Tag Archives: plants

Good morning from Northside.

  


Knowing, not knowing, & sensing things.

  
 I have no idea of the endless number of things that I don’t know.

  
Like the number of stars in the country sky on a clear moonless night…

Or the number of waves in the ocean…

That sort of uncountable number.

Unfathomable.

Immeasurable.

  
And

There are some things I’m coming to know.

  
For example, It’s impossible to anticipate all outcomes.

  
And, I tend to forget what I learn.

  
And, I need reminders.

  
That the practice of being patient, especially with myself, is a worthy effort.

  
(Thanks for the photo, Jenny-la.)

  
& Knowing my mind-eddies or pitfalls is helpful, so as not to become discouraged & give-up when they arise.

  
That every choice has a consequence. Sometimes it’s feel-good-ish, sometimes it’s ego-scraping. Either way is an opportunity for benefit.

  
& That a flower, with the help from a honeybee, warmth from the sun, & rain to nourish the soil, can eventually become a pea is a Miraculous Thing.

  
Of course, there are other things

But these are the things on my mind…

As I sense a shift in my life

  
Maybe a shift/choice, that’s been brewing for a long while.

  
It’s time for an effort to be made to head back to school.

  
A big step for me, as it will require much effort as I challenge a lot of old beliefs I’ve had about my level of intelligence, & scholastic abilities.

  
But I sense it to be the best next step in my life, & find energy coming into me when I focus there.

 I don’t know how it will go

  
As I move towards getting a degree in mental health counseling, with a focus on grief & end-of-life issues.

 There are many steps yet to take in the application process.

  
But I’m game to journey that proverbial “thousand miles” & begin.

  
More to come.

  


Harvest day at Nook & Cranny Farm.

yesterday was harvest day for the CSA pickup

  
It was hot, but thankfully the sun was sometimes obscured by a thin layer of clouds

Also, there was a gentle breeze

  
The building up of a box

  
I thought I’d be transplanting the last of the Cauliflower & Broccoli, (& documenting the box as vegetables were added to it)

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 know, these are Snap Peas, not Basil… But I didn’t take any pictures of the Basil)

I tend towards not-doing-great-in-the-heat, so I just focused on harvest & drinking water

  
The bounty of July 12th…

  
There’s some Basil… blocking the view of a banana-box-full of the greens & beans & all of the goodness listed on the chalkboard…

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.

  
“Everybody’s hungry”

– a phrase which me and my friend & farming mentor would say when we’d find plants munched down…

*sigh*

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.

  
Finally, I found one of the very hungry caterpillars.

Or, Imported Cabbageworms.

They’re really cute.

The adults are white butterflies that are beautiful, & perhaps tasty bird food?

  
I found 6 others in the tray of Broccoli.

They were fed to the laying hens.

“Everybody’s hungry”


Some past weeks at Nook & Cranny.

O crumbs. I’ve gotten so far behind in posting updates from Nook & Cranny Farm. 
Not to be all “excuses, excuses”, But there’s been a lot going on and I’ve buried myself in a good book over posting.

So here’s a non-linear-lump post from the past few weeks.

  
  
Similar, but those really are from two different days… 

  
 

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

  
Alas

 

It takes a village to raise tomatoes

  
There’s about 200 plants now under cover – Hooray!  
Yesterday was the first day of the beginning to the Summer Share  
A number of worker-members came to work – easily over 18 people yesterday!

It’s good to wear a watch here… Neither of the two clocks are ever correct

No it’s not really 7:30... It’s 2pm & we just finished harvest so let’s eat lunch 

Big Harvesting & planting day

   
  
The green house is now nearly empty

Here’s a photostring from a couple weeks back

  
  
Fullness

  
  
Note the above tomato jungle now settling their feet under the new hoop house

And yesterday…

  
That’s it!

Crickets in the greenhouse…

   

Those are the edamame seeds turning into plants, seeded a couple weeks ago

 It was all transplanting brassicas for me yesterday

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.

  
The Barred Rock chicks are almost full grown!

   
 

They are running in the spinach beds which were nipped by frost

   

Brussels Sprouts, hardy plant & proud vegetable gracing the logo at Nook & Cranny farm transplanted a week & a half ago.

Till the next N&C post

Wishing you all a veryfine day

  
   


late night ramble on farmish things, emotions-n-stuff, grumps about humans, & the joy of cats.

This past Sunday was the first harvest day at Nook & Cranny

  
Greens, greens, greens 

Spinach, lettuce mix, broccoli raab, arugula, & mustard greens

All from the three smaller hoop houses

  
(And eggs from the many hens)

  
While harvest went throughout the morning into the early afternoon, I seeded & transplanted in the greenhouse

   
 

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

  
This was from the past Friday when it snowed a bit

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

  
I went across the road to where my garlic was planted to see if it was coming up… And it is!

  
Hello! 

 

Here’s the lovely nearby pond

(From the evening before)

Showing water’s amazing reflective capacity

  
I’ve been marveling at water lately.

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

 
(A vernal pond from last month after a freeze)

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…

*sigh*

  
But I guess I get sad easily.

I feel sad when great trees are cut down, even if they could pose a threat 

  
Critter activity!

  
I don’t know what was going on today in the world, but it seemed that many people were driving aggressively.

Ultimate example:

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.

OMG people…?!?!

What is all the hurry about?

Could we all try to slow down a little bit…?!?

  
Thank goodness for Izzy.

(Thank you Jenny, for the photo)

Nighty night all.


Nook & Cranny day + cats.

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

  

Hooray!!

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

Good kitties

  

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

  

Bakira pie

  

 

& the lovely Rosie


brief post from Nook & Cranny.

Things grow

& 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! 

So exciting!

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…

Happy Spring


Worrying, taking time, & kitties.

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

The Gate

I had no idea that the gate I would step through 
to finally enter this world 

would be the space my brother’s body made. He was 
a little taller than me: a young man 

but grown, himself by then, 
done at twenty-eight, having folded every sheet, 

rinsed every glass he would ever rinse under the cold 
and running water. 

This is what you have been waiting for, he used to say to me. 
And I’d say, What? 

And he’d say, This—holding up my cheese and mustard sandwich. 
And I’d say, What? 

And he’d say, This, sort of looking around. 
  
Maybe this will be the memorized poem for 2015…
Wishing you all a good night
& a happy Spring


Weather, some walks, Kitties, & Sunday seeding.

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.

  

Then

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.

Here’s Sophie  

(All photos of Sophie & Izzy are from Jenny)

  

Here’s Izzy  

  

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

 

Steamy

(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, Sebastian.

  

Hello, Other.

  

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.

  


Scars on plants & hearts.

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