Wednesday, September 5, 2018

SO MUCH LIFE, Unfolding hearts, Native Plants for Sale!

Friends, I write today on this most brilliant of all days. I told Steve as we ate breakfast, I wish this day would last forever. The streaming sunshine, singing American Goldfinches from every last sunflower, peaceful cats, sunny Goldenrods, migrating Monarchs, singing Wood heart says hold on to every last moment. It's here and real and now. I'm struggling a lot lately with computer time or inside time...what am I doing indoors? Everything happening is outdoors, all the way, all the time.

So, we venture into the world with lighter packs (finally!) so we can go further...

and witness a Banded Tussock moth caterpillar munching in harmony right next to an Io caterpillar...

and sing a song of gratitude that Ginseng remains in places not far from people. Life holds on!

Glacial grooves connect us to the forces that shaped our part of the country...

and alvars remind us how much is ephemeral. The time is now - an overused phrase, but oh, so true.

This tree tells us we are not separate and we are all fierce in our desire to live.

On the homefront, harvesting cabbage means greeting a little Brown Snake. Oh my heart.

It also means saving 20-30 Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars, 5 Monarch caterpillars and 1 Question Mark caterpillar one day shy from getting mowed. Steve's intuition and our evening walk were certainly guided by forces larger than us.

We brought all these friends home and reveled in their life and their magnificence and placed them on all their native hosts plants with no mowing ever in their future. This Spicebush cat was on "walk about" aka searching for a place to make a chrysalis. What color!

Harmony. Always seeking harmony and laughter...that's us. Fern and Aster decided to say hi to Minnie Pearl, which elicited much laughter from us. And joy. Yes, joy. Big, beautiful, sometimes elusive joy.

Wild Cucumber and the perfumy, intoxicating scent of the blooms caused many exclamations of joy too: the scent! the flower spikes and tiny pollinators! the burry seed pods!

We have plants for sale for many of you looking to add this magic to your life. All you need are the right plants, some love for these plants and the life associated with those plants will find you. You will be astonished and bound to the web uniting us all. We promise.

Once you live this way and see the life around you as just that, LIFE around you, you will satiate a part of yourself yearning for this connection and you will want more and more and more. We promise you that too.

Give yourself space and time to reaquaint with this exquisite planet, of which you are an important part and where your decisions in how you live your life affect many - many, many more than you might realize. We learn new connections every single day. Sometimes I tear up as I fill with truly, overwhelming gratitude.

So, plant my friends. Your heart will enlarge and you will find compassion and joy for being part of something much greater - and not something of which we "have dominion over," but rather for what we are stewarding. Yes, stewarding. The greatest gift of my life so far is to serve as caretaker for myself, my loved ones and this planet and the life around me.

We are offering our plants by order only this year. What does that mean? Take a look at the plant list at the end of this post and email me what you are interested in and I will tell you what we have and in what sizes and then I will pull them all together for you and you can pick them up and we will have a happy little plant party together. Why this new format? Well, because we have less plants than years before and so this format will ensure we have what you want before you make the trip.

Why less plants? Well, because we continue to experiment on the media front and sometimes we struggle with experimentation. Who doesn't? We will not capitulate on using peat or synthetic fertilizers. They are not sustainable in any way, shape or form and the plant growing industry, especially native plant growers, needs to get on the right side of this issue. If we want to provide a plant to help us (whether by food or beauty or oxygen, etc) and the planet, we should not do so at the expense of future generations or diversity-rich peat bogs in Canada or the U.S. Read about it.

Once you know, you can't unknow it. So, our media is currently compost, coir (byproduct of coconut industry...not perfect, but it's used for other reasons first), rice hulls (byproduct of rice industry) farmed worm castings and sustainably sourced bat guano. Where did our issues arise? Steve the brilliant soil scientist finally figured it out...alkaline media. Where did the alkalinity come from? Compost. Ours? No. We don't produce enough compost onsite to use in the garden and nursery so we buy from a local composter.

All the different types of compost we purchased from this company tested very basic (highly alkaline). That creates an environment where many plants won't thrive or will have nutrient deficiencies so we will be getting compost elsewhere in the future (and testing right away, duh!) and that means less plants for you this year. But, we still have many brilliant plants and they want homes.

So please take a look at the list and message us with your orders. You can pick them up at our house or we can arrange a drop off location if we will be in your area for other reasons or orders. Thanks for your support friends, not only of us, but of this mighty and dazzling planet!

2018 Native Plant List

Contact Us

When can I make an appointment?

Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar Rescue Video

Saturday, August 18, 2018

High Summer in Ohio, Roan Mountain Highlands, Native Plants....

Hi friends. Thanks to all of you who messaged because you miss our posts. We don't have as much time at the computer now, but we promise when we do to make it worth your while. Below are some exquisite summer sights we've lived this year. We hope you enjoy and that your summer is equally beautiful.

In July, we visited Western North Carolina and hiked 85 miles along the Appalachian Trail in the Roan Mountains Highlands area. There were Pipevine Swallowtails everywhere nectaring commonly on native lilies and Bottlebrush Buckeye. Sometimes we stood in place for long periods of time just to experience these beauties flitting about, living their life, while we observed and felt the tug of the  threads of life binding us together. (Don't let that sound hokey to you; I promise if you pay attention, you will feel it too.)

Our 7 day journey took us through thunderstorms and rain showers every day, which the forest quickly slurped up and used to grow many beautiful kin; the Purple Coral fungus stopped us both instantly.

The rain challenged our spirits at times, but once past the frustration the rain allowed for many child-like moments and deep appreciation for a spot of many giggles over super pruny feet.

Red efts walked about everywhere...some sections of trail hosted 20 or more in less than a few hundred feet. It was incredible! We must have passed hundreds and hundreds - seen and unseen.

The moist weather systems passing through gave us such intense moments of beauty; it's a true feat we finished this trail at all and didn't just park our butts down in awe.

To counter our dead car battery woes at the end of the hike, Steve made two cat friends at the Mountain Harbor Hostel. You can see his pals brightened his spirit...

Back on the home front, we work daily on chores and money making tasks, but we also work daily to spend more and more time observing the life around us everywhere. EVERYWHERE. (Have you watched this TED talk? Please do.)

Who is this fabulous spider tucked in to this most cozy of nests?

The Pandorus Sphinx moth...

and the Laurel Sphinx moth both delighted me with their presence in our greenhouse. (One of the serious problems with a high tunnel or greenhouse are the myriad beings that get trapped and hopelessly baffled by all the clear plastic and glass so we check ours daily here.) We feel so lucky to know this landscape we foster and live in gives these moths all they need to survive and reproduce.

The wild blackberries this year are phenomenal and so delicious. We eat and share and eat some more!

Visits from family and friends continue to delight our summer and we were so happy to see Steve's old and mighty canoe find a home with my sister and her family. We love this boat, but find our hiking shoes always call stronger - meaning this boat sat more on land than in the water so a boat's life is resurrected.

The growing season this year is different, as it is almost every year for us, so I just finished uppotting our native plants at the beginning of August. Wow! Our 4 chickens keep me constant company offering me many laughs and a heart full of love for these beautiful, affectionate birds.

Native plants are growing and hope to find a home with you wildscape makers in September. Check the website at the beginning of September or look for my email if you are on our mailing list at that time.

Thanks to Michelle and Nathaniel for the nursery and Eby photos and for your continued support! Here the infamous duo is at our place all decked out for their trip to Denali National Park where Michelle is the 2018 Artist in Residence.

We are so happy to live the life we do and to be on the path we are on. It's not always easy bucking the norm, but deep inside our spirits we know it's the right path for us...

Eby agrees!

Resources for when you have time:

Videos from our place:

Giant Swallowtail Caterpillars on Prickly Ash 

Giant Swallowtail Adult nectaring on Wild Bergamot

Wild Bergamot and Clearwing Moths

Orchard Tour 

Strawberry Pollination with Native Bees

Music I can't stop listening to:

Lord Huron Strange Trails full album

New Favorite Podcast:

Wild Ideas Worth Living

Fabulous holisitic doctor in Westerville, OH:

Dr. Kanodia