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Saturday, April 25, 2009

We aren't the spring chickens

We aren't the spring chickens that so many "adapting in place" farmer/bloggers are these days, having gone through our youthful back-to-the-land number in the 1970s and 80s. Our reference shelf shows it. These are mostly older tomes. We have a few newer things draped on chairs around the house, such as Sharon Astyk and Eliot Coleman, but Carla Emery, Ruth Stout, Jeanne Tetrault, and Sherry Thomas remain among our standbys, along with J.I. Rodale.

Our neighbors to one side have circled the wagons -- a great many RVs all hooked on to the old farmhouse; and they've clearly pooled resources in such a way that we don't see evidence of any of them getting out much ... things seem kind of volatile over there, so we keep to our own side of that fence. On the other side, to our west, have lived, for all the years we've been here, a venerable WW II vet with his music teacher spouse; he has come down with some serious old-age issues and packed himself off to a good rest home, and she is sticking with the homestead a while longer.

We used to exchange services with one another; he would weed-whack our foundation and fence lines and we would mow their grass. We've asked the Mrs. if we might keep mowing and start taking off their clippings, which we know to be organic, for our garden and orchard and this is working out quite well.

Here is our place from her back yard; looking across the "willow coppice" and the creek to the south and west sides of the house. You can see, from left to right, the well-house with its solar hot water pre-heater, dining room window with long-plank bird feeder, high albedo roof and walls, creek bridge, and, through trees, the barn.

From the same area, in our "back forty," the view to the south.

Today I am distributing clippings on the pathways between the beds, and moving hoses to begin the watering season. It keeps threatening to rain but holding off, and cracks are appearing in the clay soil, not a good sign for the plants and seedlings already set out. Busy, busy -- but with enough time to enjoy the advancing season.

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