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Itching for Spring..

January 31, 2010

Last night was the late winter Wolf Moon, also known as the Old Moon, the Ice Moon, and the Moon After Yule. We are lucky to see any sort of astrological beauty in western Oregon in the winter. Last night was indeed overcast in Portland.

But we celebrated the late winter season at a friend’s home with a good bunch of folks, including an interesting Portlander, Kollibri Sonnenblume. He’s a city farmer, running what he calls an urban survival farm.

Listening to him talk wasn’t exactly like listening to a farming expert, ready to impart all his cerebral knowledge, but rather a man not intimidated by the land, by experimenting and by seeing what works and what doesn’t. He farms small lots in the city and large plots a bit further out. The harvest is distributed to those who give money, like a typical CSA (community supported agriculture) share, or alternately, time and labor.

It was inspiring how down to earth and unafraid to make mistakes he was. We were excited to dig in today, making room for our spring garden. We’ve already begun starting seeds indoors for our own outdoor garden, which we are making way for among the blackberry bushes that currently dominate our side yard and are many stories high. We are not clearing the brambles entirely – it would be an insane amount of work, and we LOVE blackberries. We are just going to try to make them share the space a little with some other edibles, perhaps forest garden style. Of course, invasive blackberries don’t like to share with anyone. (the pictures don’t even do them justice. They are about 2 times that high). Which brings us to some very interesting findings –

1: lovely soil – we are trying not to compact it too much in the process of clearing all the blackberries. It sure is rich and composty!

2: a big tree. We didn’t know there was a big tree under all that, but there was. It was dark when we unearthed it – I’ll post pictures soon. Anyway, at dinner Bennie declared “I have a plan. My plan is to build a tree house.” She saw a picture recently of a tree house hotel somewhere in africa, I think, where people have to access it via pulley-elevator. This is so far her only concept of  a tree house, and she has been asking to build one. I had to tell her, we have no big trees in our yard, to which she responded she would like to build one at Mt Tabor (the city park at the end of our street). Alas, we can’t do that. So now that we DO have a tree, she wants to build a tree house. Probably with a pulley elevator. Hmmm…

3: a secret garden – Under the tree. Its enclosed and cozy and very much a child’s paradise. Except for all the blackberry bushes…

4: a wooden rocking chair – granted, the wood is most likely ruined from sitting outside all winter, and someone took the seat out to make it a cutesy planter, but i couldn’t help but stash it away in our garage. just in case its salvageable…

5: our cat. – He thinks he’s a tiger. Have I already mentioned how many times he has fallen out of trees in the neighbhorhood?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Janet permalink
    January 31, 2010 5:34 pm

    Above is a cool treehouse website I came across once upon a time with ideas for Bennie’s house. It sounds like a LOT of fun for all of you!

    • Pajama Morning permalink*
      February 1, 2010 1:02 am

      I have such fond childhood memories of tree forts out at your farm…

  2. Nila Rinehart permalink
    February 4, 2010 4:09 am

    Oh my gosh. . . how smart that Benecia has plans and they are to build a tree house! Already she is putting her dreams out into the world! 🙂 OK, I know at her Grandpa’s office he has a treehouse playhouse. . . with pulleys and everything. . . I’ll have to find out where he got it. . . hmmm.. ..

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