Monday, September 1, 2014

When Life Mows it Down

The vacant house down the block became a source of wonder for us this summer. While other neighbors shook their heads with mild annoyance, we watched the perpetually abandoned, un-mowed front lawn grow lusher, taller and more wild, with a little thrill. A sense of vicarious rebellion grew in my heart as I watched the wildness unfurl in the middle of my otherwise-orderly street.

The tiny square of grass became a field of weeds and flowers, reaching for the sun with utter abandon. If we squinted and only focused on that small patch, we could pretend we were on a sunlit mountainside, or a prairie filled with wildflowers, instead of being squarely placed in a lattice of perfect rectangular suburban lots. It was a feeling of freedom in a life that can sometimes feel tight and boxed-in.

Maybe it's silly, but the lawn-gone-rogue sparked our imaginations. We walked by it, we picked flowers. The tall grasses made us smile. With each passing day, the 'weed violation' sign that persisted was more hopelessly buried within the flowing long grasses, futile. I secretly hoped that we'd go the entire summer without a single person concerned enough to deal with the overgrown yard.

After weeks of admiring the mini-wild-field, the inevitable happened. One morning I walked out and glanced over, uttering a soft 'oh' of disappointment. I had not noticed who did it or when, but the field was gone, the beautiful wilderness ruthlessly shorn, leaving a shocking emptiness. Fun while it lasted, the little rebellious yard was cut down to size.

Despite the way the newly-cut lawn seemed to stick out like a bad haircut, I'm not one to be disappointed for long. I took Noah down a couple of days later to take a closer look. The grass had grown so long that when they butchered it, mini mountains were left along the edges. The grass was quickly drying out into big piles of brown. It hit me...brown! We needed brown materials for our compost like you would not believe. Greens-nitrogen- for the compost are easy for us to come across, but browns-carbon- can be more challenging.

So we headed down later with our trusty plastic wagon, and stacked it high with precious carbon to bring home to our compost piles.

What fed our hearts and imagination earlier in the summer would now feed our compost pile, which will ultimately feed our gardens. In the end, our outlaw wildflower field will feed us.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Invisible Zucchini Tuna Salad

If you garden--or if someone who loves you, likes you, or barely knows you gardens--then you probably have one of these sitting on your counter right about now. Or four of them. The infamous gargantuan zucchini that has grown past its prime.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Short Absence, Big Changes

Finally some yellow! The first of our dozens of sunflowers
have bloomed. I can't figure out the variety of this one!
Still waiting on these sunflowers to bloom,
but in my 4 day absence, they grew to be taller than me.
We planted 4 different varieties, and several came up as volunteers...
we're itching to see what all blooms.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Refrigerator Tea

Let's face it; during the summer, kids crave sweet drinks. At least, mine do.

Friday, July 25, 2014

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

(inspired by Soulemama)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Controlling Mites in Your Worm Bin

We have officially become "worm farmers" and we are becoming quite comfortable in the role. We have been watching the bin carefully, not only because we really love watching the little guys burrow, crawl--and in general try desperately to avoid us--but also because we have been trying to make sure we stay aware of any problems that might come up.