Posts tagged ‘weather’
On the leaves of the pink rose, droplets of fresh morning dew settle. Hummingbird rests. Finches sing. Doves meet, fly, and coo. Some plants look cold and restful. These plants invert and sleep. Brassicas flourish all of the time. Dark green tapestries, called “leaves,” of the broccoli and cabbage photosynthesize through the fog. With enduring rays, Sun steadily lights the world and causes the fog’s evaporation.
Sun and fog will play all day in our coastal world. Microcosms and microclimates fill Awaswas. Our soil remains incredibly fertile due to our area’s history as a wetland. Sun and Water encourage our plants to grow.
A big thunderstorm blasted thorough Santa Cruz last night. I managed to catch a few electrifying moments. You can see the Cocoanut Grove, the Boardwalk, and the Santa Cruz Pier.
Alternating days of rain and sun for the past few weeks have been a blessing for the plants. Many of our earthbound green friends have been actively photosynthesizing and have grown significantly. The pigeons enjoyed a snack of rice, given by Don Domingo. Lining the walkways of the garden are narcissus flowers blooming, and gladiolas preparing to bloom. Today Carlie harvested oregano, mint, tarragon and cilantro from the garden. These herbs have survived the winter and are entering their productive phase again with the lengthening of the days. The blueberry plants have sensed the arrival of spring, and have their first small fruits. The Nopal cactus, taking a cue from the blueberries about the arrival of spring, have awakened and are sending out tasty shoots that will soon be grilled, salted, covered with lime and wrapped in a corn tortilla.
As the rain continues, so does the gardener’s break from those hard labor farm chores. Today’s walk leads the gardener to the seashore.
Walks fortify the gardener’s physical body. Walks also fortify the organic gardener’s spirit. Organic farmers and gardeners must be in touch with Mother Earth’s cycles. Weather varies day to day, season to season, and year to year. Time spent outside sensitizes the farmer to the daily needs of his or her plants.
Even if the farmer cannot work his or her land, a walk outside shows the farmer what the crops experience that day. A successful organic farmer maintains his or her spirit and body, as well as, his or her crops!
On rainy days, the blessed gardener rests from the hard labor chores of maintaining the land. Mother Earth works on rainy days. With her delicious sweet water, Mother Earth waters the plants and cleans the pathways.
While the gardener rests from hard labor chores, the gardener must do some physical activity to maintain his or her strength. Gardening, also called “working the land,” requires extreme physical exertion. Therefore, it is helpful to one’s gardening to strengthen your physical body on days spent away from working the land. Activities such as walking, stretching, and dancing keep the gardener in proper physical condition.
A walk along a local river is an excellent way to keep your body strong and still spend some time with Mother Earth on rainy days. The birds along the river encourage other living beings to enjoy the rain. You see, the rain attracts birds. They sing, play, and enjoy the blessing of rain. As the gardener walks along the river, he or she hears the local avian symphony.
A truly organic gardener perceives birds as integral to the success or failure of his or her farming practices. Birds eat pests, as well as, distribute seeds and pollen. They also provide music and company during the gardener’s hard labor. A walk along a local river allows the gardener to connect with birds and Mother Earth’s rain cycle. In El Jardín, our organic practices integrate an age-old custom of praising mother earth and the blessing of rain.
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!