As I sit here early this Sunday morning, the near-40 degree rainy weather is dissolving the snow piles in front of the cottage. There are still many piles to go! Still, when I hear the red-wing blackbirds chirping in their uplifting way, I can not help but realize spring really is approaching. This year spring is approaching quite a bit slower than last year!
Last week I took a vacation just for the fun of it, and meandered all over southern Iowa and Missouri. I first stopped by to see my dear Uncle Harold in a Davenport hospital. He is 90 and has slowly weakened. He was in good spirits, so I felt very positive when I left him. I was able to see my cousin Tim, and his beautiful wife Ava, at the hospital, too. It was so good to spend time with some of my family. I stopped by and saw my Aunt Mimi and Joe, too. Davenport is where I was born, so it holds a lot of memories (and many wonderful relatives), too. Unfortunately Mom could not see me or visit with Uncle Harold.
My vacation was wonderful. When you were getting ready for the big snow back here, I was basking in 65 degree weather in Springfield, Missouri. I was fortunate enough to stop by Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company on a Sunday Festival day in Mansfield, MO, too. I buy many seeds from Baker Creek, and this time I was able to pile my car full of 7 potted trees (Chinese Chestnuts, Hazelnuts, Arkasas Black apple tree, and 2 Paw Paw trees) plus two blackberry bushes. Needless-to-say, the car was quite full! I had a great time and a true vacation - just me wandering back roads looking for that perfect farm (as I always do where ever I go). But guess what? The perfect farm for me is right back here at Willow Creek Organic Farm! And now...I have 9 trees/bushes to plant and officially begin Restoring My Farm in Permaculture.
Before I left a good friend, Bruce, (see photo) who owns a farm in Virginia and also a place in Alaska, came by to see me. We had great talks and then - poof! he was gone... I packed my bags and left, too!
The photos above are different winter scenes on my property, plus Bruce, and of course a few more of Katie, Chloe and Jack. Jack has learned to climb up on the ottoman now. When I left in mid February he could not quite get up there by himself. He is so proud of himself! Chloe visited her grandparents in Oregon after I left (with her mommie, of course) and there is a picture of her all dressed up. Katie is showing off her tutu at their home and how she loves it! I (Grammie Jane) bought the kids a new slide for Valentine's Day and it wasn't ready until March. You can see their first day with it as Katie, Chloe and Jack are getting used to it. "Sharing issues," too, as Jeff told me. "Complete chaos" is the caption Angela sent with this photo. I think that sums up having triplets!
All in all, dear Reader, although I am as anxious as you are for spring to really appear...I am also so very contented to be here at the Land, enjoying the last hurrah of winter. I would love to be closer to my wild little grandchildren, (I miss them so!) but I also want to leave them a legacy of ample water...and Denver just does not have water like we have here. So here I will stay and continue my life's work of protecting a small section of soil in a huge swath of monocultured chemical farms, and building a sustainable permaculture way of life. If any of you are interested in permaculture and how it can (and eventually will) change the face of agriculture - because our present way of agriculture is not only not sustainable but is actually poisoning our soils, water and air we breath - please read "Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers" by Mark Shepard (who lives in Wisconsin). It's a marvelous blueprint for saving our soils and ourselves.
With that food for thought, I bid you adieu, Dear Reader!