Tuesday July 22, 2014

QUESTION OF THE WEEK

Survey results are meant for general information only, and are not based on recognised statistical methods.




It doesn't look like much

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Gardens in June generally don’t look great.

Ask anyone these days, and you’ll get an “It’s coming...” in a tone that is absolutely unsure of the outcome.

They’re up: carrots, beans, peas, radishes, potatoes, greens and everything else. Whatever winter did with its sustained record lows, when the fruit trees woke, they woke to fruit out. I don’t recall a June so full of blooms and lush with promise.

I spent a day digging grass from areas not conducive to chicken tractoring. It was the one uninterrupted day I used to garden as Farmer stayed inside, recovering from a rodeo and the cumulative effect of overwork and sleep deprivation.

Although one day to work uninterrupted in the garden may not look like much, it made a bang of a difference.

In order to move an open-bottomed pen along the ground for chicken grazing, the path needs to be clear of tender seedlings. Currently three chickens are operating a tractor on the south garden’s edge. It will probably take them a few months to motor their way around that entire garden.

By then the old hens will be ready for the pressure canner, and the young ones will take over the winter coop.

What I dug from the garden took hours, and was moved in intervals between relocating the second brood of chicks from the hot box, and into their new digs: a brooder attached to a lush forage sewn run.

Grass was far too much for the chicks. They got only a few clumps. Then several five-gallon pails full of quack grass were served to our new feeder pigs, who wag their tails when they see me coming and never tire of fresh grass.

They didn’t look like much, either, when we got them on a cold, rainy day. They shivered in the wind when Farmer closed the cattle trailer to bring them home. Funny the difference a week makes.

They’re motoring through their feed and filling out their skin, happy in their space; at home like they’ve always been here.

It all adds up, comes together and pans out. Seeds and animals seemingly so tiny, fragile and insignificant are currently growing into something important: our food. And this in turn becomes us.

It was of huge significance. 


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