gardening

Busy As Usual on the Homestead…

Been working on a personal illustration project that I am pretty excited about. I need to keep the momentum going and stick to the schedule I’ve been working on and the systems I’ve been using for continuous creativity. Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit has been really helpful with this.

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I’ve also been completing projects outside…the side steps are finally finished and a much better way of traversing the terraces!

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Here’s a before pic of the area underneath the redwoods in the back. I planned on cordoning off a chicken run using T-posts and vinyl mesh fencing, nothing too permanent yet.

Iris and I got a few pullets yesterday to expand the flock a bit…Littlefoot is pretty lonely since the fox got the others.

 

 

Littlefoot has been roaming the grounds and tearing up a lot of vegetable crops; this is how I feel about that:

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And so, we final grasp the wisdom of a run…

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I installed the 6′ T-posts this past weekend (man, that’s a shoulder workout) and now almost finished with the run…just need to put up an extra line of mesh at the top! This weekend, I’ll be building a portable A-frame coop for the new additions!

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This is how the upper garden looked last week…I’ve cleaned out a lot of the herb bed because many flowers have bloomed and gone. Cut back the thyme and oregano pretty hard, so maybe we’ll have another crop before the summer’s end!

Industrial agriculture has tended to look on the farmer as a “worker”– a sort of obsolete but not yet dispensable machine– acting on the advice of scientists and economists. We have neglected the truth that a good farmer is a craftsman of the highest order, a kind of artist. It is the good work of good farmers nothing else that ensures a sufficiency of food over the long term.

–Wendell Berry, “Agricultural Solutions for Agricultural Problems”

What have you been doing in the garden lately??

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Snowshoes and Chickens

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Finished one I started a while back, inspired by a trip to Donner Lake near Tahoe. The area has a gruesome history, but it sure is beautiful. And scary, too–my daughter did not want to go on the trails behind the cabin we stayed at. Just a little too close to complete remoteness for her, I think.

I just finished reading an essay in Wendell Berry’s collection Home Economics about this very subject: it’s natural to feel wary and apprehensive about pristine nature, even while being in rapturous awe of it at the same time.

He believes we feel most comfortable living with nature, not in it, and I have to agree. He mentions the ecological phenomenon of  “edge effect.” I live on those special margins that seem to bring out and nourish the health of the wildlife in the area–my garden and little orchard and “developed” land abut a big track of oak forest that covers the side of the canyon we live atop. I’ve seen more birds, animals, insects, etc. than I ever have immersed deep in the woods (fox, moles, squirrels, red-shouldered hawks, turkey vultures, crows, wild pigs, deer, swallowtails, western jays, finches, doves, owls, praying mantises, skinks, fence lizards, garter snakes, to name some).

That being said, Berry also talks about how we “need” wilderness, as much as a physical reality as an idea in our collective mind. I, for one, definitely feel that necessity to know that there are still wild, scary places out there, with creatures that could, in fact, kill us.

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Also finished another drawing, inspired by my girls feeding the chickens. They love to dig for worms in the compost pile and feed them to the chicks!

And I’ve been featured on the Doodlewash watercolor blog and community…thank you so much!