I woke up this morning to the sound of Rob building a fire in the wood stove and soon after, the smell of Maple and Oak burning. There is nostalgia in the smell of burning wood. It reminds me of the years of Girl Scout camp and 4-H adventures, camping with family, camping our way across the US with the youth group/singing group I belonged to in high school. And now, it is how we primarily heat and cook. There is also a basic instinctive security in knowing that we can be warm and cook and provide those things with our own hands.
I felt the pull toward the computer, on-line news, social networks, email, etc. and decided that today I was going to spend the day the way I would have before all of those things became so entrenched in my life.
Beginning with breakfast: I cooked Swedish Pancakes and ate them with a little grape jelly and some fruit. I am planning that next year I will be making my own jelly with the Concord Grapes that will be growing in the garden. After breakfast, I cleaned up and sat down to read Countryside Magazine. I have been reading it for years and for each year that passes, the articles and suggestions have become more relevant to changes we have been making in our home and garden.
This is the pace of the day – do a project and then rest. The balance of this approach makes it possible to get so much done without physical strain and stress. It also allows for the flexibility to change the “plan” mid course if something more interesting or useful presents itself. There are some “have to” things that need to get done today, such as eating, showering, laundry, gathering kindling, etc., but all of the rest is flexible and allows for creativity and inspiration, should it appear in the course of our work. It also allows time to rest and enjoy the things we have completed.
So I start the laundry, and take a shower and get ready to go on a hike. We did our Ranger walk through of some of Crow Hill – the area that was burned is evident, but already starting to green with new plants. We worked on clearing out some Oak, gathering kindling and some wood for fires for the next few days. Crow Hill is part of a conservation land – with the Greater Worcester Land Trust – and we asked and have permission to clear the trails and remove firewood (only Oak because of the Asian Longhorn Beetle). Our work to clear the trails and remove the wood, especially in such a dry Spring, helps to prevent more fires. I used two old belts to bundle up kindling and carried it back to the house. Rob carried two larger branches to cut up into firewood. It feels good to work in this way! There are blueberries growing everywhere as a result of the burning. I am looking forward to foraging in a few weeks. It makes me so happy to be in the woods .
We returned home with our gatherings and had some lunch and relaxed.
The next task was to build the 4x8 bed that will hold Sunflowers, Corn and Squash. We didn’t dig this one – but instead built it up with soil, cow manure and vermiculite. Once it was finished, we covered it with straw and it waits for us to plant. We also did the daily watering from the rain barrel and looked over the plants that are growing, did a little grass mowing and trimmed the grass around the flower beds.
|Measuring out the Area|
|Supplies - Hay, soil, cow manure, bed frames|
|Added Cardboard to kill grass/weeds below.|
|Soil over the hay, and vermiculite|
|Added cow manure and the rest of the soil|
|Completed Bed - Waiting for planting of Corn and Sunflowers|
The day was super productive and fun!
When it is paced in such a way, so much can be finished,
as well as enjoyed.
The day ended after dinner with a glass of wine and looking over what was completed.
It is so important to work and then enjoy what you have labored for.
There are signs all over the garden of growth - the fruit trees are budding and getting leaves,
almost all of the herb seeds are sprouting in the herb spiral and soon more of the perennial plants will arrive and we will be finding homes for them.
I find myself often standing in the window - looking out over the backyard and
imagining what it will be like when the trees grown in and the vegetables grow.
What an incredible life to live...