Friday, 17 July 2009

Tend your own garden

by Throwback at Trapper Creek

It is the busiest time of year on the farm - planting, weeding, harvesting, and preserving in preparation for the cold winter months. But it is also a time to reflect, and take in our surroundings and be thankful for what we have, and the life we are creating. The world problems will not go away, some will be solved and some won't, and different dilemmas will surface. But to truly make the world a better place, we first have to make our part of it better too. Not just the ground under our feet, but our relationships and homes and anything that is under our care. Something that sounds so simple, but is sometimes hard to do in our busy, modern lives.

These are the things I am thankful for this week...

The rain on the garden. It will make the weeds grow, but the vegetables will flourish too. And the rain drops on the camera lens will be a dim memory when we are eating the fruits of our labors this winter.

Delicious cherries and the skills to put them by for winter desserts.

Abundant pastures for my livestock to graze so they stay healthy and productive.

And enough room, so the calves can play and pretend to be wild, and courageous Bos taurus' of days gone by.

Fresh eggs, enough said.

Fresh milk that doesn't come in a plastic container.

A teenager who picks the berries when they need it and before I remind her to do so.

And a wonderful husband, who can build or fix anything he sets his mind to, and that we have equally talented friends whose skills complement ours.

How are you tending your own garden these days?


Kymber said...

ugh. that post made me teary-eyed.

although i have dreams of getting acreage in my hometown (3 provinces away), and although i am trying my best to grow some of our own food in tire gardens in my beautiful yard in the city, and although the world is a bit of a mess these days...every morning i go out into my yard - i touch all of my plants and i give thanks to have at least this much! and i am humbled.

i really like how humble you are MOH...this post made me remember my own humility and grace. Thank you!

i love your posts here but i really love your blog...again Thank You!

risa said...

Yes, that was lovely.

Harvested potatoes, dandelions, elephant garlic, radishes, onions, yellow zucchini, turnips, turnip greens, favas, peas, chard, mustard, lettuce, spinach, strawberries, broad beans, basil, chives, rhubarb, stevia. Thrashed out a cup of kale seeds. Made pickled onions, bok choi stems, and peas in the pod, which turned out really well. Froze spinach, three containers. Dried mint.

There will be a lot of peas, beans, potatoes. There's lots of rhubarb. No tomatoes yet. Squash is very slow. The corn looks good but I'm still waiting for ears to form.

Ready to put in the fall beds soon.

dixiebelle said...

My literal garden? Not very well! But I just wanted to comment on your photos... they are great, and very inspirational. I am not aiming for my own livestock, or even my own eggs (at this stage) but when it is time to sort the garden out in our new house, I will go to your blog for motivation!

Allison said...

Can I come live with you? Those photos are great! :)

Sadge said...

I have to agree - having a Mr. Fix-anything husband definitely is a blessing.

Farmer's Daughter said...

My husband is a Mr. Fix-it, too, as is my dad. We used to joke that we had "Triple Al" (my dad) instead of "Triple A."

I think it's, as you would say, a throwback to simpler times when you had to be able to tend to things yourself instead of relying on other people.

Carol said...

Well said...and a beautiful garden.

Cindy at PlantSomeRoots said...

My garden is beautiful this year. At least I think so. Well, the peppers aren't as big as they could be, our tomatoes are not turning, and we were not able to plant corn this year. But I am still in awe with the creation of possibilities that a garden can bring to you and your family. I am grateful.

Jenn said...

I really appreciate the reminder that we need to make our part of the world better first. I find it all too easy to feel like I need to change the world and then lose steam when I can't do it all. But it really is so important to change our own lives first, for a whole variety of reasons.

Kathryn said...

Oh, i'm so jealous!!!

I grew up with these things, but live so far from them now. Still, i'm taking baby steps toward having a true garden next year, & am doing container gardening this year.

Oh, especially milk that comes from cows without the processing in between. I wish that were possible.

P~ said...

I envy your beautiful land and garden space. All I can say is...One day. Thanks for sharing with us!

Kristen Fry said...

I LOVE this post....yes..there are so many things to be thankful for! I am picking up a pair of Nubian milk goats today...this year has held a lot of firsts for me on the farm and I am so excited about it! Praying it goes well....I took a mini milking class yesterday and I was able to get about 2 tablespoons of milk...compared to the experienced milk ladies half

Abbie said...

What a lovely post! Your photos and comments really brought me back to my childhood and reminded me of all the wonderful natural things I totally took for granted. I hope that even living in the suburbs that I can show my children just a taste of what you shared in your post. Thanks! Abbie

Hayden said...

After not planting this spring because I'm moving - I decided to put in a garden for whomever buys the house. It's changed my mood tremendously - I'm busy landscaping for the long term knowing that the new owners will either hate it or love it, but I've done what I can to show them how lovely this spot can be.

But most especially I'm loving putting in the veggies - cheating and buying big plants for soon, as well as planting the traditional winter crops by seed. And putting in extra daikon radish just to further loosen the soil and provide mass to break down over the coming winter.

And yes, putting together a journal for them, of house and yard, to make their settling in as easy as possible.

My gift to the future...

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Kymber, thank you for your kind comment! We all have something to be thankful for, even though we sometimes push that aside. A large garden or farm animals are not for everyone - but we all need a good attitude towards life.

Risa, wow - your garden is really producing! Mine is kinda slow - but getting there. However, I discovered this morning just how smart the deer are - they are taking a liking to my OP flint corn, and not touching the hybrid sweet corn :( Hopefully, they will leave me enough for seed...

dixiebell, thank you - I have liked the documenting of our farm through the camera this past year and one half. Recreating some of the things on a historical farm, mean poring over a few scant old photos and mementos. I always wonder what my g-parents would have thought of the cyber age!!

Allison - Sure!! Do you like to weed?? :)

Sadge, I couldn't agree more - we're in the middle of haying right now, and of course, a breakdown. Luckily, he can fix the problem once he gets the parts. Simple living requires a lot of thinking outside the box!!

Abbie, LOL I bet your dad loved that nickname! Plus you get such a good feeling when you can work/fix your way out of a predicament. I hope we can get to the 300 year mark here. In these parts a Century Farm is a big deal. Only 172 more years to go. Sigh.

Carol, thank you.

Cindy, your garden sounds wonderful. It's hard to put into words all the joys of gardening.

Jenn, I know what you mean, the news can be so depressing sometimes, but just a glimpse of the calves playing or taking in all the wonderful scents of summer blooming flowers and I forget and get back to work. Thanks for your kind comment.

Kathryn, oh that must be hard, but a container garden is a great way to start. Plants know when they are being loved. :)

P, thank you and I enjoy reading about your square foot gardening. Your gardens are amazing. Now if you could just get all your neighbors to do that... Sigh.

When I worked in the city full time, a co-worker and I would walk the neighborhoods on our breaks. Most steets had the regulation lawns and perennials and all the chemicals to go with them, and no visible signs of human life, and then one day we took a different route and found an oasis! Edible landscaping, vegetable gardens and carboys peeking out of garage windows - and the funny thing was, those residents (all ages) were in their yards, doing the tasks required of their gardens. We had some interesting walks and talks with those gardeners after that. What you have done with your yard reminds me of that special street.

Kristen!! Goats - you must be so excited! You will be an old pro in no time! And your girls must be so happy about this. Congrats!!

Abbie, I think definitely you will impart your feelings to your children - no matter where you live!

Hayden, I think that is a wonderful idea. You may just be planting a big seed in the next owners mind. The possibilities are endless. And I love the idea of a grove in your sister's memory.

the Baitlady said...

Great post and the photos are just as fantastic. I LOVE the raspberry one.

Anonymous said...

Forget Shorter Showers
Why personal change does not equal political change
by Derrick Jensen

"I live reasonably simply myself, but I don’t pretend that not buying much (or not driving much, or not having kids) is a powerful political act, or that it’s deeply revolutionary. It’s not. Personal change doesn’t equal social change.

So how, then, and especially with all the world at stake, have we come to accept these utterly insufficient responses? I think part of it is that we’re in a double bind."
The rest of this article is here:


Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

the Baitlady, thank you so much. I have to agree, even living in berry heaven, raspberries are my favorite!

EJ, that article made me sad, that you think that my post and my life is basically BS. Why do you bother growing a garden and living the way that you do? I will never be a political activist - but if I can help one more person become more confidently self-reliant in their personal lives through sharing what I have learned I will continue to do it. If I spend all my time sitting in front of computer arguing via comments, or picketing on the Capitol steps, or in a tree protesting, I will use more resources and buy more industrially produced goods that I could be at home growing and producing myself.

My take on Mr. Jensen's article is then why bother? What's the point?
There are too many people out there giving us all "advice" but really it rings hollow, because most are "do as I say, not as I do."