Thursday, April 27, 2017

Spring at our Farm

Our early hard work planting is paying off in big ways this year. Just look at the Red Buds (Cercis canadensis) in bloom; we planted these in 2011!

We are such big fans, we planted over 40 more already this year.

We are grateful to whomever planted our 30-40+ year old Sugar Maples and finally really noticed their beautiful flowers this year.

Ethereal is actually our favorite word to describe these dangling blooms....

The Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum) and Dryad's Saddle (also appropriately called Pheasant Back Mushroom) make a stunning combo in our fencerow.

The chickens are loving the warmer temperatures and roam about daily getting into all kinds of mischief. Here's Fern and Aster:

Under the old Lilac is their favorite place to hang out, sleep and preen during the day.

Our overwintered native plants made it through winter under their toasty little blanket.

The leaves are already greened back up and we have lots of little seeds germinating. (We hope to have plants ready sometime in June.)

The chickens ravaged the unsuspecting invertebrates that overwintered in this plant blanket. It's an interesting thing - rewilding our 3.5 acres of former lawn and raising healthy chickens for their eggs and witnessing the toll just five domesticated birds take on insects, amphibians, reptiles, etc. Our food, no matter how you grow it, get it or buy it, is very, very related to the health and biodiversity of our planet.

As you all know, our rewilding includes lots of milkweed; pictured below is Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) with TWO monarch eggs laid on 4/25 - the first monarch we saw here this year. WOW! We hope these plants grow fast.

Peas and greens are growing here as well and we are harvesting lots of asparagus, rhubarb and eggs (oh my the eggs!).

Potatoes and onions are the latest addition, which we planted on 4/26 with temperatures in the mid-80s. That's crazy for this part of Ohio at this time of year. It seems many of our old assumptions about weather are not the same anymore.

I'm always happy to soak up the sunshine though. We hope you are enjoying spring too!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

After the AZT (Rockhound, Bluebonnets, Lady Bird Johnson, Natchez Trace)!

Through the chaos and serendipity of getting off trail, we don't have photo documentation of much of what happened, but huge thanks to the ultra cool Randy for giving us a lift to Saguaro National Park and camping with us for a night. We hope Yellowstone is fabulous!

Thanks to Noah with Uber for getting us to Tucson and the only available rental car turned van and to the fabulous Ian for the lift south and stashing our car during our hike. Huge thanks, again, to Deborah for hosting us at your home and letting us regroup and love on sweet, sweet Max and admire Leo from afar.

Our trip East landed us first amongst the epic wildflower bloom near the Florida Mountains in southern New Mexico.

Mexican Poppy:



Happy explorer:

Wild Flax:

The fantastic wildflowers, sunsets, and time to be still worked some magic on us once again.

The ease of a table is much appreciated after many days without!

We don't know this cactus and it doesn't look right for the horse crippler, but we love it.

Variable Checkerspot nectaring on Coreopsis:

A stop in Carlsbad reunited us with very special friends we've missed dearly since we moved away in 2009. Huge hugs to John (Ocarina, Tongue Drum and all sorts of goodness - Maker) and Gosia (owner of the fabulous Heart Rock Massage Therapy.) This photo is by Gosia documenting our time together so we know it really happened. ☺ Thank you sweet girl for hosting us in your welcoming and inspiring home!

The Texas Hill Country showed us the wildflowers we hoped for. Here's the famous Texas Bluebonnets:

Bluebonnets and Paintbrush make for a dramatic color display:

The new growth on the Prickly Pear Cactus is so brilliantly green...the color of true plant magic.

The Live Oaks are really something to experience. Ancient trees hold our hearts (and yours?) so now is the time to start planting all slow growing trees for future generations.

Even though we've seen Antelope Horns many times, each time we squeal with delight. Look at this beauty:

We are HUGE pie lovers and a roadside sign advertising homemade pies had Steve careening off the road into a small driveway to take advantage of homemade deliciousness shortly after a very stressful turtle rescue (which we successfully completed without anyone getting hurt). The pie was a perfect treat as was our conversation and inspiriation from the Pie Lady. We are always grateful to cross paths with people making their own, unique way in the world out of a place of necessity and sometimes because of their commitment to their own life desires.

This post is all about thanks and this one goes to Lady Bird Johnson for her vision and love of flowers and wild places. If you get to Austin, TX, go check out the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. We were more than impressed and the food in the cafe is delicious too!

Louisiana and Mississippi, we are so glad we got to meet you. We will be back.

The Natchez Trace is a beautiful drive, with three free campgrounds along its route. We highly recommend this drive for its beauty, history, ease of access to small communities and slow pace. This is a route that makes you think about the craziness of many of our interstates and ways we choose to live now. Hmmmm. 

So much happened on this trip, but this gives you a small taste. We are excited to share all the planting happening on our three little wild acres here in Ohio so tune in next week.