlot, managed for mushrooms, coppiced wood and acorns for feed. Every year you plant more trees, grow more crops, and new garden beds sprout like weeds. There’s a sign at the end of the driveway reading “fresh eggs, raspberries” and the neighbors stop by to pick up your extras and trade neighborly gossip.
What do you see? The family farm brought to life again – the land made productive again, the weeds cut back, the family brought back, swales built to catch precious water, with new crops and new techniques for making fertile space out of what seemed like a lost cause. New hope, and the chance to work together again? Do you see yourself, slowly, patiently planting new trees, repairing the tractor, laughing with your sister again?
What do you see? Draft horses, pulling logs from the shady woodland, and a barn full of animals. A business plan and a market for your lamb, your wool and your vegetables. A diversity of plants and animals – life without monocultures. A pond. A quiet spot to rest, a kitchen full of peaches ready to can. And you see yourself, at work, at rest, in the kitchen, on the land, but there, and present, and ready.
Yeah, I can see that. I can see it all, practically taste it. It’s a good dream.
We had our first frost last night. This is almost three weeks early — per the extension service, our average frost date is supposed to be October 20.
Oh, well — the tomatoes were mostly done anyway (curse you, late blight!). The basil near the house was sheltered enough it didn’t get frosted, and hopefully the covers at the garden plot helped there.
Spent most of the day gardening today. Bliss!
And the angelfish that hatched yesterday are still doing fine. They aren’t much to look at right now, just little white yolk blobs with a madly beating tail, but we’ve got hope for them. This is the first batch in several spawnings that have made it this far, so it’s very encouraging.
I’ve been completely successful in not thinking about work all day. Other than to think “this is so much better than being in the office.”
I need more days like this.