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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Come in, change clothes, and make a hot switchel

Kale at left, broad beans at right. In the distance peas, brassicas, leeks, onions, rhubarb, chard, fruit trees. The pine we raised from a seed fished out from between the scales of a pine cone. Our street is very sedate, and people walk, jog, bike, and ride horses past us continually. Some of them stop, point out the "yarden" to each other and discuss what we're up too. They see me in the distance and wave. I wave back.

I like the horses. The sharp "clep, clep, clep" of their shoes on the pavement reminds me of when we lived among the Old Order Mennonites with their steel-wheeled tractors, giant white barns, and the ubiquitous black buggies, doing the "clep, clep, clep" thing along the highways.

Today I mostly made mulch and compost, as the grass is now growing apace, and spread it along the beds and around fruit trees. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a male yellow-crowned sparrow trapped in the greenhouse. I went in and collected him without too much trouble, showed him to Beloved, and then opened my hands. He flew, a disgruntled arrow, to the neighbor's lilacs. Rain was coming. I put on a broad-brimmed straw hat, and worked until the drops began running off the brim, a sign that more grass would be just too wet to cut. Time to come in, change clothes, and make a hot switchel.

Beloved has rearranged the barn and the Rosies (young Rhode Island Reds) have moved there, in separate quarters from the adult flock. They've calmed down quite a bit, as they can now see the other chickens, whose doings -- sit on nest, meditate, announce "brek-brek-bukrahh-brek" and saunter out the door -- they find fascinating.

Tomorrow, she's off up-valley to collect a flock of young Ancona ducklings. I will stay and make more mulch/compost, maybe put out a few seeds, clean house.
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