Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Food Forest Update and Some Grass-Fed Butter....

Do you think you know stillness? Learn from the pros.
Chilling on a fig leaf in the dome greenhouse. Perfect.

Work was slow in NY, so I hopped in the car at 10am and did 1400 miles
in about 22 hours. Slept for 5 hours at a rest stop, and made it back to
the garden by 11am the next day. I stopped in Minneapolis to stock
up on grass-fed seasonal butter for the winter, then continued on.

This butter is only created from June to September,
so I was sure to stock up for the rest of year. Really primo stuff.
Check out this comparison between grass fed butter
and grain fed butter...astonishing.

Grass fed on, corn, and ??? fed on right.
Grass-fed butter will not clog your arteries!
The body tries to heal itself from refined carbs in the bloodstream
by laying down a thin layer of cholesterol. Its a healing mechanism
that targets interior inflammation.
So...People keep eating refined carbs, and the body keeps putting
out the healing layers of cholesterol until its too much and
blood flow gets cut off. People have been eating diets high in
animal fats for MANY MANY MANY years, and suffered
no coronary problems. Its only by adding in the refined carbs
do the arteries start to close up. Seriously.
Don't believe it? Check THIS out at least before judging.

Back to the garden.
I come upon this scene, and all was well with the universe.

This dome didnt even exist until October 2008,
and now it is an utter oasis supporting untold
amounts of life and biodiversity.
I sit there and say to myself:
"I created THIS" What a feeling.

This is what it looked like this June.
The volunteer pumpkin was taking over,
and I liked the greenery, but she had to go.

It was time for a chop and drop.

I apologized to her (the pumpkin) and told her
that it was for the greater good of the greenhouse.
(I doubt that SHE agreed).
This looks like a small amount, but it was about six inches thick.
Two days later the worms were ALL OVER it.
I did the chop and drop in the middle of the night,
hoping not to disturb the other plants nearby
that might be a little rattled by one of their friends
getting chopped to bits. (Im not crazy.)
I eventually planted the pomegranate that was in a container
up until now, and you should see the new growth shooting out.
I then covered that area with newpapers, and then straw.

My biggest annual success was the growth of tomatoes.

This was supposed to be a yellow pear (all the others were)
but this special specimen turned out quite a bit different.

Copper tools and a varied Tomato/Tomatillo Harvest. Genius.

I have paid my tariffs to nature though.
The deer are pretty relentless, and the lack of
human and canine activity up there leads to brave deer.
Its a tax Im willing to pay. They poop all over, so I thank them
for their contribution. I wish they would have eaten the whole squash though.
Into the compost bin it went.

They would mess with the corn as well. I don't mind that much
since I just chop it all up and lay it on the garden floor anyways,
and most of the corn was from decorative indian corn so I would
just make tortillas out of it anyways. I used it more for a border
anyways, so again...a tax paid to nature. So it goes.

And the bees...hitting the red clover. Im glad I planted it all over the place. Just when the buckwheat was finishing, the red clover was taking over. Its good to plant lots of bee food in your garden to keep them close to home and out of trouble. I devoted much of my garden (non-sq foot garden that is) to bee food. It has paid off.

Its all about give and take. The more you give your food forest and the animals that live within it, the more you get back. And Im NOT really talking about food, but something much more intangible, deeper, and fufilling. Sitting in that greenhouse at midnight and listening to crickets and frogs is something that I could never replace with some crap TV show or a movie. Something is so pure and true about it, and to know that I was experiencing it because my former self of one year ago was determined or crazy enough to build that dome greenhouse is a really awesome feeling.

Time is NOT running out for your garden.
Make deposits to the bank (the soil) by adding in cover crops,
manure, and sea minerals. Do some landscaping and plant some perennials.
Its not too late. Dont call it quits so soon, especially for you fellow northerners.

Food forest creation is a 10 month a year task.
Food forests WILL save us if we are smart enough to start
creating them now. Your kids and grandkids will thank you.