April showers and sunshine are turning the farm slowly from brown to green. This is a panoramic view taken by Intern Mikayla Hood.
Mikayla enjoys seeing Shah Jahan and Mumtaz outside her door when she awakens.
We are upgrading the barn and constructing a new greenhouse attached to the long barn. New doors and roofing make it look and function so much better. The work is still in progress.
Chickens, ducks and peafowl are all getting along well.
The ducks are laying. We hope one of the ladies will start sitting on the clutch soon.
Baby chicks are growing fast.
Intern Daniel Lago dug a latrine in the woods for use when we are out near the tipi. He’s from Miami and is loving the cooler Michigan weather.
The snow has nearly all melted as winter gives way to spring. Many of last year’s CSA members have signed on for another year. New people are finding us and sending money to reserve their places. If you are interested in being part of our CSA, which means an exciting journey of eating with the seasons, get in touch with me, Robin, as soon as possible. firstname.lastname@example.org or call 810-793-2511.
Read more about our CSA on the page called Subscription Gardening.
Very soon the pussy willows will open and the bees will be buzzing and the whole cycle of life will begin anew. This year’s CSA members will get asparagus!
Dr Greg and I look forward to serving you and enjoying nature’s bounty together!
Snow is no deterrent when it comes to dreams. In winter we dream, we plan, we order seeds and tools, and we keep faith that spring will come again. We invite you to dream along with us. We are seeking those with the desire to eat fresh, local organic food in harmony with the seasons.
This year we will be able to harvest asparagus in large enough quantity to share with our members. This perennial comes in May, which is preseason, so we invite all members to tour the farm and share lunch and fellowship on Saturday May 30th at which time the asparagus will be distributed. Those who can’t make the event can make other arrangements to get their share.
The season will run from June 11th until October 22nd. Price for a full share is $700, half-share $350. Those with the time and interest to help every few weeks get a discounted price: full share $650, half-share $325. A check made out to Robin Mallor and sent to Three Roods Farm/4281 Our Acres Drive/Columbiaville 48421 will reserve your share. See the Subscription Garden page for more details.
Once upon a time on Three Roods Farm, pheasants were seen at a distance if at all. That changed this year.
It started in summer. Several of us saw a large, mottled ground bird dart in and around the main garden. We thought her to be a female grouse. Sightings became more common as the bird was seen in amongst the young hazelnut trees and near the chicken coop. We were confused by the lack of a clear white neck ring and the mottled colors. With hindsight, we know he was a juvenile pheasant.
A few weeks later, Dr Greg was rototilling near the tipi when he heard loud sounds in the woods. A pheasant seemed to be following him, watching him through the trees. Eventually, the bird cut in front of him with more squawks. He pranced around the rototiller making it impossible for Greg to work. Finally Greg got in his truck and the pheasant chased the truck back to the house.
The next day, the same thing happened. Only this time, when the pheasant stood in front of him squawking, Dr Greg got down on his knees and caught the fellow by his legs! I know this is true, because he brought the pheasant to the front garden where I was working and showed him to me. Dr Greg was so proud of his achievement, he had me pluck a long tail feather to put in his hat. He brought the bird back to the woods and released him.
To make a long story short, Greg and the pheasant have met so many times, that Greg has lost track of the number of times he’s caught and released the bird. He says there are 2 birds because they are not the same size. One is big enough to eat – but that is not the plan. Meanwhile, Greg wonders about the deep meaning here. Why are the pheasants so interested in him such that they allow themselves to be caught. Is the pheasant Greg’s spirit animal? What is he trying to say? What do you think?
The calendar wheel in late April:
The calendar garden now ~ from a distance, showing the magnolia tree which Gigi and Greg planted yesterday.
The Tent of Meeting is the center of new planting on both sides. To the south, leaf piles graciously dropped by the Village of Columbiaville DPW and rototilled several times by Dr Greg nourish crops. Delicata winter squash ripens there. Farther south, last years leaves are being prepped for next season.
The hot and bothered times of Tammuz and Av are coming to an end. On Thursday we enter a time of deep heart-centeredness.
This month – Elul – we clean and purify our hearts, so that we can serve in Truth. We can rise to a higher level of service when we serve from Truth, meaning authentically, without pretense. To be clear about who we are, honest about our intentions and abilities, while avoiding guilt and self-punishment – that is the goal. This month can be compared to the Christian time of Lent. At Lent, people examine their behavior carefully, often giving up a bad habit, in preparation for receiving the Christ at Easter. Jewish people spend Elul preparing to deserve another year of life. We seek out the behaviors that have gotten us into trouble in the past and ask for strength to overcome these faults. The good news is that it is So Easy to do this month! We have help from the angelic realm; the Angels and Archangels want to answer our prayers! The Holy Oneness is so close, so available. We need only take a step in the right direction, call out into the wind, .
Looking for my Sisters, Daughters, Mothers, Friends ~ Thursday, August 28th 6pm – 10pm.
Deep Sharing. Singing. Potluck Dinner. RSVP
Like to bring a tent and camp overnight? Just ask.
Since my last post, about 6 weeks ago, the weather has been practically perfect. Days in the mid 70′s, nights in the low 60′s. Plenty of rain. But it’s not perfect for growing summer vegetables which thrive on hotter days and nights. Fortunately, most of our crops are ripening slowly but surely. It’s been great lettuce weather. If we had known the weather would be this mild we would have planted spinach! Still, we maintain a spirit of gratitude for what we are given every day – our lives, our homes, our farm, our family and our friends. And we are grateful for the abundance all around us. We’ve enjoyed the short-term help and companionship of Belgian intern Mathilde Bonte, North Carolina native Sahil Dayal, Connecticut apprentice Katie Fisher, as well as the ongoing relationship with full season intern Gigi Sobilo. The CSA is in its 10th week and we’re expecting a heavy harvest tomorrow including Provider green beans, Nevada lettuce, many tomato varieties, sweet and hot peppers, carrots, shallots, garlic, Swiss chard, zucchini and crookneck squash, and parsley. Corn is just days away. We appreciate our CSA members who come on schedule every Thursday morning to help harvest, sort and bag the produce. Shah Jahan excited us in June and July as he displayed his feather for all to see. It must have worked its magic for his lady Mumtaz is now far off sitting on her eggs and is rarely seen. Shah lost all his long tail feathers in the last few weeks and has stopped crowing. He quietly awaits her return. Our 4 Muscovy ducklings are growing. They are never far apart from each other. Sending positive vibrations out into the universe and hoping that the good work of Three Roods Farm brings peace and happiness to many.
In Michigan, we expect lilacs to bloom in May, but nowadays there is no normal, nothing to expect, only to be present with what is. Everything is a week or two later than we had expected. We are so grateful that anything blooms and grows at all! May showers finally gave way to June flowers and vegetables.
A new crop of interns appeared.
Seedlings were planted out.
The chicks grew and changed. Easier to tell them apart.
Trees were planted. This poplar was planted in the Picnic Grove.
Lettuce grew and was harvested with the first CSA share on June 12th.
Strawberries ripened and are given to the CSA members every week until gone.
Interns came for a Reunion weekend. With Dr Greg’s careful instructions, they created and planted a new black currant grove.
The next day, Gigi and Dr Greg mulched the plants with straw.
April showers brought May showers to Michigan. It’s been hard to find May flowers in the soggy mess outside. May is 2/3 over and we’ve had only a handful of warm sunny days. According to Greg we’ve had 12 rainy days for a total of 4.3 inches. To understand the impact, an average month of rainfall is 2.5 inches. A typical Michigan month has less than 3 inches of rain. Years ago, Greg and his brother laid pipe underground from 2 directions to drain into a low spot. That was a smart move because it became this pond and is often full from all the rain.
Trying to stay true to my name, (“cheer-up” says the robin), I share with you some hopeful photos of strawberry flowers, apple tree flowers, dandelions amid the asparagus, and the flowering red bud tree, With a new crop of interns, we’re aerating the raised beds, planting out the cabbage and lettuce plugs. stalking the peas, and weeding the blackberry bushes. You can see shallots and garlic growing tall.
May peace prevail on earth!
Shah Jahan was a mogul emperor of India. He built the Taj Mahal for his beloved wife, Mumtaz, who died in childbirth. We named our peafowl for them. They are beautiful and always together. Here they are wistfully looking for spring in early April.
Sometimes they can be seen in the catalpa tree near the garage.
I gave you the close-up first, so you’d know what to look for. Recent guests spotted them at sunset high in leafless tree, silhouetted against the night sky. The next morning they were still there and I got this photo.
Later that day, I saw Mumtaz on a bee-box.
One never knows where they might be. Lately I’ve seen Shah Jahan open his feathers in full display, but I haven’t had my camera with me. Whenever I catch him on film, I’ll post it right here.
UPDATE:I got him!!
Here’s Taj on the landing to the interns quarters.
And here’s the Shah waiting for her down below.
He jumps up on the barnyard gate.
This photo shows why his breed is called ‘brown shoulders’. They are different from the completely blue peacocks which roam India.
She flew down from her perch on the landing.
And I caught them kissing through the fence. They stopped when they saw me.
We’re the hens at Three Roods Farm. The white chicken on the roosting bar is our rooster. That’s how he got his name. He roosts. We do all the work.
We’ve been at this farm for almost a year now. Greg and Robin take good care of us here. We look forward to that green bucket of organic grain every morning. In the afternoon they bring us their food scraps. They make sprouted spelt just for us, too.
When we first came to this coop, there was dirt and weeds to peck through. Now there’s only snow. On a sunny day, we come out and scratch through the hay and scraps they set out for us. It keeps our spirits up. Better than nothing.
Our coop is warm and cozy, yet spacious enough for all of us. Amongst the 27 of us, we lay about 2 dozen a day, even in this cold weather. Greg and Robin gather our eggs, clean them and package them up nicely. You can buy a dozen for $5. Then they can buy more feed for us. They buy only certified organic feed.
It’s hard to believe, but they say the sun will get so strong, it will melt all this snow and we’ll be outside all the time. I hope they’re right. We’ll see you then! Meanwhile, reserve your share of the 2014 CSA harvest! See the Subscription Garden page for details!