Monthly Archives: September 2013
We have been busy replanting and cleaning up from summer and it appears that all this activity has worn out the farm cat, Pumpkin. He has healed well from his broken paw (happened the second week of June, we assume from jumping out of a tree) He was treated to a homemade splint which did the trick- but also caused an abscess. That was treated with Natural Korean Farming egg yolk oil and tea tree oil. Seems he is fully healed and back to his old ways of keeping an eye on us while napping and yawning all day:)
Amy was working in the new developed bund and excitedly came over to show us this handful of soil. It is absolutely amazing considering 4-5 months ago we just layered sheep manure, green compost material and mulch on top of a large pile of wood! I was never so excited to see such beautiful soil- but then again I haven’t ever had to “make” my own before:) Success.
Our seasons do not change greatly due to weather, but summer quarter tends to be much quieter and therefore less student labor to help out. In fact this summer due to staff outreaches, travel and low student census, Amy was the lone gardener most of the time. She did a great job keeping it all together! When I returned I was able to replant our hanging baskets and freshen up the pallet gardens and gutter gardens. We have 16 full compost bins from summer weeding and grass trimming! The summer did bring more rain than usual so the weeds and grass grew like crazy. We are keeping them watered and adding fish water weekly and soon there will be labor to start turning them again. I also cleaned out the 2 gutter gardens. They are 9 months old now and I was pleased to see how well the wicking method has been working. The fish have managed to stay alive despite no oxygenation of the water. Most of the plants were finished so I replanted and also added new starts to the wicking beds which are still working quite well. We are excited for fall quarter to start and looking forward to scores of students and the projects and classes to begin again. We are working on teachings regarding these topics
Korean Natural Farming – IMOS and sprays (nutrient inputs)
key hole gardening
natural insect control
natural herbal medicine
back yard chickens
our fish/food pond
We are also studying natural bee keeping and trying new techniques to attract black soldier flies (as food for chickens and fish)
This quarter we also plan to work on more posters/teaching aides for visitors, replant the African key hole garden section with grains and continue to plant and develop the back area with various permaculture techniques. So far we have an underground hugelbed, an above ground huglebed and an bund, along with moringa trees and banana trees. We also sorely need to re-mulch all the beds and new developed areas. It’s going to be a great quarter!!
To my delight, the Farm has become an attractive place for little ones to come and hang out. They love to collect the eggs, pet the chickens, water plants, try herbs, feed the fish and excitedly explore nature. Many of our young visitors come regularly and often bring new people and introduce them to their new found joy of farming. Their enthusiasm is refreshing- and they are just so cute to watch! Had to share a few pictures from yesterday:)
A wonderful blog and pictures by Amy Kirbow.
Saving seeds is a lost art. Art by definition is the creation of something simply for its beauty. Seed saving is much more than that, but it is beauty too and that is where we will start. The diversity of texture, shape, size and color are fascinatingly brilliant. To think, God placed so much creativity into His art of seed forming. Things that are generally hidden, not even seen by most, still His delicate touch caressed each one. Not one seed was too small or insignificant for Him to individually form. All of who He is went in to each one. I love to sit for hours and pry open the pregnant buds bursting with precious new life, each plant giving back to us sometimes a hundred fold of what they are and what they have been. It is always so surprising, although at this point it should not be, that within each flower, vegetable, fruit there is potential for the multiplication times ten or even more. Some seeds are so tiny one can hardly see them and diligence must be taken if they are to be discovered. Snapdragons, petunias and arugula are among these, others such as sun flowers or pumpkin are quite large and readily found even by those not actively seeking them out.
I guess I discovered my love for saving seeds when I was a child. My grandmother would sit on the swing and shell peas and I would sit with her. Some peas she would eat that year, but some she would dry, store and plant the following year. At the time, I don’t remember thinking too much about it. I do remember from the realization that those were seeds, and could once again become a new plant, I had an extreme need to find where seeds were hidden in every plant I came across. Some are harder to find than others, but most are quite easy if you know where and when to look, and I feel with each seed I find a little closer to God Himself.
Everything God creates has beauty. Equally everything He creates has great value and function. Imagine all the lessons of His character to be found in seed saving. He made the plants for us to eat, but the genius is we don’t eat them once and then they are gone….that is, if we save their seed. They give to us nutrients and sustenance for the moment, but greater still is the sustenance they give to us for the future. My grandmother knew the value in the seed. Most, if not all, of our grandparents did, but somewhere along the way the value was lost. Perhaps it is because we often live for the moment and not the future, but whatever the reason once more we are beginning to recognize the immense necessity of the seed.
Saving the seeds of each plant is very time consuming. I mentioned spending hours this summer collecting each one. Would it be easier just to go to the store and buy a package? Of course, but so much of the art, passion and connection of gardening comes when we know and can produce the whole cycle. Just now some of my seeds are producing for me. Little tiny Greek Dwarf basil seeds I collected early in the summer have now grown enough to where I can take from their leaves and eat. My love for these plants is much greater because the economics of my time with them has been equally great. There is something so satisfying at looking at the garden now and knowing that many things growing came, not from a paper package, but rather a perfect delicate God-designed package that I alone was allowed to open, each one a tiny present from Him to me.
I did not mean for this article to be a Bible lesson, I meant for it to be a practical word on where and how to find seed, but with each new word I compose I cannot escape all the lessons the Lord spoke to me this summer as I collected these tiny little seeds…
Seek me and I will be found by you…
Children (yes, even the children of plants) are a heritage of the Lord…
I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places…
I love gardening. I think God loves it too. He must, after all, it was the very first thing He truly built and then He walked in it daily. I long to create a place where once again He will walk and meet with me daily, a place where both figurative and literal seeds are abundant and multiplication is possible…a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.