Tag Archives: seeds

Friday at Nook & Cranny.

Yes, well this post is a bit late…

It has been a busy time.

  
Quite the beautiful day this past Friday at Nook & Cranny.

The living things at the farm are growing well

 
Standing just outside the door of the greenhouse looking in

 
Soon joined by Sebastian

 On my way to say hello to the Cathedral

  
Sebastian’s got a Big Purr.

   

Stepping into the greenhouse to gather up some supplies for my time of seeding

I say hello to the Celeriac, the many Peppers, Tomatoes, & Eggplant

By the day’s end, the right side underneath the table was also covered with ten more trays of beans

  

Harit Covert to be exact

(A French variety of green bean, which is longer & thinner)

 
Other took up his spot on one of the chairs in the porch

(I’ve yet to ask about how he was given his name – but I’ll ask next chance I get)

It was a day off for the two on-farm interns 

 And Garrett set out to make Dandelion Wine!
 Tori did too

They gathered up many of the abundant Dandelion heads from around the farm

  
Steadily pulling the petals off into gallon jars

 Petals and petals and petals

 Staining fingertips golden

 
Eventually filling a jar with the gently aromatic fluff

  

Sebastian opted to sun himself 

  

It was a cool & bright day

  

Beans & basil & lettuce are faring well 

 
Sebastian ever-ready for affection

  

Evidence soon swept into the earth-ground.


Sunday Seeding and Harvest at Nook & Cranny.

  

Seeding day & Harvest day

  
Boxes were nearly finished by the time I arrived at the farm

 
It’s the final week for the Early Spring Greens Share

 

And both on-farm interns are settled in

 Bob decides the final positioning for the radishes  

he likes vegetables in boxes to be aligned the same way

All just-so.

 Team Work   

  
Spinach, Radishes, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Kale, Bok Choi, & some Pea Shoots 

  
Heat-loving plants are in the greenhouse

 
Here are Peppers & Eggplant

There’s also Tomatoes, Okra, & Curcubits – like Summer Squash and Cucumbers.

  

In the tunnel nearby are Beans, Basil, Celeriac, & Lettuce 

  
Bob picked out the day’s varieties for the seeding

Zippy-doodle Chosen packs rest upon sacks of potatoes awaiting planting

Bulls Blood Beets – for Beet Greens, 5 types of Winter Squash, 3 types of Lettuce, 2 types of Dandelion Greens, & 3 types of Storage Cabbage Harvest was almost complete 

Boxes covered & tidying up

  

Other holds down the Yin principle 

  

While Bob writes up the day’s goodness on the chalkboard 

 I set to filling trays

 With the assistance of Other

 And Sebastian

 Handsome bullfrog nearby

  

There were two types of Baby Blue Hubbard squash 

 & this one, too

Same vegetable, different variety, mind blown

  

Here’s a variety of Kabocha type called Sweet Mama

 And another Kabocha

(These are my favorite…)

 Holy wowie there is fringe on the Waltham Butternut!!

This is the classic Butternut squash.

Great Keeper.

 And another favorite, Honeynut

For a rich story on the Honeynut squash, click on the link.

  
A visit to the Cathedral at day’s end to say hello to the plantlings

  
Then it was time to head back to the house sitting home & tend to the four-leggeds

  
Bakira

 & Rosie

…Today it’s a Transition day for me, heading home after a stretch at the Northside house.

  
Blessings on the day

I’m grateful to be a part of something larger than myself, working at Nook & Cranny

Blessings on the Small Organic Farms everywhere.


Friday photos from N&C farm, and thinking about ANWR.

It felt good to get back to work at the farm yesterday

The leaves have unfurled & there was a nice rain in the evening 

A new high tunnel is under construction, which will allow the plastic to be removed from the Cathedral – giving the elements of Sun, Rain, & Air the chance to work their gifts in clearing & breathing the soil which has been under cover for 5 years

  
Bean seeding day!

These are Romano beans, and I was to use up the rest of them 

  
12 trays in all

  
Then another variety, purple, called Amethyst

  
Pardon me while I marvel once again at the beauty & diversity of bean seeds…

Swoon

  

In they go!

Chioggia Beets, & a New Zealand Spinach variety were also seeded.

Then onto a few herb & flower transplants

  
Rosemary

  
With the help from Sebastian

  
Bob grows many varieties of Peppers, & does the transplanting of those to be absolutely sure he’s sure that the hot & sweet types are clearly marked

 
These piles of markers were assembled during a conversation with one of the on-farm interns

I didn’t notice their construction, as I was filling trays & my eyes were focused on my hands’ actions

But it was a delightful surprise to find later – simple creations of beauty

  
Across the road, Bob set to applying composted manure to some beds awaiting 3 varieties of Kale

  
The hens were moved there to work up a site for future planting

 
(Feel free to add your favorite Why did the chicken cross the road? joke in the comment section…)

 Yesterday evening, as I drove home with the radio tuned into the local, independent station

I heard about the go-ahead to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

If nothing else, please scroll down & read the Wikipedia section on Opposing Views and the position of the Native Alaskan Tribes.

(The fact that I was driving my car at the time was not lost on me…)

*sigh*

  
The ANWR was what I woke up with in my mind.

The Porcupine Caribou calving grounds are there

People are still thinking they are not of this place

  
Why else would such a go-ahead be made?

 
What would the whales say, if we could ask them…?

  

They see the world in a different way from us humans

We humans think we know what’s best

  

But I’m not so sure of that

What if the Caribou could be asked 

And the Native Treaties honored

I think a lot of things, like most humans do…

  
I donate money to the NRDC, with the hope that they can do something to protect this place, our place, this Us-thing-place we call Earth

But donating money isn’t enough, & I don’t donate a ton of money either.

(After meeting someone who worked in a non-profit that often went to court, she said that even $5 helps pay for transportation…)

  
How does one really stop a tide of greed & shortsightedness & a massive corporation like Shell from doing something…?

What if the guide was truly: what is for the benefit of ALL beings…?


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


Growing season has begun.

It’s still quite the February here

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With lots of snow cover & temperatures beginning to swing up to the high 20s during the daytime

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This is the logo at a small CSA I’m working for

True to its name, the 2 acre organic farm is planted wherever there is space to grow something

Today was my first day back seeding lettuce & alliums

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My friend Bob & his sons already had started hearty greens the day before

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As I prepared the seeding mix

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Bob tidied up the other half of the greenhouse

I have no idea how he rolled the remay into such a tidy ball, but there it was

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He runs a tight ship, keeping things organized & easy to use when needed

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It was downright balmy in the greenhouse

But the water was ice cold, so I wore rubber gloves while filling trays with the damp seeding mix

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As I prepared the trays
Bob began to work on the scallions

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And I began the lettuces
2 to 3 in each cell

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Such tiny seeds…

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The sun came out & it got hot in the greenhouse
Which was surprising & bizarre…
As it has maybe been 6 months since it was last that warm…

Bob got the fans going & reset the thermostats so the fans would turn on automatically

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We finished up the rest of the onions & shallots
27 trays in all
With more to come next week

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I hope to interview Bob about Nook & Cranny some time soon


Seed trials in Winter.

It’s currently 1degree outside

Coldies

Winter

But in the kitchen corner…..

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Marigold seeds are sprouting!!!

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And so is the Dyer’s Coreopsis!!

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Stirrings of what’s to come warms the heart from the inside


Seed Trials 2 – including Italian Flat Parsley.

While I did intend to grow parsley for seed last year by overwintering a flat of seedlings through Winter of 2013-2014
Over a dry spell this past season, while I was away, the parsley grown for eating got stressed & went to seed

A bit of a bummer
I eat a LOT of parsley
But, engh.
So lemons out of lemonade, parsley seed in 2014.

And
it got me to the farmer’s market more often to visit friends.

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Here are the two jars of parsley seed soaking for the past two-ish days.
Both have been rinsed three times each.
Good sign that most of the seed has sunk to the bottom

A big thank you to Hudson Valley Seed Library for posting how to do this on their blog.
Check ’em out!
Support small local seed companies!!

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Gather up the supplies:

Reused ziplock baggies
Masking tape
Sharpie marker
Paper towels

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And seeds!

Batchelor’s Buttons, Dyer’s Coreopsis, Marigold, & Calendula

In addition to the Parsley

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Strain the water (don’t save parsley water for germination – it has germination inhibitors)

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Say hello & thank you to the seeds

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Then in one swoop, knock the seeds out onto a quarter of the paper towel

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Fold up into a quarter size, sandwiching the seeds between the paper towel folds

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O I forgot to mention to have a small bowl of water nearby

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You want to thoroughly wet the paper towel seed sandwich

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Voila!

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Into the *labeled* baggie

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Seal well

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Home for the next two to three weeks

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I repeated the same process for the cool-soaked parsley

Onto the flower seeds!

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Easiest first
Calendula

Beautiful & bizarre

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They are relatively large

Follow the same process as the parsley seeds

The marigolds took a little time to process

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There’s probably a more efficient way to have done this, but this is how it went down in the kitchen

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Little by slow

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It’s a very satisfying process

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The seeds slide out easily

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The seed capsule when dry is slightly translucent
So beautiful

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Now for super slo-mo close-up 

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They are very slim, flat and relatively long seeds

And the one I’ve been putting off
Dyer’s Coreopsis

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This is only a fraction of what needs to be processed…

Upside is that it smells really fresh

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Teeny tiny
AND flat

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Plus a WHOLE lotta chaff
Which I’m not equipped to deal with

I grow this every year, so investing in the making or purchasing of seed harvest trays would be wise

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It’s a generous plant

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So 100 seeds will be tested

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Voila

Last but not least, Batchelor’s Buttons

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They are so cute with that tuft of fuzz

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Not much seed, so only 20 in the trial

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Good night everybody!

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Seed trials & attempting to change a habit.

It’s that time of year

When the seed catalogs arrive one after another

This year, I decided to run some seed trials before placing orders

I still have a fair amount of seeds from when I was farming
But didn’t know if they were viable

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Mammoth red rock cabbage gets composted
Zero germination

However

The alliums, which are said to only have a year viability, did stellar – no doubt due to being kept meticulously cool & dry in multiple baggies tucked in the refrigerator since 2012

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Hell yes

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Even the notoriously fussy shallots germinated well

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Yes yes yes

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Sierra Batavian lettuce did well

Alas the Concept Batavian goes to the compost

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Scarlet Nantes carrots will be seeded in 2015

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Shin Kuroda carrots did fair… Tempting to keep them & seed heavily when planting

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May do one more trial with this carrot…

Was asked by a friend if I was testing the seeds I grew
And I hadn’t yet, but began today with the parsley

Gulp

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I guess I was nervous – it being the first time growing parsley for seed

I’m trying to pay attention to the thoughts in my mind
Since the habit of identifying with the thoughts is SO strong
I’m trying to be mindful of the thinking habits

I could see a procrastination fear habit right in plain sight
Fear of failure.
So don’t even try.
…like if I don’t test it, then I won’t know – that is, I won’t know they won’t germinate

But they might!

Thing is, even if they don’t germinate
I tried
And it was a fun experiment
And I can try again with seeds I purchase in 2015 if need be

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Aren’t they so pretty?
With their stripes?

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Tiny
Parsley seeds are not the tiniest, but they are small

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Handling the seeds released a wonderful bright smell
Bright & bitter

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Let the parsley trials begin!

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A quarter teaspoon to soak in hot water

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And another quarter teaspoon in cool water

Double trial
Why not

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The parsley seed coat contains a chemical which inhibits germination
(Furanocoumarins)
So soaking the seeds (and changing the water twice) can take a week off of the three week germination period…

I wonder if fuanocoumarins could be a natural weed inhibitor…?

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Lots of parsley seeds!

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Onto a sheet of paper for ease of pouring…

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Seed divination, anyone?

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Using the composted seed’s envelopes

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Thank you FedCo seeds of Maine

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Amateur seed saver.

My interest in seeds began over 20 years ago

I’m still an amateur seed saver.

Today I harvested some of the Batchelor’s Button seed heads for a friend

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Got ’em out of the fancy paper bag which had been drying on the top of the refrigerator for the past couple of months…

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And spread them out on a large black plate for easy seeing

Pulling the little tufted seeds away from the stalk

(There are probably technical terms for all of this…)

The shape of them reminds me of Beaker’s head

(Beaker, from the Muppet Show…)

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The dark plates were from my parents’ former restaurant…
Makes for separating the seed from the chaff easy

Thanks, Mom & Dad!

(And there’s probably a faster way to do this… But I don’t mind it taking time…)

The Batchelor’s Buttons seeds are not the tiniest of seeds, but they are still relatively small

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Paper tea bag pouches glued inside out make a very nice package

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For the next season to come

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Garlic planting.

This past weekend, the folks who own the land where I’ve been keeping a garden and me planted our garlic.

It’s a bit earlier then I usually plant, since I had been planning on going away for the 2nd half of October – but that’s not happening now – so we went ahead anyways

The moon was in Taurus, which is good for root crops
And the plan was in place that we could simply relax into

So – garlic planting.

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It was a beautiful day.

I love walking into the barn when the sun streams in…

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Gotta turn off the electric fence…

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And get the sorted garlic

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Peg insisted on playing fetch throughout the day, which was a pleasure

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Unfortunately & interestingly, I found that a number of the larger heads of garlic had some kind of sadness going on…

These were NOT used for seed garlic

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Proof & Reason #634 that “bigger is not always better”

And it’s just one more experiment and something to notice with this land & soil… I made it a point to not space the garlic so far apart this time

Intentionally growing for smaller heads of garlic, and see what that yields next season…

Smaller heads keep better, anyhow

It’s exciting already…
Something to look forward to in July…

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So instead of two rows per bed, I put in three.

Cracked the garlic

And dusted in some Fertrell

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Which both feeds the garlic & amends the soil with some slow releasing rock dusts

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In goes the garlic cloves

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Four varieties of Rocambole, which came out to about 150 cloves

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All in bed

Ready to zip up the rows

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And add a thick blanket of mulch

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Slow going, it was loose spoiled hay which was in the barn
So back and forth

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The pile of hay in the barn

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With the elegant and formidable spider web near by

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A friend came by
Helping with the rest of the mulching

Back & forth…

Each time the sheep would come over
I would tell them that they didn’t want this hay, as it had spoiled

Or maybe they wanted carrot tops…?

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“Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid”

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(Little by little the bird builds its nest)

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It was sunny & cool, but all the back and forth warmed the body, allowing for peeling to happen

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The bumblebees were out on the marigold
I harvested some of the seed heads for next year

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And one of the Batchelor’s Button flowers came out pink!

Not sure if it will make it too seed stage before a hard frost comes, but I’ll keep a watch on it

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I have no idea why, but often when I go to pee, the sheep will follow me & watch

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So curious.

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And so the continuation, unbroken line of seed saving & planting through time

And thus begins the next growing season

Blessings on all things