Pollination Party

April 17, 2012


hi there,

this is the the kind of natural happening that i look forward to in spring; what a thrill to witness nature in action. there is so much happening all around us in the natural world, we just have to be open to it.

i have been reading the earth moved;on the remarkable achievements of earthworms by amy stewart. i’m sure it’s only going to add to my admiration of the earthworm ( yes, it’s true, i generally kiss all earthworms i come in contact with). ms. stewart  is one of my favorite authors having also written another one of my favorite books concerning the natural world; wicked plants; the weed that killed lincoln’s mother & other botanical atrocities. the follow up to that is her latest book and is also next on my reading list;  wicked bugs; the louse that conquered napoleon’s army & other diabolical insects.

it’s a beautiful day today and i should be getting my nose out of books and to work outside now that the strong winds have subsided.

i hope that the weather is beautiful wherever you are in the world.

peace,

julayne

Busy Bees

March 27, 2012


hello!

things have been pretty busy around here as you can see in the photo. richard and i have been very busy too. the extended warm spell and dry conditions have given us plenty of time to work in the gardens and other parts of the property. to add to our excitement, richard found an add for free red raspberries; all we had to do was go dig them up, so we did and we now have enough for a market garden size raspberry patch. we are busy transplanting them right now, i hope all goes well.

right now, we have:  peas, radish, beets, carrots, lettuces all emerging. we have several volunteers coming up such as kale, cilantro, a few carrots and onions; we leave them where they are and plant or weed around them. the garlic wintered nicely and is looking very happy. along with the raspberry canes, i have planted potatoes and spinach. currently we are in a bit of a cool down spell with storms predicted the next few days. i’m hoping to get in another succession planting of lettuce in the ground today.

the compost heap is working nicely and we have started our second batch. when we moved the first batch to bin number two, it started cooling down. still haven’t figured out why it stopped cooking. i’m going to research that and think we can figure out just what made that happen.

hope you are having a pleasant spring.

peace,

julayne

 
pear blossoms, la salle county, illinois


la salle county, illinois

hello and happy march 1st!

richard grew these birdhouse gourds  a couple of seasons ago and we made them into homes for our feathered friends last winter. i really appreciate how utilitarian growing and using this particular gourd can be. we didn’t get too fancy by painting them, although,  i think a coat of  some sort of weatherproofing  might be a good idea. however, i don’t think i would be able to put them in the compost heap if they were treated with some sort of paint or  varnish. the birds moved in last spring and seem to like them very much and that gives me a good feeling.

we are starting to work on a 3 bin composting system made from standard wooden skids which we have on hand. large amounts of compost are essential for a healthy, fertile, soil and plants. along with the compost bins we have also set up a simple cold frame made from bales of straw and old single pane windows that were laying idle in the attic. i have planted various lettuces and some spinach as well. of course, i’ve got the elusive (for me anyway) corn salad in there as part of my desire to learn how to best make that delicious herb grow.

peace,

julayne

Winter’s Retreat

February 27, 2012


la salle county, illinois

greetings!

i thought i would post one more of my snow pics. what a difference a few days makes! the snow is gone and i’ve been busy happily spreading beautiful horse manure on the garden. this is a busy and exciting time for gardeners. i enjoy preparing the garden in the spring. last fall i read  the gardening memoir grow the good life by michelle owens. i truly enjoyed it and was definitely inspired by her gardening experiences. i’m always so interested in learning from those who have boldly gone feet first into gardening and are not afraid to admit all of the crazy mistakes they’ve made so that the rest of  us may learn. thank you michelle!

A late winter poem courtesy of  www.poertyfoundation.org

Hunger Moon

BY JANE COOPER

The last full moon of February
stalks the fields; barbed wire casts a shadow.
Rising slowly, a beam moved toward the west
stealthily changing position
until now, in the small hours, across the snow
it advances on my pillow
to wake me, not rudely like the sun
but with the cocked gun of silence.
I am alone in a vast room
where a vain woman once slept.
The moon, in pale buckskins, crouches
on guard beside her bed.
Slowly the light wanes, the snow will melt
and all the fences thrum in the spring breeze
but not until that sleeper, trapped
in my body, turns and turns.
peace,
julayne

Asparagus Patch

February 24, 2012


la salle county, illinois

i know i’ve mentioned in several of my posts that we’ve seen very little snow this winter. i can now actually say that we did receive snow today in the early morning hours. snow this time of year reminds me of the book sugar snow by laura ingalls wilder ; one of a series of early little house books i read to my daughter sierra when she was a preschooler. thinking that this snow might not stick around too long, i grabbed my camera and went  out this morning to take a few photos; it was nice to have the snow to brighten up the landscape. i have to admit i was getting a little frustrated with our winter palette of brown, brown, and more brown.

it’s hard to believe that we will be noticing asparagus spears poking up out of the ground soon by the looks of our patch in the photo. i’m starting to get very excited about spring and the upcoming gardening season. so far the seeds we have started are in various forms of germination and i’m looking through seed catalogs to round out garden plans for this year. i’m very anxious to try an heirloom winter squash called  delicata. also, richard has promised me a spot for a kitchen herb garden right outside the door. i’m such a lucky gal :0).

have a great weekend!

peace,

julayne

Perspective

February 21, 2012


vermillion river, la salle county, illinois

hello!

i took this photo earlier this winter while hiking along the vermillion river. i guess that my natural curiosity got the better of me and i had to bend down and look into the hollow log. not an unusual thing for me to do. looking at the world from a different perspective from time to time can be healthy  in that it may spark creativity or unique thoughts; your own personal way of thinking outside the box.

peace,

julayne

The Best Day Ever Part 2

February 19, 2012


la salle county, illinois

i just couldn’t help but post one more eagle photo. i’m so thrilled over my good fortune.

peace,

julayne