Saturday, September 06, 2008

I Declare This Farmer Day


Last night I dreamed that the secret neighborhood committee began their campaign to have us and our chickens bumped out of Garage Mahal. They compiled a list of grievances against us, including "loud chickens that promote the growing of apples... "

I know, it makes no sense, but that's how dreams are.

Or, maybe it does make sense.

Having chickens does raise certain longings, like planting flowers and trying to keep veggies in a barrel. Max has a plan to make "The Big Dinner" and he wants every bit of the dinner to come from our yard and from bartering. He wants the meal prepared outdoors and for us to use water from the hose. He explains that our options are few at this point, since we only have a few tomatoes left and some mint. He looks forward to finding the first eggs, but what he is most anxious for is the day we can begin a real garden. Yesterday he and I envisioned all of the plants we would have in our own garden, and they include:

pumpkins
zucchini
corn
peas
guavas
avocado
figs
strawberries
limes
lemons
apples
basil
cilantro
tomatoes
carrots
beets
spinach
nasturtiums
zinnias
lavender
rosemary
oregano
chia
beans
and plums


When I designed the gardens at El Rancho, I was careful to choose only drought tolerant, native, and/or edible varieties. I was completely delighted by the idea of the children walking anywhere in the yard and being able to find something to nibble. I banned all toxic plants, no exceptions. Seems like a lifetime ago. Max's thoughts and dreams did a lot to rekindle my own dreams, and a recent comment from Em, of "Em and the Gang," reminds me that we often have to work hard, be vigilant and patient before our dreams can come true. It seems Em and her gang are finally going to have backyard chickens! Then she wants to get her Food Not Lawns! plans rolling! I would love to be there, celebrating their triumph and welcoming their brood home.


We are a long way off from having a garden of our own, but the yard we do have is sadly neglected. My gang does not know this yet, but I have plans. I want to get out there and replant Lola's barrel garden, stack all of the empty pots, being careful to shoo away the black widows (Confession: There's no freakin' way I will "shoo" away black widow spiders. They are big and plentiful around here and I will be smashing them. Keeping it real.) There is farmer stuff, our last remnants from our Rancho days, that need to be tossed, donated, buried or put out to pasture. Lots of sweeping, sorting, clearing and shuffling.

I think this is a very good plan.

When do you think I should spring it on them?


My scholars are still sleeping, and they have earned their rest. The best reports and feedback keeps coming in about how good these children are in school. These affirmations are so wonderful, because when you home school there is a lot of doubt and second guessing. Now my only regret about home schooling is that I did not believe we were doing wonderfully. We were doing wonderfully and I could not be more proud of William, Alex and Max.

Farmer Day should finish with something fun, like a dinner cookout or a visit to the nursery, maybe a beach walk.

What kind of day are you going to have?

4 comments:

  1. we are having a lazy do nothing, no friends over kind of day...

    but tonight, steve and i are heading to the neighbors house for a "Beer Appreciation Party"!

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  2. Cooking day! First, making lunch for the UU work party. Later, dinner. Two words for the black widows: shop vac. Hey, you can have all the basil, oregano, lavender, and lemongrass you want from my backyard. Am willing to trade a few lemons (for eggs?). At some point I will have cilantro, lettuce, spinach, and sugar snap peas!

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  3. Those are good plans, Natalie. I find garden organizing to be very therapeutic for my spirit. Your planting list is a wonderful place to start - looks like the beginnings of a spreadsheet to me! As for my day, I'm just thankful to be online again - network got screwed up...

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  4. You have inspired me to work outside today! It is cloudy and cool in Minnesota, which is just how I like it for working outside. I am going to put some stew in the crockpot first, then out to clean up the herb bed for fall and winter. The lovage is all dried up and needs to go, and I have rhubarb that still can be used if I harvest it before frost. Hmmm...rhubarb/berry cobbler and stew...

    Also must clean rabbit cages and trim rabbit toenails (sigh) Must get going... have a great day!

    andrea, minnesota

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