WHERE Has She Been????!!

Well HI.  It’s surely been a while since the last time… and here’s why:  late this winter,  my Sweety Pye allowed as how the way he was feeling, he felt like he’d be sticking around for awhile… I was SO RELIEVED I fell asleep and SLEPT for a couple months!!!  Had a lot of STRESS to get over.  Yuh…

In case you missed the past couple years’ high drama, my husband’s kidneys had basically flatlined.  The doctors threw up their hands and sent him off with a couple of palliatives… but we were handed some majorly ‘woo-woo” alternatives by our magical healer friends,  and now he has,  from mainstream medicine’s viewpoint, experienced a ‘spontaneous regeneration’ and is busy living happily ever after!!! 

I even put myself on that program:  being as since he is recently back from the dead, the whole show here still rests on me and I better be able to keep on juggling… 

Results have been quite…INTRIGUING.  I am finding many small surface changes, tips on an iceberg… stuff deeply within must be getting its trip together!!  What a blessing.  We are so very blessed.  In all ways. Dear one… if ever you are faced with catastrophic illness, or wish to prevent such an eventuality, there ARE noninvasive and permanently effective treatments available.  Do feel free to contact me about the solutions we have found, however we may be of service. 

So… I kind of pulled in my flaps there for awhile, concentrated on local stuff and what was directly in front of my nose… got appointed as Flora on the AGRICULTURE Committee-of–one by the local Grange.  Only have personal gardening experience under my belt, gained at great personal expense from whatever land where I’m living, quite subjective but have been writing about that for entertainment’s sake  and for whatever use it might be. 

The last few of these chatty little missives are below  (sorree!!!  missing the first one or 2 due to having deleted my Sent folder awhile back in some fit of obsessive tidying up…).  The writings  were based around my continuingly failing efforts to get some edible-pod peas up & at ’em…

couple weeks after the previous (lost) email: 

dear Neighbor!

In my life there are 2 Opposing Forces: 

the draw of the garden


anything else I’m spozed to be doing…

Praise be for this rainy morning!  It keeps me inside working on Saturday Mkt inventory– perhaps running a nursery instead of a fiber factory would solve this conflict!!

And with this dismal weekend forecast, praise be that I had the good sense to capitulate to yesterday’s sun, & painted the new chickenhouse… one step closer to moving the chickens behind the yurt, where they can tear up the ground as they see fit… this fall I’ll move them elsewhere and plant the winter garden on Newly Tilled, weedfree soil!  And maybe gather all the leftover windows for a small and MOUSEPROOF greenhouse to sprout spring seeds earlier…

I also managed to get some WallaWalla onion starts and a few greening garlic cloves out of the kitchen into a bed under an old-growth collard, which has survived its 2nd winter.

In this lifetime I’ve been exposed to Gardening in the mode of  Organic Gardening magazine, Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamics & companion planting, Alan Chadwick’s double-dig French intensive method, Michelle Small Wright, her pendulum & plant devas, Ruth Stout who mulches heavily with straw, planting by moon sign etc. etc… but my Words to Live by come from a successful commercial organic gardener in No. CA, who allows as how in his business the best time of all to plant is


I’m going with that.

But what about pruning?  The 2 appletrees in our lower meadow haven’t budded out yet, and I see that that ol’ guy farther down the valley at 4 Corners is right now whacking at his graceful old trees that bear heavily every year, and have been shaped for greater ease in picking… am I gonna be too late for the AGAINTH year to prune my own??

PEA BULLETIN:  I pried one out of its eggshell planter a moment ago, and lo!  a tiny ROOT is nosing out…

Wish us SUN!! and WARMTH!!! for the first park block Markets… Sorry to miss your companionship at the Grange, another conflict…

13 April 2008:  FLUNK!! 

Well, so much for planting peas in darling eggshells thereby incorporating calcium into the soil, and other apparently worthy side effects…

In the first place I hadn’t checked the expiration date on my seed packet, and scored only THREE sprouts… whose shells I duly scrunched and planted outside  (while replanting their sister shells with fresh seed…)   Just checked on the Outsiders.  Their roots are… nonexistent!!!!  Previous pea transplants from flats always trailed unmanageably enthusiastic roots. Poor dears.  I emptied them out and stuck them right into the dirt, gonna put the rest of the pea seeds, now thoroughly soaked at least, in the great outside garden too.  So much for Cleverness!!  Now we’ll see if they survive our All-Seeing Robins.  I’m outta here to visit #2 Son & Family, these peas have 12 days ’til I get back to show their stuff…

Say, have you come across gardening books by Jerry Baker?  Some ol’ guy (whoa, better watch that designation, folks are beginning to think of ME in that category…) some EXPERIENCED guy whose books have alliterative subtitles like How to Have Terrific Trees, Perfect Pots, Veritable Vegetables, Fantastic Flowers, etc.  He mixes up all this stuff out of the kitchen for fertilizer, like instant tea, baby shampoo, Coca-Cola, green peppers, etc.  I’m stumbling along, trying to translate into my NPK basic gardener formula (N=nitrogen for leaf, P=potassium for fruit, K=phosphorus for roots, correct me if I mixed that all up)… most of his recipes are a mystery yet sound somehow feasible…  and will become my next atypical experiments!!  Now that eggshells have failed me as planters…

I just hate leaving home any time because so much goes on in the great outofdoors as soon as I ‘m gone… but I do (begrudgingly) wish you Favorable & Inviting Gardening Weather…

Catch up with you in a couple weeks! 

Save me a couple Great Plants from the Grange sale!!

6 May 2008:  ONGOING PEA PROJECTHi there!!!  I’m back from travelling!!  and have found that spring continued right on without me, well!!!… Got over jetlag enough to chase the lawnmower around– REALLY NEEDED to do this before leaving but it was just too wet.  Some trimming around beds now and we’ll be looking all sharp, not shaggy~~So.  About the PEAS, that continuing saga:  I craftily planted a flatful before leaving, and, craftier yet, left them in the bathtub: no slugs!

no birds!!

no frostbite!!!

But… forgot to tell Richard to move ’em outside when they were an inch or so high… came home to find them ALL STRAGGLY…. after a few days on the front porch, howeevah, they look ready for transplanting thisafternoon.  Good thing, too, for I need their flat for the next batches of seeds (the Territorial order arrived also while I was away), and I AM PLANTING THISAFTERNOON REGARDLESS:

not looking at what sign the moon is in

nor its quarter

not even step on a crack ‘n’ break yer mother’s back…

It’s midMay, and THE TIME IS NOW!!

 Julia stopped by with one of those amazing porchpotsful of begonias & other exhuberant trailing plants (have you got one?? no front entry should be without, they are dropdead GORGEOUS!!!)  and I took the occasion to consult with her about my renegade appletrees.  She says to get right in there and whack the sucker growth outta their tops, it’ll discourage further such behavior.  Hum now… I did totally shock and kill a bearing Italian plum by pruning too severely at the end of one April… but those suckers, now a couplefew years old, are JUST WHAT I NEED to mend some willow porch furniture… Looks like I’ll be taking out a dozen at least for my own purposes!  We’ll see how they do.

One thing I noticed with gratitude is:  the few slugs spotted on the rhubarb & other delectables are REALLY SMALL nowadays!  This means: it got cold enough to freeze the big daddies this winter, YAY!!, so now I just hafta contend with a new hatching… being smaller, they are less devastating.


Not so much green thumbs as green knees, from getting down there to trim lawn borders…

Sorry to’ve missed the plant sale, here I am with tiger lily starts all over the place, want any?  Could bring to Grange for Yoga Thursday morning, or when else meet up with you?


 26 May 2008:

Well!!!  My poor scrawny peas have bravely hiked themselves up and are contemplating a trip up the fencewire hoop I provided for their greater ease in harvesting, yay perseverance…  Donna Heath swirled by my booth at Market a couple weeks ago with some 6paks of tall & sturdy  Professional Pea Starts: I’m feeling rather SNIFFISH about that, struggling along here in do-it-yourself mode…I also stuck in a round of fresh seeds in the garden itself, and they have reluctantly shown themselves about an inch ago.  Everyone human and seed appears to be having some trouble figuring out the weather this spring!!

At least the slugs’re small this year, the cold mustve done in all those grandfathers from last summer.  I AM still besieged, though– now by small critters sneaking onto the porch at night to snack on sunflower sprouts.  They got ALL of the ones I brought back from an elementary school sale in Oslo, in a dear little packet laboriously embellished with  cursive 2nd grade writing:  ” 5 Seeds from the Heart of a Child”.  MY heart’s broken!!  But ‘foreign food’ seems attractive to all diners…

FINALLY got the pasture fence tight against rabbits, and my angoras’ve been out for a few romps already.  Wish you’d’ve seen them, it’d’ve warmed the cockles of your heart!  At first they’re a little out of shape from a long wet winter, but soon they become quite spry. We were delighted to acquire some folding fence from Jewel Hoback’s yard sale, and craftily surround their unsuspecting little selves when night approaches.

I have all males.  Had some females when we had a breeding program, but they’re so territorial– they’d fight each other when out together.  The males just chase around humping each other… I’m totally behind ‘Make Love Not War’.

We have lots of cherries setting up this year (I’m sure the robins have noticed!!! and the squirrels, who like them any size, for their pits) but the plums, blooming early, don’t look so abundant.  Gonna check the apples, we might after 20-odd years, be in luck this time!!  We accidentally drowned 5 pollinators in the raingauge, so dismaying in these times:  apparently the thinning ozone layer has damaged their eyes, and they have trouble both locating the flowers and then finding their way back home.  How utterly sad.

Now!  One more bed to finish weeding, then the mulch pile gets spread all over everything, leaving me room to clean the sheepfold.  After that, get the new chicken yard going so as those girls can tear up yet ANOTHER garden bed (what am I THINKING??? this domesticated meadow is TOO LARGE for one burdened woman already…) and then it’s on to the log splitter, what fun!  It’s my Tonka now, all the sons are off seeking their own futures…

Wishing you: friable soils.  Fertile seeds.  Occasional summer showers!

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  1. Welcome back! You have been missed…and I am so happy to hear your darling is back into this life with better health!

  2. I was reading your piece about your sweetie pie. My sweetie pie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in NOV. He is still taking chemo treatments. Was there anything special that helped yours? I know it’s different things, but you might know something that would help mine. When you all of a sudden have to be the cook, housekeeper, poop engineer…..etc……etc….. and work a full time job….it gets REAL – quick.

    PS took a class from you at SAFF.

  3. dearest magical Ayala what an utter joy to get to read about your garden and enjoy your humour and love of the natural.
    May all good things richly uphold you as you go around blessing everything . You are a felted inspiration!

  4. Nohar???

    Are you living in California? Would love to hear from you. My late husband and I moved to Washington state some 25 years ago, and here I remain in Seattle along with my wonderful 40 y/o old daughter, Meghan, who lives in this same city with her husband.

    Hope this message finds you well and happy! Love, Maggie

  5. Whe looking for Nohar Haran she was in THE 70 jears in Holland toghether with my brother Bert-Jan Burger please we Will find here contact me

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