Our Early Spring
The rain waters the seedlings, young food plants, and perennials today. Meanwhile, the blustery wind tests the strength of the young plants, flowers, and new fences. The humans rest today after two weeks of working the land.
Last week while the sun shined, Don Domingo swept and maintained the sidewalk around the garden. The foilage he found, augments his beach sand soil. The blue jays arrived in search for corn kernels. Young finches spent their time eating something the human eye cannot perceive. The humans provided corn kernels and other feed to the local pigeon population. The monarchs, swallowtails, and other local butterflies ate and fluttered through out our land. As the nectar matures, hummingbirds feast. Hummingbirds and other birds also rest and bathe in the land of our community garden, El jardin.
Over the past week many gardeners tended to their land by cleaning the weeds, tilling the soil, and planting seeds and young plants. So far in our early spring, the following plants grow: indigenous maíz, nopales, various types of onions, beans, various types of lettuce, chamomile, comfrey, our perennial herbs, roses and gladiolas. Fava beans from the winter fallow remain on part of our land. The beans continue to provide nitrogen for our soil. The peach and plum trees blossoms fly and land throughout our land providing nutrients for the soil and beauty for our spirits. Also, our pines drop their needles to augment our soil.
Due to an extremely dry winter for our coastal redwood town, the gardeners planted a few weeks earlier then we usually do. Generally, we fallow our land in the winter due to the excessive rain fall of our location, a neighbor to the Redwood Forrest. This warmer drier year brings a hopeful promise of a larger yield of food, more bbqs, as well as, a healthy harvest of warmer weather crops. In addition, to our usual harvest of indigenous maíz , beans, summer squash, nopales, onions, chayotes, plums, and perennial herbs, we hope to have stronger harvest of warmer weather crops such as: chiles, bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelon.
All but one of our plots have caretakers. All of us hope a strong gardener can take over the neglected plot. In El jardín, we enact traditional organic practices. One fallow piece of land attracts pests, such as snails, and compromises our diligent organic farming practices. At the same time, a neglected plot reminds us what the land would look like with out a garden at all –an ugly piece of land full of weeds! A neglected piece of land reminds us of the strong work we do. This land awaits a loving caretaker.
Our early spring in El jardín finds a friend in hope, promise, and hard work! As current food systems force people to purchase and consume genetically-modified-organism-food, our work with the land enables us to eat and live healthfully. We practice traditional methods of farming, despite the coercion of companies, governments, and non-governmental organizations, who force farmers and food consumers to use toxic seeds and food. Our work and our praise for Mother Earth, creates healthy eco-systems and food systems. Happy spring and happy planting to all of us!