Thank Goddess Mother Earth for blessing us with glorious Spring Days, reminding one of the joyous renewal and revitalization that cyclically flows forth from Her bounty. Thanks to late rains, we are not quite into drought conditions up here in Northern California. The meadow is awash with wildflowers blooming. This week it is mostly lupine with tiny yellow, white and pink wildflowers popping up everywhere. The cats get lost in the grasses that seem to jump an inch every day. It stays light until almost 8:30 in the evening now. Some people even claim that Summer actually starts on May First, otherwise known as Beltane in Celtic Druid Ceremonies.
We started the seeds later than ever this year, on a Virgo waxing moon. It felt right. The sprouts are already bright green and kind of plump as they soak up the sun. Undoubtedly they will catch up and show sex before June 22, Summer Solstice, which the British call “Mid-summer”, since Summer, remember, started way back on May 1st.
We added a ring of new holes around the outside of the inter-locking triangles in the Sri Yantra Garden, and we are remixing the original terroir soil that was in the old holes with wood chips from dead oak branches and raked up oak leaves, worm castings, charcoal from the wood stove, compost from kitchen scraps and some bags of alfalfa meal. This year we decided to mix in aged organic manure from a friend’s ranch who has horses, goats, ducks, chickens and more. It has been sitting in a pile since October. My justification is that these animals are vegetarian and they are not tortured to produce the manure, they freely give it. The ranch is not quite 20 miles away so it is local. We’ll be adding more soil to make our little mounds, I call them “Hugelettes”, much higher than in the past.
I am a quadruple Gemini so I am always changing things, trying out new methods. We are sampling some new little pint size propagation containers from Gaby at The Garden Spout in Santa Rosa. They are called Root Trappers, made by Rootmaker, and are designed to “prune” the roots as the seedling starts to develop. The tips of the tiny root hairs dry out when they contact air at the perforated edges of the pot, which kind of cauterizes them. This produces a fuzzier root ball, not just a lean and lanky tap root that sometimes curls around the bottom of the little pot. A root ball with lots of tips will produce more branches and more flowers.
For watering, the Root Trappers are put in a carrying tray with a basket type bottom and dunked in a larger deep tray with water or compost tea. This allows the water and nutrients to be absorbed from the bottom, the way plants normally root feed. The trays are then put back in the Hoop house on slats to raise them off the table surface.
Thus, the daily farm rituals begin. In the morning, after my meditation, when the sun hits the hoop house, I head out before breakfast to open the doors and windows before the heat of the day comes on. Check the temperature and look at all the little girls, to see if any need water or some special nutrient boost and to evaluate size and color. Then at night, we take out the trays for their water dunk if they need it, take them back in and then close up the hoop house.
As they often say in India, “We are doing our level best.” It’s the extra touches of love and individual attention which are the secret ingredients that encourage the girls to do their level best as well. We are just in the first stages of the season, with garden preparations underway and seedlings started. Over the next several months through harvest, we will observe them as they inch their way skyward, sending out emerald energy all the way. It’s the greatest show on earth!