Monday, 22 April 2013
It's almost gone...
The snow is nearly gone but the nights are still very cold with temperatures hovering somewhere in the vicinity of -10C each night. Every morning, the ground is frozen rock solid. Here's the view from my front door early this morning... blue and cold, with a welcoming (warm - oh, please be warm today...) sunrise just peeking up over the horizon!
I'm walking our property each day to learn more about the land from a permaculture design perspective (which is rather like wearing glasses for the very first time). Funny how things I've seen a million times have such a different meaning when viewed from a solutions oriented perspective. The area where water collects is not the problem we once believed ~ it is an opportunity to harvest and store that ever precious resource AND create a reflective microclimate to bump up the growing possibilities. Instead of growing grass there, we need to put a pond in!
The massively overgrown, poorly pruned willows (a legacy of the previous owners) are not the removal burden we once believed... they are an essential component of the windbreak, free building material (wattle fencing, trellising, furniture & baskets), fodder for the hens (Spring and Summer), effective protection from dust and pesticide drift (Spring and Summer), reliable protection from the hot afternoon sun, habitat for wildlife (all year), rapid carbon pathways (leaves and wood chips for mulch and soil building) and fuel for fire. That's a lot of functions for one species! An effective and intelligent permaculture design considers all the functions and possibilities of each element and carefully (thoughtfully, in honesty) arranges them in such a way as to maximize yield while minimizing work. Heavy emphasis in placed on observing and thinking and minor emphasis is placed on designing (which is TOTALLY the opposite of how I am by nature). Perhaps this course is more of a character building lesson than anything else? Hmm...
While my mind wakes up to this new perspective, I'm busy reading, studying and thinking about my design assignment for our property. I feel encouraged about the future of our property, but also, very much overwhelmed by the amount of work to do. "Baby steps" will be our motto for 2013.
Meantime, amid all the learning, I'm tending my greenhouse seedlings which are very tentatively poking their heads up! There's no supplementary heat in the greenhouse so it's rightly cold at night. Brrrr.... Even these cold hardy greens are feeling it as they press the "pause" button until temperatures consistently warm up a bit.
Here I sit in jeans a t-shirt (feeling chilly), enjoying the warmth of the morning sun as it streams through my (dirty) windows... is it possible to be warm and cold at the same time? Hahahaha... apparently it is :)