I awoke this morning to a cool breeze, a welcomed reprieve from the recent heat. The morning call of birdsong was an invitation to rise up and sing the praises of another day. A few sprinkles of rain brought a fresh fragrance to the air, and the raindrops had made little indentations upon the dust on the pathway down to the garden. In the stillness of the morning, the life force energy that was pulsing through all of the plants was nearly palpable, as if you sat long enough amongst the plants you could hear them grow and stretch towards the sun. All the plants have been doing an exponential amount of growing over this last week. This growth is the result of the weaving of all the elements; earth, fire, water, air and ether.
At the beginning and end of each day, I walk through the gardens; a contemplative time for observation, song, prayer, and connection to this collective of plants that we are stewarding this season. There usually is no goal to these walks, just a simple act of tuning into the subtle energies of all the plants that reside in the garden. This simple garden sadhana gives great perspective, and it fills my heart with the simple gratitude for all that inhabit this land; the birds, the plants, the trees, the medicines, the animals, the pollinators and insects. It is a humble reminder of the grace of life, and is a perfect reflection both morning and evening.
Our family just came home from an amazing yoga retreat, which seems as though it has fine tuned my senses. Everything this morning seemed more vibrant, more fragrant, more full of life. Taking an extended weekend to settle into my center and refill my inner well through contemplation, practice and meditation was exactly what I needed. These next busy weeks on the farm will be met with renewed appreciation and applied energy. Grateful to Jai Dev Singh, and the folks at Floracopeia for putting on the Life Force Immersion, it was an incredible energetic event. I am already looking forward to the integration of all that I learned and experienced.
The energy of farm is bursting forth! The melons are vining and beginning to flower. These are Sweet Dakota Rose Watermelons, which is an improved watermelon from Prairie Road Organic Seed in North Dakota. We now carry this amazing variety at Sierra Seeds, and it does well in our bioregion of the Sierra Foothills.
The corn is growing inches each day. This is the Six Nations Blue corn, an heirloom from my Mohawk ancestors. It seems to appreciate the Sierra climate quite well and is growing rapidly. I will sow a second succession of corn of a different variety next week, to ensure offset flowering times and keep the two varieties distinct and pure. The second sowing of corn will the the Seneca Ha-go-wa corn that I receive as a gift from Phil Seneca at Good Mind Seeds. I like to separate out the successions of corn plantings by at least 3 weeks to make sure that the first corn planting is done flowering by the time the second sowing is tasseling. We have such a spacious growing season in our watershed that I have luxury of spacing my successions of these short season corns by 4 weeks.
The most exciting development on the farm in the past few weeks has been the hatching of chicks in the chicken coop! We had two hens go broody, and they diligently made endearing sacrifice as they sat on clutches of eggs for the full incubation time of 21 days. The first chicks began hatching nearly 2 weeks ago.
Now the Mama Buff Orpington hen has 6 healthy chicks who follow her around the chicken yard. They are learning how to scratch for bugs and seeds just like their mama! So adorable. They fill my heart with so much love, and I could literally watch them for hours. The kids are so in love as well. The chickens all love our food scraps from the kitchen, as well as weeds from the gardens.
It is so sweet to see how caring the mama hen is to her little ones. She shows them everything they need to know, and provides needed warmth and protective comfort. The little ones love to sit upon her back if they are feeling scared or huddle underneath her.
Just over the weekend, the second broody hen had a few chicks hatch too! Two so far, with a few more eggs underneath her to go. The funniest part of the hatching was that when the first chick hatched, another one of our hens immediately jumped into the nest box and began to co-parent the little one. Now they sit their together with the two chicks and eggs and both take care of the little ones. So sweet to see the cooperation!
Our dog Cowboy, the farm border collie, keeps a diligent eye over the chickens. He sits and watches over the flock with the greatest of care and attention. He is in heaven that he has such an important job. I watched today as a little chick wandered out of the net fence we have around the chicken yard, and Cowboy gently herded it back into the yard towards its mama and family.
The moon is now in its waxing phase, so this week is a great time to plant above ground annuals. We will be sowing all sorts of seeds this week; second successions of greens, herbs, beans, and corn. The leeks are an explosion of huge flowers, and the pollinators are loving them.
I hope that you are having a wonderful week, and that you take the time each day to breathe in and enjoy the expansion of this time of year. I hope that you are finding your life’s creative forces bursting forth in all new ways. Peaceful blessings to you in this week ahead.