Highlight: tens of thousands of new buds on the fruit trees and berry bushes, all emerging at the same time. The food forest’s vibe has transitioned from its winter “retrenching” perspective to an open “come here” invitation with tiny spots of color throughout its branches.
Lowlight: coming back from travels to find 13 chickens gone in a single night via a coyote pack.
Enjoying the brief signs of spring opening the new year with the arrival of the super early flower bulbs popping through the wet, hard ground. Trying to stay out of the garden to not compress the soil but on the occasional sunny day, it is tempting.
Always surprised by random giant heads of cauliflower poking out of the hugel beds. Still doing lots of fermentation experiments, from my wife’s amazing sourdough bread to crazy-flavored batches of kombucha. Her creativity extended to gift-giving, too, with each of us receiving a harvest bag made from our own discarded jeans.
Lots of cold here, which means less growth in greenhouse despite auxiliary heat and in hugelkultur beds despite their ability to generate their own heat.
Hugelkultur bed learning #42: seeds roll down hill. Direct sowing seeds run down hill. I’m finding lots of plants growing from the midpoint down to spilling over into the surrounding wood chip pathways but not much up top. Duh. Casting seed rolls downhill especially when accompanied by lots of rain.
Still no rush to get back on tech…hope you are enjoying fall sunshine in your bioregion. 🙂
Big change: I’ve decided to take an indefinite amount of time off work to heal my back, rebalance my life, and experiment with the substitution effect. I came to the decision after several months of deep reflection, feedback from my mentors and brilliant wife, and consultation with the doctors and specialists who’ve been repairing my lower back recently. Because kinesthetic learning is how I best absorb new information, I’ll continue doing physical therapy and FMS work that focuses on progressive mobility exercises and hands-on learning about how to better move.
I’m leaving the studio on a high note with the September 1 launch of an Oprah-fueled film short series called Gratitude Revealed (check it out, it is excellent). My plan is to continue with the healing team rebuilding my back, get my hands back into the soil (and away from technology) via a Permaculture Design Course, and get my mind/body back in balance via a yoga certification plus much deeper meditation work via a non-religious version of Vipassana.
This was inspired in no short part by re-reading some Stoic texts, especially Lucius Annaeus Seneca’s classic “On The Shortness of Life.”
Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.
You will hear many men saying: “After my fiftieth year I shall retire into leisure, my sixtieth year shall release me from public duties.” And what guarantee, pray, have you that your life will last longer? Who will suffer your course to be just as you plan it? Are you not ashamed to reserve for yourself only the remnant of life, and to set apart for wisdom only that time which cannot be devoted to any business? How late it is to begin to live just when we must cease to live! What foolish forgetfulness of mortality to postpone wholesome plans to the fiftieth and sixtieth year, and to intend to begin life at a point to which few have attained!
On the micro-farm, the food forest and hugel beds continue to pump out food – although it’s not always exactly the produce we want at the exact time we want it – with the extras going to feed the chickens. $5 worth of spaghetti squash seed gives us the three squash we’ll actually eat, plus the 30+ squash the chickens will transform into delicious eggs. Alchemy!
We’ve also been enjoying watching two baby Ospreys doing a few weeks of test flights over our pasture, scaring the crap out of the chickens (they hide under the solar panels) and decimating the field mice population. I feel so much gratitude to be able to witness nature as we can.