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Daily Archives: December 14, 2011

It’s Not Just Dirt

One of my favorite lessons we teach on our field trips. Showing children where their food comes from. Watching the wonder when they smell oregano in the herb garden, or telling them pizza isn’t possible without soil.

Dough? Needs wheat. Tomatoes? Grow in soil. Cheese? Comes from milk from cows, who eat grass grown in soil.

For us, the work necessary to keep our soil rich and productive starts with composting and rotating crops. I have been working the soil in our backyard. I am in the midst of planning next year’s gardens. What do I put where? I really need to move the fenced garden because my trees are too tall now, and shade two plots.

I need expansive areas to put in melons and squashes, but I also need fenced areas for tomatoes. And potatoes. Winter is planning time.

Fall CSA Week Seven

It is the next to last week of our fall CSA and we are winding down with a bang, more or less. There were two very large bags there, one containing carrots and the other containing fingerling potatoes.

What did we get?

the bag of carrots
the bag of fingerlings
baby bellas
butternut squash
two heads red romaine lettuce
mixed bag turnips
3 yellow onions
salsify (new for me)
2 leeks

The mushrooms are wonderful. They are one of the reasons I went with this CSA. Mother Earth is part of the Co-op.

Now these root veggies are just making me want to create a roasted meal sometime soon.

My Other Hobby – Volunteering

I haven’t written about what consumes my fall and spring days. Volunteering as a naturalist at a local non-profit, where I lead preschoolers and grades one and two through a 232 acre preserved farm, bequeathed by two sisters who taught in Howard County. Their charge to the Conservancy was simple. Connect children to nature.

I love it there. Imagine a location with minimal impact from urban life. Beehives where some of my honey originates. A local apiary sells it and half the money comes back to the Conservancy.

Chickens, goats, and a barred owl — all there for the children to learn from. A couple of streams that feed the Patapsco River.

Community gardens that inspire me. Talented giving people who volunteer there. A great staff. Programs for families.

What more could you ask for, when looking for something satisfying to do in retirement?