as i was readying my camera to attempt to take pictures of quinn chasing dragonflies, i got this “awesome” shot of my man’s elbow, and our two grubby yardwork pantlegs. sitting on the bench in the backyard, taking a break, as we do. i love mistake photos that capture just exactly how it is.
“my crop is coming in,” he says, waving his hand toward the section of lawn he purposely temporarily mows around.
then there’s his other amazing crop… have i told you about the bamboo?
that’s my hand! there are several varieties of sizes and colors, this one definitely takes the cake in terms of diameter.
he caught me rustling around in there one day when i was first checking out the stand and called out in a faux-gruff voice, “is there a panda in my bamboo?”
bamboo is considered the king of the permaculture plants. many of us cringe when we think of bamboo, because we’ve had it drilled into our heads that it’s “invasive” and will “take over” if left unattended. while there is truth woven among those fear-driven warnings, permaculture insists on one having a relationship with one’s plants, and bamboo thrives on that interaction with its caretakers. if utilized properly, bamboo behaves itself. and oh, the many uses! i ran out of pvc pipe for the watering standpipes of my sub-irrigation tomato planters…. and my panda found a very handy replacement.
a bow saw worked well for cutting the lengths of bamboo, and a tire iron (the long skinny part for prying off the hubcap and cranking the jack) was essential for the job of piercing through the sealed ends of each cell of the bamboo- it’s not an open pipeline right off the stalk, in other words. but it was fairly easily achieved with the right tools.
and there’s the queen, comfrey. accumulating scarce nutrients through its impressive root system, making more mulch that you can shake a stick at (you can hack it down several times a season, and it will just keep growing back), attracting all kinds of beneficial beasts, and providing healing remedies.
veering off topic, i took a day off work to go pick me some strawberries. not certified organic, but the right balance of weeds and slugs in the field reassured me that organic practices, or at least benign neglect, were at work on this farm just like mine. rich inspected my unstained hands (i won’t say clean, i had dirt under my nails) before i left, and sure enough, 36 pounds of berries later, they were bright red. my canning buddy and i went a bit earlier this year, since i leave in a week for a 10 day research cruise, and we want to go strawberry picking twice this year!
we made a little side excursion to collect wild rose petals for some of the strawberry jam
and scoped out the plum crop, which neither of us had located before now, in our top secret free apple-pear-cherry-blackberry-and-now-plum picking location!
back on the farm, the hummingbirds are insane. maybe it’s the magical trees like this that keep blooming in quick succession, or the comfrey plants, or maybe it’s the
crack sugar water my honey puts out for them in the feeder. hard to say.
i love the way he dotes on animals. you’d know what i mean if you saw him with this pretty girl, tinker, who is not fooling anyone pretending she is hard at work hoeing weeds. i think i may have to get him some chickens, ducks, goats, and bees soon. how about it, sweetie?
and then there is this lovebug. shockingly grown, helping me spread copious quantities of sunflower seeds around the garden, saved and dried from last year’s crop, hopefully promising that this year’s crop will be 50 times as big. seed to seed, one of the many things i’ve wanted for him to experience as a child. he seems to take it in stride as just another thing people do. he doesn’t realize (yet) what a lunatic his mama is.