Tag Archives: plants
Or the number of waves in the ocean…
That sort of uncountable number.
There are some things I’m coming to know.
But these are the things on my mind…
As I sense a shift in my life
yesterday was harvest day for the CSA pickup
Also, there was a gentle breeze
but a few workers are enrolled in the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine
They are away for about a month practicing their herbal first-aid skills & learning more about plants & harvesting (& probably a lot of other things)
So I got to head out to the field & harvest 61 bunches of Basil
I tend towards not-doing-great-in-the-heat, so I just focused on harvest & drinking water
Then I set out to transplant the Brassicas
Do you know that (marvelous) children’s book – The Very Hungry Caterpillar…?
That shit is for REAL.
Do you see the munched out parts on the leaves & stems?
Some leaves are completely GONE.
– a phrase which me and my friend & farming mentor would say when we’d find plants munched down…
No point in getting grumpy about it.
If the plant still had it’s growing tip, It would be potted-up. If not…, to the compost pile.
Or, Imported Cabbageworms.
They’re really cute.
The adults are white butterflies that are beautiful, & perhaps tasty bird food?
They were fed to the laying hens.
So here’s a non-linear-lump post from the past few weeks.
I usually take this photo upon my arrival, yesterday I just got straight to working with much to be done, so this is from after harvest…
Putting the plastic on a hoop house is usually best done on a windless day
It takes a village to raise tomatoes
It’s good to wear a watch here… Neither of the two clocks are ever correct
Big Harvesting & planting day
Here’s a photostring from a couple weeks back
Crickets in the greenhouse…
Cauliflower, broccoli, winter cabbage…
Over 250 plants transplanted
Needless to say I was fried by the end of the day & asleep before 8:30pm
I really feel the load of the day more than ever before
Sometimes I feel sad about this… Like i’ve been a failure at farming
But I’m trying to look at it as a guide, in a way, body leading the way for what’s next.
They are running in the spinach beds which were nipped by frost
Till the next N&C post
Wishing you all a veryfine day
This past Sunday was the first harvest day at Nook & Cranny
Spinach, lettuce mix, broccoli raab, arugula, & mustard greens
All from the three smaller hoop houses
Basil coming up nicely…
It was a bit overcast & chilly outside, but cozy inside the greenhouse
Soon it will be too warm for me in there & so I’ll do the seeding outside
The farm slowly is unfolding it’s shape as each new bed is tilled & planted
(I didn’t take many photos again, because there were 25 trays to seed, others to move, & 100 eggplant plants to be transplanted)
Say that three times fast:
…Eggplant plants to be transplanted…
(Thankfully this photo was NOT taken at the farm)
Sweet earthy groundhog looking for its breakfast this morning
Here’s the lovely nearby pond
(From the evening before)
Showing water’s amazing reflective capacity
It can be a mirror at times, clear at times, and obscuring at times.
And sometimes all at the same time! …depending on ones position relative to the body of water
I was recently on a walk & passed a parent & child walking in the opposite direction
We were all passing a (thawed) vernal pond at the same time
I overheard the child say “ewwww that water is gross” & then the parent agreed with that sentiment…
I felt saddened by what had just transpired… In my view, it was a missed opportunity to open a narrow opinion
Vernal ponds are teeming with life… Frogs & peepers & insects…
I feel sad when great trees are cut down, even if they could pose a threat
I was driving past an elementary school (where the limit drops from 45 to 35 during school hours) and a sporty sports car passed me, crossing a double yellow line.
What is all the hurry about?
Could we all try to slow down a little bit…?!?
(Thank you Jenny, for the photo)
Nighty night all.
this past Sunday was a Nook & Cranny day
All the winter’s snow has melted into the earth
And a slight blush of buds can be seen on the hillside treetops
No more ice at the pond
Peepers were chirping throughout the day
Seeding day for me
The seed rack has been labeled!
Happy dance while Bob picks the various varieties du jour.
There was a full days worth of things to do
Here’s Bob in the Cathedral watering carrots
I went to my usual domain in the greenhouse & got to filling trays after saying hello to the babies
This is what 25 trays looks like
Then I got to seeding them
Here is the hoop house next to the greenhouse
Where young plants transition from a heated place to an unheated place, and then to the Big Outside to “harden off” before being transplanted into earthville.
Brassicas, such as cabbage, broccoli, & kale are under remay to protect them from a killing munch-down by flea beetles.
Spinach, chard, beets, & lettuces are on the other side
Other was my nearby shadow for most of the time I was seeding
He & Sebastian have been busy
I found a few 1/2 mice near the barn
Slowly the land begins to transform
Lettuce initiates the outside beds
Followed by spinach, which I got to transplant with gratitude.
Nice to be a part of this step in the process. Very satisfying.
(I forgot to take photos of the transplanted beds…)
Kale was also transplanted, and fava beans, & cilantro were direct seeded.
There was more to do but I had to get home to tend to the kitties there
& the lovely Rosie
& they need space to do that
Space & fresh nutrients
Here’s the broccoli that was potted up last week
Looking all happy & lush after a week of settling in
and the cabbage is doing well, too.
In my own garden, I don’t grow broccoli – as it takes up a lot of “real estate”, & I’d rather grow other things.
This year, I won’t grow cabbage, since it’s being grown at the CSA.
Parsley showing its true leaves!
I enjoy parsley
Really looking forward to eating fresh parsley again
Munching on the stems right from the garden – sweet sweet stuff.
It’s also a generous plant
Stays going & growing through the season, giving & giving.
And finally a panorama of the greenhouse before getting to seeding.
More to come…
Yesterday’s work day began later than usual
For one thing, I had an appointment to keep in the morning.
And when I see things like this, I feel compelled to pause & laugh & take a photo to send to a loved one
You know, Share the delight
I’m a fan of moving slower
& not a fan of rushing
(Though zippy-doodle will at times occur…)
By the time I arrived at the farm
The weekly seeding was nearly done
– Attended to by four capable hands.
As their workday soon ended, mine just began.
So I set to transplanting two flats of broccoli & early cabbage
As I worked, I began to notice myself in a state of worry.
familiar weather, worry.
The worry du jour was about the amount of time I take to do things.
In particular, at the farm
I try to be efficient, and find that I do get into a groove once I get going & practice the method necessary for the task at hand.
A system that works for this body is found & my movements become more effortless
Granted, when I pause to get more soil or more pots or go to pee, a photo might be taken…
– Like this early Spring view from just outside the greenhouse.
(Aaaaand all the following photos…)
Although I’ve received a blessing & go-ahead to take photos here at the farm through the day, a habitual groove of thinking gets going…
So I paid attention to the broken record spin of worry that was playing in my mind,
and by paying attention,
could see/feel that consequently,
my breathing became shallow & I stopped seeing what was in front of my eyes
Like being blinded by an internal sandstorm of worry So to remedy this, here was the practice du jour:
Whenever my mind went from an awareness of things at hand
to the thinking & spinning mind of worry,
I would keep taking deep breaths, and really turn my attention to what I was doing & feeling,
Instead of the loud thoughts in my head
Returning, returning, returning.
Being able to distinguish between awareness & thinking feels like a big step for me.
Take notice of the slightly yellowing seed leaves (or cotyledons) on the cabbage seedlings (below & above)
“Pleeeease pot me up!!!”
When roots find their way to the far edges of their potting soil world, it’s either time to pot up (transplant into a larger container) or transplant into soil out in the bigger world.
Since two seeds germinated in this cell, & both plants are healthy, they are gently pried apart
And set into larger pots which have some fresh potting soil in the bottom
Then more fresh potting soil is added up to where the cotyledons attach to the stem
And gently pressed down to settle in the plant a bit, but not so much that it compacts the soil
Once a tray is filled, it is watered under a fine spray of water
Which further settles the soil around the roots – and allows for the contact roots and soil want together.
75 Broccoli plants & 80 Early Cabbage plants were potted up.
155 plants in all.
It took me 3 hours to do that.
Izzy was intrigued by my hands after coming (housesitting) home from work
And she didn’t mind that it took me three hours to transplant 155 plants.
Bob seems to be patient & tolerant of my pace, but I still sometimes question if I really “fit” at the farm.
*Plagued by Doubt*
– no doubt, triggered by a mere (yet impactful) comparing thought.
A friend said to me today, “cats are unapologetically themselves”.
Even plants grow at the pace that they grow.
At the farm, moving at such a slower pace than all the others, it takes an amount of mind-effort to not apologize for myself.
To honor the animal that I am & just do my work.
A part of me thinks: o there’s something wrong, maybe I should leave, try to find a place where I fit in better.
But maybe the lesson is right here, to practice “standing inside myself”, and to learn something from just this.
Not become caught up in my own tangle of comparing my relative snailing pace, to just let that wild-bird-thought fly through.
I guess if I trust the wisdom of the unfolding of my life, & attempt to keep my eyes open to what is right here, I’ll get the opportunity to learn whatever it is I’m supposed to learn.
These are the steps where I slipped as I rushed down them one snow-covered-icy morning in February 2012 which shifted my life
This being one of the numerous incidents where I’ve thought privately or said out loud “but it wasn’t supposed to be like this”
But really, who am I to argue reality or try to control such things…?
I’m trying to integrate the unfolding of things, trying to relax…
I’ll finish this post with a poem by Marie Howe
Waking each day in one mood or another
I try to begin each day with a thanks-for-this-day feeling in my heart
Then step into the day.
Today began uneventfully.
Upon putting away a photo of my elder…
(which I had set out for her yortzeit last week, but yesterday & today kept getting the strong push to put it back where it usually sits)
…i found a letter from the person I was beginning to love this time last year.
There was a photo of the two of us, a note from his last visit, & just seeing the handwriting triggered a squinchy feeling in my chest.
And just like that
The weather changed
Right before my morning sit.
I didn’t know what to do with the letter, so I set it down & covered it with an image of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
I didn’t want to sit with that weather, with those feelings. I didn’t want to feel what had arisen
Lately, I keep hearing Jack Nicholson’s voice from the movie A Few Good Men barking “you can’t handle the truth”
Which feels like a meanness, but I’m trying to just notice that critical voice (which may well be true)
I was glad to get to work, to focus on other things, like chopping vegetables & listening to podcasts on my headphones.
This is from a walk the other day to the lower end of the lake.
And this is from a walk today after work
On the Western side & towards the upper end of the lake
It’s good for me to remember that weather changes.
Just as the feelings came & went by the end of this morning’s sit
Grief continues to visit & can feel very intense at times, still.
I don’t yet understand why – I’m just trying to make room for its passing through.
I haven’t wanted to write much about it
I think I’ve been ashamed of it, wanting to hide its lingering presence.
Thank goodness for kitties.
(All photos of Sophie & Izzy are from Jenny)
I love to receive these photos
They do brighten my day
As does visiting the babies
They are getting so big
This past Sunday the greens & brassicas went into the hoop houses
(Please note the rolled up balls of remay towards the back of the photo…)
But first they waited in the barn as the hoop house soil was readied further
In order for me to do more seeding, the alliums had to wait outside for a spell until all the many trays of greens had a suitable place to sit in the hoop houses
This photo makes me smile
The dances done, working things out, imperfectly, but workable.
(It’s in the 20’s outside, and warmed to the 30s that day, but relatively warm in the hoop house)
This is the first hoop house in process
And this is what happens when I walk into the greenhouse
(It becomes even warmer when the sun shines…)
Joining me in the greenhouse was a small flock of Barred Rock chicks!
Peeping & chirping & napping
I really enjoyed their company
The usual Sunday spring seeding… Beets, Raab, Spinach, Lettuce, Cabbage, Scallions, Chard, Kale, Broccoli, Mustard, Brussel’s Sprouts.
27 trays in all
Then I went to see the hoop house action
The view from the first hoop house towards the long hoop house
Steam rises from the cold water on the warmed soil inside
Here’s that wall of remay balls…
And the barn-dwelling kitties
Hello, Nook & Cranny Farm.
On my walk today after work, despite not being able to hike the trail due to icy conditions…
There are signs of Spring
Swollen fuzzy buds
I feel a sadness when a great old tree is cut down
Over 140 years old…
There’s snow on the ground, but basically it was one huge ice sheet underneath
Wishing you patience & kindness with all of your weathers
Blessings on the day.
Today at work, the hoop house was readied
The greenhouse is quite full, overflowing with life
Stacks on the floor & on every surface
Next week the babies will be ready to be transplanted into their new home
The greens are coming up nicely
As are the alliums
Every variety is doing well
Feels really good to tend to these lives
This beauty is a close-up of a kohlrabi
(Grown last season)
Such geometry…! The wonder…!
The leaf scars are formed when the leaf breaks free
The dots are from the vessels that used to be connected which carried water & nutrients through the body of the plant
When the leaf breaks free, the area left open heals over, & it leaves that distinctive mark.
Seeing this, I think of the heart
And the scars from grief
Scars enfolded within ever-enlivened muscle tissue
I met my elder in 2008
Incredibly kind, warm, & generous – today is her yortzeit
(From the German word “yahrzeit” which means “anniversary” or “year’s time”)
An avid gardener & lover of plants – She would appreciate the beauty of the kohlrabi