An Indiana wild urban farm in bloom
Summer is finally here. Although, here in Indiana it's been feeling like summer since, well, Spring! It felt like we barely got our Spring and I have seen a huge difference in my herb gardens and at the farm.
My echinacea is much shorter and is blooming weeks later than usual. Our cherry trees ended up having a weird larva infestation, which is a first in the 6 years or so we've been harvesting berries from our trees.
But, there is major growth happening with many of our other herbs! Our mugwort is absolutely HUGE as are the yarrow and the nettles. Every year is a time for a new plant to shine ~ it's really fun to watch and be part of it all.
Right now we are harvesting a lot of fun veggies and herbs from the farm. Green beans, nettle, kale, collards, cilantro, basil, tulsi, thyme and dill. Soon the hot peppers, tomatoes, corn and squash will be taking their turn.
These three years of farming have really opened my eyes to what one small 1/2 acre plot can provide. We are using permaculture principles, no chemicals and companion planting to allow the space to grow in somewhat of an organized wildness. Wild herbs are growing amongst the cultivated veggies, tomatoes are popping up in the kale beds and we're hand picking the beetles and worms off of the collards and the tomatillos. Baby rabbits occasionally sneak in for nibbles of the beet greens and well, I just let them because they gotta eat too! It's a labor of love. A dance between human, plant, animal, insect and Gaia who supports us all. And to be able to harvest this bounty and not only feed myself and my family but feed our community at Ezra's Enlightened Cafe, wow, it's a gift beyond my wildest dreams.
One of the very best things that has happened at the farm this year was a tour we gave to a group of children and their parents from a local school. Way more people showed up than we thought and at first, I was anxious to see how many people were filling up our precious farm space. But then magic began to take place.
As I showed them how to pick the kale, and the herbs and the strawberries, the children were connecting quietly and with joy....to the Earth. And to their parents. Sweet moments of pure pleasure and wonder were happening all around me. We ended the tour with a collaboration salad-making workshop.
I watched in awe as Ezra showed his classmates with so much confidence and composure, how to make his favorite salad dressing. (olive oil, balsamic and sea salt – put in a jar, add the lid, shake and done!) He had taken what he learned in our home kitchen and shared it with his peers. And guess what? We had children all around us eating salad with delight. Some trying it even after they said they wouldn’t. Why? Because they had a hand in the process. They helped make that salad happen.
It was quite the evening to remember.
We are deep into the daily routine of farming right now….pulling weeds, pruning, harvesting, planting and just maintaining. But my mind is on what is to come. I look so forward to more community events and opportunities to share our land in a way that brings a connection to Gaia and to each other.
Thank you for reading. And happy Summer!
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