Thursday, December 1, 2016

Living the Good Life: Carrots & Adventure

Our Big Life Change continues to transition and evolve and allow the time for all the things we love and believe in and want to experience.
  • Just today in the cloudy, gray 40s I put on my coat, old, cracked Muck boots and duct-taped mittens and headed to the wood pile to restock our inside supply. The weight of the wood and the twisting of my body while hauling felt good.
  • Lentil loaf with carrots from the garden is planned for our meal tonight along with a fresh salad of our own homegrown kale, spinach, kohlrabi and beet greens. I love that we get to walk out our door and harvest pure, delicious, nutrient dense food, while touching the soil and breathing the cool, clean air. 
  • Two days ago, we hiked 9 easy miles at Mohican State Park with 20-25 lb packs. We spend lots of time hiking as always, but now we also train for the Arizona Trail this spring, which offers us 800 miles of trail, nature, time and all that we need to survive carried on our backs. What a gift to have this opportunity! And by gift I mean the ability to make this choice. For so long we were controlled by other peoples' rules until we decided to make a life following our hearts and requiring less so we could live our life where carrots and 800 trail miles and Dark-eyed Juncos and American Tree Sparrows feeding on wildflower seeds are our reality, our daily life, daily practice and inspiration.

20 mile days feel easy when your heart is full, your muscles strong and your only task is to walk and be present in the world. 

I'm writing all this to say, if there are changes you are waiting to make or life you want to live that you've not lived, start now. Yes, some money is required but much less than we so often think and really, there is nothing more rich as finding who you are and living the life that you are meant to live.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Gratefulness and Common Nighthawks

'Tis the season, friends, that reminds us to see the beauty in our lives and offer our gratitude for this life that is gifted to us. We wish you all much happiness and joy and, of course, many moments outdoors experiencing the natural world that makes our lives not only possible, but so very rich.

We have so much to share, but today we offer a recent magical moment featuring one of our most favorite birds - the Common Nighthawk. Here's the link for You Tube and better viewing quality. Happy Thanksgiving all!


Monday, November 7, 2016

Gardens 2016 & Great Late Season Nectar Plant

It is still quite warm here in North-Central Ohio so we continue to accomplish lots outdoors, but not much indoors (if you pop over, you've been warned about the cat fur). The vegetable garden looks so great; we love spending time tending the plants and enjoying the sunshine.

We have our hardy winter greens growing under our low tunnels (beets, spinach, kale, kohlrabi, & carrots)...

and Crimson Clover, an excellent cover crop, protecting our soil for winter.

We harvested a decent amount of winter squash this year given our drought and got our first ever luffa gourds (long green skinny ones) to mature - I will do a separate post on those. Exciting!

Much of our summer and fall was spent driving our mower pulling our water tank rig round and round watering our spring planted trees. We kept 2/3rds alive we think and hope. When Mother Nature doesn't give you the rain you expect, life gets a little harder, but we do think our arms are a lot buffer than they were this spring - thanks to all the 5 gallon buckets of water we hauled - so that's a bonus.

Towards the end of September we received a glorious (seriously!) 2" of rain and annuals that never grew much after sowing as a cover crop in the spring, bloomed very late in September and into October. These flowers were used readily by migrating Monarchs so there is some goodness in the challenges too.

By far, our hottest, most used annual flower by Monarchs is the Mexican Sunflower or Torch (Tithonia). Plant it! It's so beautiful, provides nectar for butterflies and bees and seeds for birds. You can see it in the back of the photo.

After a couple of hard frosts killed all these late blooming annuals, nectar got a lot harder to find. In this VIDEO, I highlight a great late season perennial bloomer and tour you around the garden a bit.

Also, in my avoidance of the computer and all things indoors, I forgot to add our bat house video to our last blog post. So sorry!