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May All Things Rise–Free of Persecution: prayer flag #5

29 Jan

(for Winki Allen)

Sending out this prayer this morning–may all children, women and men be free of persecution–may our country remember its origins–may we not fight fire with fire but with love and hope–and finally because today’s prayer flag also holds seeds and leaves from last year’s dye garden (woad, marigold and eucalyptus)–may the guardians of all-things-that-grow bless this little plot of earth again and may the fruit of the seeds rise high.

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Scraps of eco prints and naturally dyed cloth.  Yellow onion, madder, white oak.

These Things–and a bit of cloth

6 Apr

Four days ago I agreed to foster a dog just released from a puppy mill. Today, four long days later, I’ll tell you it’s not a pretty picture. Juno. She is one and a half. She has NEVER been outside of a plastic crate. She knows nothing about outside. Or inside. Or anything else.

I’m not going into why I decided to foster–but I am examining my motivation closely. All that matters right now is that I’m in this situations, right now right here, with a very wounded, frightened, anxious scared creature. Until last night, she paced. Constantly. Non-stop. Back and forth. Room to room. Skittish as a deer. When we would meet, her feet would spin out on the hardwood. A blur of panicked flight or fight trying to about face and get away. Keeping my back to her helped. Crawling on the floor around her helped a little. She seems desperate to trust and starved for love. Wants it. But just can’t believe it’s possible. Lunges at my hand, a blur of a tongue kiss, and then she’s gone. Hit and run bonding on her part. And it’s all going to happen on her time table. Here she is. This is the view I get most often:
usual view

Hope and I were in the garden this morning. I cannot let Juno out just yet. The world is too big. Too scary for her. Too overwhelming. But she missed us. Barked when we came in. Sitting on the floor, I asked her to come. Hope makes that hard for her to do.hope and juno

But Juno came a bit closer. Quick kiss. Then gone. front Last night while I was flat on the floor trying to convince her I was just a bigger version of herself, she came closer. Not close enough to pet, but closer. She sat. Her eyes started drooping. They closed. And flew open again in alarm. She has not slept. But now, look. This is a miracle:
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I’ve got to be very quiet. The slightest noise causes her to recoil. Jump. Become vigilant. The crates belong to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. They’ll be returned at some point. But right now they’re trying to remind me of something. Something like “fencing in or fencing out?” I’m not sure. And this is the view from the room where I sit right now.

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The garden sits up on a hill behind this house. Every week, Dirt Devas come and work in it with me. They bring things. Wonderful energy. Joy. Food scraps for the compost. Horse manure–bags and bags. Raspberry starts:
golden raspberry

Bamboo:
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During the week–I putter–anticipate needs like this low “Hope Fence” to protect the herb patch– tend the seedlings. Water. Watch.
hope fence
But on the weekend I need to be prepared because the Dirt Devas want to work–and they work hard. Yesterday holes were dug for tomatoes. Deep holes. Dirt mixed with well-aged manure. My next door neighbor loaned us “water walls.” Plastic sleeves that have channels which can be filled with water–passive solar. He said we can set out the tomatoes now–it’s very early–but he swears he grew tomtoes in January–in Illinois–using these water walls.water walls
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A structure for training sweet potatoes
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and new starts of Swiss Chard.
chard

The rest of the pictures here are to remind me of what the garden looked like in April 2014. And to remind me that cabbage, lettuce and broccoli can survive 18 degree surprises.cabbage and broccoli

the hugelkultur bed:
lettuces and radicchio

preparation for the winter squash bed

winter squash

turnips planted 3rd Saturday in March. Waning moon. Frigid cold snap followed.

turnips

last year’s woad,

woad

this year’s red bud,

redbud

and mullein.

mullein

But cloth? I almost forgot. The moon cloth has morphed again.
moon
And a lighter one, romping in the light of the moon.

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Neither any where near finished. Hardly begun. Because right now…just for now… just until… there are other things . . . .

Taiji Cove Complete–Making room for garden thoughts

3 Feb

For the Dolphins of Taiji Cove

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It seems a few weeks early for robins–but I heard one last Thursday and saw two in the back yard yesterday. Garden thoughts now. Actually, last summer’s garden took the wind out of my sail. From July on it was a disaster–constant heavy unseasonable rain–blight, mildew, rot–no yield whatsoever after the initial bounty. But the ancient stirring begins. A need. An itch almost. And Grace has excited me with her postings on permaculture–hugelkultur specifically. I looked into it. It makes sense. Use everything. I do that for the most part, but I’m thinking that hugelkultur mounds just might drain better–give the plant roots a break if we have the same kind of wet season this year. I looked into it–mound building –layers upon layers–starting with logs, branches and twigs layered with a variety of organic matter.

The neighbors behind me were cutting down trees and I sat here dumbfounded, watching as the backyard view changed. Watched until the space opened enough so that I could see their house. Watched while the sky opened up. Watched the tree cutters jumping over the fence to remove everything that fell into this yard. Then found myself running out–running up the hill–stop, wait, please–and they were stunned. Quizzical. “Leave the huge branches? Leave the small limbs? Leave everything?” Yes. Leave it all. Please.

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The long big branches are too heavy. Will  be cut into manageable pieces after I get the chain saw fixed. And this one with the hole–locust–not good for hugelkultur as locust takes FOR EVER to rot. We used locust for fence posts in WV. They will be in the ground long after everything else decays–but good for critter habitats.hole in locust

And on Sunday, Imbolc and the Chinese New Year–I started one trial huglekultur mound. It’s for gourds–it’s outside the garden proper and it will be vulnerable to the neighbor groundhogs. But I’ll fence it off before then. Circle it with netting. The mound is about 4′ in diameter–dug 6″ into the ground and sits up about 6″ in its unfinished state.   Because it needs to be watered. I read each successive layer should be watered. Not thinking I dragged out the hose and turned on the spigot. Nothing. Then the sound of water. In the basement. The hose was frozen and the pressure blew out the inside water line–into the basement. Hose is thawing. Keeping an eye on the basement. And last night it rained like crazy.

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Leaves
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Greens
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More leaves then sod turned dirt side up–waiting for more—straw, compost, topsoil…DSC00649

and worm’s eye view of a humble beginning:
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Heading to Sow True Seeds on Wednesday–Asheville’s own wonderful GMO-free/heritage seed company DSC00642

That’s enough for now–except to say “thank you, Grace”– and to also share this hugelkultur link:

January Stirrings

23 Jan

There’s a stirring that starts this time of year.  It’s predictable and welcome.  The urge to get ready for . . . .  Some thing.  Planting.  Discovery.  Creating.  Growing. seeds It’s a stirring connected with a visceral need for action.  And except for vegetable/garden plans, everything else that arises during this stirring season is generally  totally UN scripted.  This year the un known becomes a need to organize.  workspaceTo make room for…to utilize space more…to work better with what is, rather than wishing for something else.  In this case, a bigger studio.  What I have is tiny– barely 8 x 10.  workspace 2 And there’s so much Stuff.  Right now it’s all over this tiny house.  Or it was.  Now it’s moving back to its own room and by this evening, when the additional shelves arrive, the table will be totally clear.  A blank palette.  Space.    After storing cloth in plastic bins stacked ceiling-high, it became clear that shelving would be better.  More efficient.   Would allow the cloth to be seen.  And so the first unit of shelving went in quickly and easily and I’m loving the floor space it opened up.  This evening UPS should be delivering two more smaller units.  To house the supplies that are  now stacked on my work table.  Tomorrow morning I think I’ll feel like this–coming out of a long winter’s hibernation:

Emerging

Emerging

And it doesn’t escape me that I actually have More space than many.  And it doesn’t escape me that Space is precious and valuable–to be honored and nurtured.  Moving into the smaller footprint.  Embracing less.

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