Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth Day 2011

When I awaken and gaze outside, I am reminded every single morning that the earth is alive and thriving.  Seasons come and go and the earth is constantly changing. Moving to the country has taught me many things about people, life and embracing change. Every day, the comforting basin that I call home slowly changes- a nook transforms here, a glade there and the shady creek over yonder.  Daily, only minor change occurs, but as the weeks go by you can blatantly see the change.  Change is good.  Change is in our nature.  Change is Mother Nature.

Even though change is constant at Paradise Basin, I still can count on what doesn't change: the arrival of various insects, the native plants and flowers, the wild turkeys lurking about, the annual flight of the Canada Geese (Branta canadensis), popping the grapes into my mouth under the apple canopy in August, dipping my feet into the cool creek while sipping lemonade in July, pitching a tent out back with the kids and sleeping under the stars in June, the summer barbecues and picnics, harvesting our homegrown food, and tick season (dreaded!).  Change is ever-present but I know what flowers, trees, produce and insects to expect throughout the year.  Mother Nature changes...but she does so expectantly because she knows how much we count on her.

How often do we gaze up into the sky when we have one of "those days"?  How often do we look to the stars when we feel like we need to get re-aligned?  Often, our vacations include some sort of "earth touching" experience whether it's skiing, boating, hiking or parking ourselves at the beach for the day. 

Earth Day days is Friday and in its favor I would like to devote at least one blog to this special day. Let's all take some time to think about our wonderful, planet earth. If you would like some great ideas for how to honor Mother Earth, then stop by Martha's website for some great ideas. 

In honor of beautiful, Mother Nature, I would like to give you a little tour of our micro-farm.  Not much is producing at the moment in terms of crops... yet...but here she is nonetheless.  The earth is beginning to wake up from her long winter nap.  Enjoy!

Photo Gallery

Crimson clover ...it grows wild all over!
A little lady bug.
More clover
Pear Blossoms
Wild Radish
If you know what these yellow flowers are, then please let me know!  I planted some herbs last year and I don't know what these yellow flowers are, but I would love to know.  The green plant on the bottom right is lemon balm and it smells lemony, as you probably guessed.
Quatro, our kumquat tree.
One of our grapefruit trees.
The distant barn reminds me daily to honor farm wisdom. The view can be seen from the kitchen windows too.  In fall, the trees out front of the barn turn crimson and yellow.
A few blogs back I experimented with re-planting the green onion.  Turns out you can re-grow it.  Just plant the tips and leave about 1 /2 inch uncovered.  Water as usual and place in a sunny location.  In a few weeks you will have brand new green onions!
A few rock roses pop up here and there.
Wild grapes.  After speaking with my friend, Suly, she told me that you can pluck the leaves and use them to make your own dolmas!  Guess what, Su?...I have a basketful of grape leaves soaking in water.  Thanks for the idea!
The view from the left side of our back deck- just a few of the hives.  Looking for to beeswax and honey.
I love tulips and find that they are fairly easy to grow.  The sherbet orange color is very unusual.
These tiny, purple flowers grow wild on the ground.
More wild radish.
Wildflowers grow in our side garden too.  I picked some for an arrangement but I try not to do so very often since they only last a day or so.
The Purple of Sicily cauliflower has gone to the flower stage. Next, it will go to seed.  After that, we can gather the seed for fall planting again. 
A white Iris.  They go well in arrangements.
The Geisha Girl Calendula. Both culinary and medicinal, this herb tastes great in a fresh salad.
I spent a few minutes outside and gathered some flowers.  Nature has so many beautiful and unusual colors for us to enjoy.
Some of our garden plants are still being pampered before planting.
I have an old, antique table that gets moved around the property.  It acts as a temporary location for our drinks and snacks. 

The kitchen scrap garbage can.  In a way, it reminds me of Oscar the Grouch (old garbage cans will forever remind me of him.  Guess it's from my old Sesame Street days).  This can gets filled up to the top almost everyday with kitchen scraps.  After the compost process occurs, we get "black gold" for our veggies.  Amazing stuff!
Our neighbor cut down a pine tree in their yard a few months ago.  They were more than happy to throw some logs over the fence for the kids.  This makes a great climbing activity for the youngsters. 
A few more pictures of what we have growing.  Those are broccoli seedlings on the left.
The borage is coming along well.
The zinnias are thriving in the grapefruit "pots".  
A cluster of veggies reaching for the light.
In the back, the heirloom lettuces are growing.
Notice the mint growing from Ben's old work boots?  I drilled holes in the bottom for drainage and added fish tank gravel in the bottom and then added soil on top of that. 
When we get to connect with nature (like when we immerse our hands into the earthy soil)  we become one with our roots. 

~Enjoy Your Earth~

I could say recycle,  plant a tree or the usual slur of earthy stuff. Those ideas are all good, but I think that the most important idea of all is getting outside and getting back into nature.  Unless we spend time becoming connected with the earth, then it will remain foreign to us.  If that happens, then why are we going to want to work towards preserving something that we do not know?  So, let's go outside and get into nature! 


Jenny Cave said...

soooo much to see and do at your little acreage...it looks like you've been a very busy little bee, Morgan!!! I love the photos, can only imagine how gorgeous all the flowers are coming up all over the place.

Great photos, thanks for sharing your own personal spring.

Anonymous said...

Yes. A magical time. Spring and hope and wonder. Your farmlet is so beauteous! And all of you, especially the kids, are so rosy cheeked, twinkle-eyed, and smiley...happiness.

Even more satisfying when you are monitoring it all, and preparing the soil, planting seeds and plantlets, amending the soil, watering, weeding, harvesting, cooking, recycling.

People that are ALIVE love Earth Day, and the Earth. Lucky you, living in that paradise.

The Green Mama said...

Thanks Dad and Jenny! It's not fancy, but it's definitely a place of wonder, peace, magic, love and enjoyment. Hope it inspired!