In The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein a tree and a boy become best friends. But as the boy grows his wants grow to. He is no longer happy to just be with the tree. The tree just wants the boy and so she keeps giving and keeps giving and keeps giving until she is nothing but a stump. The boy is now an old man and realizes finally that all he really wants to do is sit. The stump is perfect for that and so in the end the tree is once again happy, giving.
There have always been alot of cultural critics. All of them seem to have solutions. One feminist blogger I read recently was decrying a global “rape culture” and said that she felt that the solution was a culture based on relationships versus power. Sadly she missed the point. For relationships (good solid relationships that stand the test of time–think mother, father, etc.) are really all about giving. Mothers rarely think about what they are “getting” from their children. In romantic relationships there is more of a give and take but really what that means is both partners give and give fully.
Isn’t that same loving fully why we love dogs, because their world begins and ends in fully loving.
But sadly giving and serving are not popular. Honestly never have been. But that does not make it any less fulfilling.
I am beginning to realize that my role as a farmer does of course require some taking but hopefully so much more giving. Honestly the land doesn’t need me to be healthy as I learned in Back To Eden. But when we give in the way of planting, cultivating and harvesting the land gives us nourishment and I am reminded that my relationship with the land is another integral relationship that requires the same care, giving and serving.
Last night Proeun and I watched a life changing video, literally. See we knew that farming was not an easy life, and we were totally willing to embrace that, feeling that we were called to live this life. We have been very blessed by our move and loving every minute of it, but it is alot of work, especially bringing soil back to life that has been farmed conventionally for years.
One of the great people we met during our move loaned us a copy of Back to Eden and we finally sat down to watch it last night. See we had heard about no-till farming but weren’t really sure how to go about implementing it. “Back to Eden” gives you a step by step example of the how to and also the benefits. Turns out that even though man lived in a garden when first created, he didn’t actually till the soil until after the fall.
The movie goes on to explore different coverings that the earth naturally uses for its soil and how to recreate that on your on your own land. Now the answer to so many of our labor intensive problems like weeding and irrigating and building up the soil are answered in one way, covering and no-till. So we begin our process this year. We are so excited. One of the women on the video who visited the demonstration garden was asked if she would use the same methods at home, “definitely she said, in about 3 hours.” We feel the same way. So so excited.
Alright now. Winter could end anytime now. It really could. The University of Minnesota says last year at this time it was 30 degrees warmer. I would share a picture of what our yard still looks like but it is pretty much the same as it looked all winter, still a foot of snow to tramp through when out doing the chores. My legs are really getting a workout this year! We have plants ready to go out and chicks and most especially children ready for some great outdoor time in the sun! CSA season will be coming soon, I know it. Starting next week I will be doing profiles of some of the great organizations and businesses that are partnering with us as dropsites, can’t wait to share with you.
This weekend we were able to move our plant starts into the greenhouse, with the help of a few extra layers. Proeun designed a great frame for our tables in the greenhouse. The greenhouse is much larger than anything we have used in the past and last year we struggled to heat it. This year we are starting plants earlier then before. So we are working on a system to save a bit of money by using extra plastic to make a smaller space to heat.
It wasn’t easy but we had lots of help and in the end lots of fun. Oh the benefits of working with children, especially when they come up with just the right solution we adults couldn’t see. Anyway the plants are now in the greehouse and I almost have room in my sewing room/studio (currently the germination room) to work again.
Effie finding ways to keep herself entertained while we prepare the plastic to go over the frame.
Two helping keep baby Pray satisfied while we work.
Sorry for the long absence from the blog. Our sick kitty is doing so much better it has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. Now I am ready to focus on our CSA and the fun of a changing season.