I love the people who come help us with our farm work. Most often young and excited to help, they renew my dedication to stewarding this land. Here are some photos from the last 10 days. Many thanks to Emily, Nate and Jake Breczinski, Aliya Bajhet, and Juliana Mitchell for returning to help. Rebekah Switala and Kameron Creager are our current interns. Noah Lipham came as a special friend of Emily’s and fit right in. Regretfully, I have no photos showing the special visit of Laughing Moon mid-week. Laughing Moon is the director of the SuperHero Training Academy!
The inspiration for this garden was a large pile of dirt we had excavated to put sand and then pea stone under the tipi. Later I saw a lunar calendar garden at Kayam Farm near Baltimore based on Kabbalistic insights into the months . Since I have been gathering women on the Rosh Chodesh, or New Moon every month, I wanted to create my own version of a calendar wheel.
Several friends brought rocks to contribute, but most of the rocks were brought from the Strawbale Studio, a free gift from my good friend Deanne Bednar.
We dug a trench and placed the stones. At times it felt like a jig-saw puzzle, looking for the rock with just the right shape to fit next in the circle. The garden was covered all winter with a tarp to kill back the weeds. It did the trick.
The day finally arrived! This blueberry bed was years in the making. We first planted potatoes into it, then tomatoes the following year. In autumn 2009 a thick layer of pine needless was laid on top and left there over winter. In the spring it was rototilled. More soil amendments were added the next year. Only now in spring 2012 is the soil sufficiently loamy and acidic to nourish theses 12 blueberry plants. Hooray!
Our CSA members only see this plant in fruit. Nowadays it is flowering. It’s called Juneberry or Service Berry. It is extremely slow growing because the new suckers come up thin and far from each other making them easy accidents with the lawn mower. The tall inner shoots never thicken, no matter how much they age. Last year’s wet spring gave us abundant berries. They are sweet, but not as sweet as blueberries.
I used to be so annoyed by Henbit. This weed comes up before any other. I would pull it out of all the garden beds. Then I began to notice the bees like it. It comes up even before the dandelions thus giving the little darlings some nectar when they venture out in early spring. Can you spot the honeybee in this photo? Hint: it’s near the bottom.
This row of Osage orange was well mulched with leaves last fall. The young trees are doing better than they appear, given the poor contrast in this photo. I’m at the far end of the sheep pasture, near the edge of the reforestation area. The fruit of the Osage orange is a natural alternative to mothballs, containing a substance that repels many insects.
These young people are completing a degree in the Environment at University of Michigan. They drove up from Ann Arbor one warm March day to spend a day planting trees. Greg dug up the poplars from a spot near the house where they had rooted but were not needed. He uses them to fill spaces in the reforestation project where our original plantings failed.
This young man came along too. He is graduating from MSU and will be going on for a D.O. after taking a gap year. He’ll start off as an intern with us next month. He’s preparing a hole for a poplar.
The colony from last year survived the winter. Its the same queen from 2 years ago because they survived last winter, too, and never swarmed, which is a minor miracle. The hive is so active, I’d like to split them, but have no queen to give the split. Queens are in short supply, I’m told. Meanwhile, I hived a new colony and they are doing well.
This ewe was the last of our 7 ewes to give birth. Her 2 little ones looked so strange to me, until I realized that they resemble their father more than any of the other lambs. Their mother is very protective of them. I will take a photo of all the lambs on pasture soon. They are so cute and playful, chasing each other around the yard and leaping in the air with delight.
Ever heard of Wild Lapeer? It’s a county wide event started about 10 years ago by North Branch resident Marian Listwak. Not to be confused with Lapeer Days which is a weekend in downtown Lapeer every summer. No, Wild Lapeer is a spring event which previously took place around the Lapeer court house, using the Farmers Market area and court house lawn for activities.
For the 3rd year, Wild Lapeer will be held at Chatfield School, home of The Willows Environmental Education Center. Peter McCreedy, visionary and lead teacher at Chatfield, heads up the planning committee for Wild Lapeer. The Lapeer Land Conservancy is now the major sponsoring group with much help from Lapeer County Parks, Lapeer Conservation District, the Farm Bureau, Backtrack to Nature and others. The purpose of Wild Lapeer is to bring people together around their love of the natural world. Families will find much for children to do, such as canoe rides, buidling bluebird houses and enjoying a petting zoo.
Special guests this year include Barb Barton from the Great Lakes Wild Rice initiative. This singer songwriter is an enviromental activist extraordinaire. She will explain the requirements for growing rice in our area and why this is nutritionally and environmentally a sound idea. A falconry expert will bring live birds and teach about them. This should perk up the ears of our Lakeville Falcons. Another special guest is Michael Mallon, also known as Laughing Moon. He is the founder of the Superhero Training Academy. He will tell stories and show how you can discover your superhero name and powers!
So reserve the date: Saturday May 5th. 10am-4pm. Check the local paper for more information as the day comes closer.
Our 17th year begins!
When I look at photos from our first years here, I know we’ve come a long way. We bought a 23 acre field which had been fallow for 10 years and was a grazing pasture for many years before that. Thanks in large part to the vision and hard work of my dear husband, the landscape is a beautiful sight to behold. To see some older photos, visit our previous website: http://webpages.charter.net/rmallor/
We are selling full shares of our CSA for $600 and half shares for $350. Half shares tend to get somewhat more than half of a full share, thus the price increase. Returning half share members will get a discount ~ we appreciate your loyalty! New members are in for a treat. Our CSA has stayed true to the original concept of CSAs. If you are looking for a farm where you can bring your family and enjoy a few hours of simple farm work outside once a month, you have found the right place. If you want to grow a large garden at your home, but don’t know how, consider joining Three Roods Farm for a year. You’ll learn everything you need to know.
As an added incentive, the first 5 people to sign up will get a free cookbook called Simply in Season http://www.worldcommunitycookbook.org/
To hold your place, send a deposit for half the amount by May 15th to Robin Mallor/Three Roods Farm/ 4281 Our Acres Drive/Columbiaville MI 48421. Make the check out to my name please. The balance is due by June 14th. If you need a different payment plan let me know.
We’re looking forward to a tasty season. Hope you can join us!
The rooster still crows in the morning, but with all the windows shut, I don’t usually hear him until I wake up on my own. The ringing in my ears grows louder in the silence.
Instead of walking once around the land, I walk 2 and 3 times using different pathways to stay warm and give Schnitzle time and variety to explore. He is more active in the cold weather. His warm coat of fur keeps him snug.
If it has snowed, I’ll go to the tipi and use a broom to sweep the snow off the canvas. On dry, sunny days, I’ll gather kindling wood in the forest. If the weather is mild enough, I’ll start a fire inside the tipi and play tambourine, read psalms, take a nap.
Reading lots of books: Jack London’s Call of the Wild which I’m borrowing from Jeff Morrison, Dr Clarissa Pinkola-Estes Women Who Run with the Wolves for the 2nd time, and Judaism, A Wild Faith, by Rabbi Mike Comins to name a few. Am I feeling wolfish and wild? You decide.
Title: Womens Writing Workshop
Location: House at Three Roods Farm
Link out: Click here
Description: The one and only Rae Bird leads us into Sacred Space where our Inner Muses arise and amaze us all. Bring a journal, a pen and a dish to share if you’d like to stay for lunch. Snacks and tea/coffee provided.
Start Time: 10:00
End Time: 14:00
Next Class: Wednesday, March 21st
Written and performed by Michigan’s own Seth Bernard with Daisy Mae Erlewine