This year we actually had spring! It has been glorious – a mix of sun, rain, cool nights and more sun. All this has led to some nice harvests the past couple of weeks and the small Birdtown plot has sprung to life again. Here are some recent pics….
It’s Earth Day and I have always been inspired by those who would plant a tree in honor of this day (even though I kinda feel like we should appreciate our home every day of the year, but that is a different story…). Anyway, now that we actually have a large enough yard and a farmer friend who gave us a couple trees (thanks, Bruce!), we decided to put down some roots. We planted: 1 dwarf peach, 1 dwarf cherry and 2 semi-dwarf plum trees. Maybe we will have fruit in a few years! Below are a few pics of the process.
We moved to Cleveland. Here’s a picture of the new backyard. The dogs love it! We are trying to figure out where to put the garden in this interesting space which is roughly 10,000 square feet. We are continuing to focus on our lot in Lakewood for the market this season and hope to figure out a plan for this lovely space. Will share ideas as we go and welcome your thoughts too!
The weekend brought sunshine and mild temperatures and indicated it’s time to get hands in the soil and seeds in the ground. We planted two flats of spinach and kale and did a bit of clean up as we get ready for outdoor planting. Spring flowers are starting to emerge and the bees were active and finding pollen somewhere. This is a favorite time of year for me, though I’m sure we have a few more weeks of cold temps before things really start to blossom and show signs of life.
Well, it’s that time of year again. The mailbox is flooded with colorful seed catalogs and we start getting excited about spring (despite the cold, frozen ground!). Last weekend we attended the OEFFA conference and got a good nudge in the direction of getting started with planning. Usually the winter months are spent relaxing, though this season we have made some life changes, so it’s been quite a busy stretch these past few months. Needless to say, we are feeling behind and our records from last season are a bit shy of complete…..ah, the importance of doing that critical daily recording of tasks hits us again and we pledge to do better this season.
That being said, we have inventoried our seeds, mapped out our planting schedule, set goals, and whipped all that up into several spreadsheets that will help guide us through the season. While the actual will likely be quite different from the plan, we have to plan in order to have an idea of where we are going and how to get there. Spink took on the bulk of the planning this year and I’m grateful that he seems to have a system. We are trimming our varieties down to those that have worked best for us in the past in an effort to simplify and focus our work. And, while it may not look like it outside, spring is just around the corner….time to get those seeds ordered and start thinking about soil blocking!
The second class of Edible Education 103 is presented by the American theatre director Peter Sellars. Certainly a person I had not heard of and seemed an unlikely candidate regarding food policy or agriculture. But then again, the class is described as stories about food, and I suppose he does eat, so he must have a story, and what a story he has.
He does delve a bit off the subject and use guilt ridden imagery to drive home many of the injustices in the world such as slavery. He equates the “elastic in my underwear, the closest thing to my body” as an embodiment of the slaves in Asia or Honduras that sew them together. That they are a product of mass murder and genocide and is what keeps the prices so low. He has a point, but it’s a bit heavy-handed.
In general the tone of his talk is about getting down to what really matters in our lives and food really matters. For me it cuts to the core of why I want to grow food for a living. At my day job, on a micro level it is difficult because of the oppressive environment, the incessant noise and lights and distractions make concentration almost impossible. It’s these reasons I just want to get up and leave. But on a macro level, I just don’t care what we do there. And not just that particular company but the whole corporate mess. All the corporate jobs I’ve ever had. I’m sure what we do is important, but I can’t feel it. I’ve never been able to equate any of my corporate jobs with any kind of real meaning in my life. On some level I can intellectually see how it might matter, but for the most part it’s just a paycheck, and I find that sad.
The simple act of planting a seed, cultivating a plant, harvesting food, sharing with my neighbors is completely honest and genuine. It gives my life meaning and joy. I think that is what he was shooting for, but really he was all over the place so it’s hard to tell.
|<- BBF post for Class 1||BBF post for Class 3 ->|
I recently ran across an entire college course recorded at the University of California Berkeley in the Fall of 2012 all about food and agriculture. It is moderated by Michael Pollan and features a number of heavy hitters “telling stories about food and agriculture”.
The 1st lecture is done by Micheal Pollan and is entitled Eating Oil, Eating Sunshine. He covers topics presented in The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Food Inc, and does a short profile on Joel Salatin plus a couple of other sustainable farmers. It’s a great introduction.
It is an actual class, so the beginning of the video has a good deal of class housekeeping. Fast forward to minute 23 to get to the start of his talk.
|BBF post for Class 2 ->|