Iowa trip

We took the grain truck to the south border of the property to dump some logs and check on things. I’ve attempted to drive this but it’s much too big for me to handle well.

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This is a stand of barley that Jason drilled.

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There were some morel mushrooms out there today. I guess the morels are out about the time that lilacs bloom and after it has been rainy but then warms up. The rest of these are more wine cap mushrooms.

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And we have had lots of visitors of this kind lately, wanting to share.

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Yesterday, we went on a trip to Des Moines. It’s about a 5-hour drive with stops. Eagleville, Missouri is about 7 miles from the border. I imagine they have more lenient fireworks laws than Iowa, and probably a similar relationship to the one that Evanston, Wyoming has to Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Jason had some art work at Ted Lare garden store that he swapped out for new pieces. It’s a pretty cool place.

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I bought a tillandsia (air plant), which I have wanted for a long time. It is showcased now with Jason’s art work.

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We also stopped to visit Jason’s friend Pat, who does mosaic art work and stained glass. She sent us home with a windchime that she made from xylophone keys. It was a very nice trip although we got back pretty late.

wind chime

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Some planting instructions are odd….

Hi, there. We have been collecting odd plants and occasionally there are some issues that come up with deciding what we should do with them. Thank goodness for the non-profit site Plants for a Future that aims to get information about a wide variety of plants to the public.

I did want to share some package information about one of Jason’s plant finds. Just for fun.

This is a Toona sinensis or Chinese Cedar plant:

Toon plant

The picture is a bit blurry. But the instructions are the most interesting part. If anyone can provide a better translation, it would be interesting to hear someone comment on this.

Toon plant instructions 1

Planting clover

We have planted a lot of the acreage of the farm to fruit and nut trees. This is, obviously, a long-term endeavor. There are lots of weeds that are starting to come up and we wanted to plant something to compete with them but that will not overshadow the seedling trees, which are about 6-inches high. We decided on white dutch clover, since it is a nitrogen-fixing plant and will spread well here.

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We used unconventional farming methods, as evidenced by the cumin shakers below. We ran through the rows of trees and sprinkled.

clover seed shakers

I had forgotten that there is a Zen Buddhist reference to clover, which came up this past week in a Jukai ceremony. Our Zen teachers use Robert Aitken’s book, Mind of Clover: Essays in Zen Buddhist Ethics as a reference for studying the precepts. Here is a nice quote: “The clover nurtures itself and its environment without making distinctions. The pig is hostile at some times, friendly at other times. The porpoise rescues the drowning sailor. Where is the human being in this scheme?”

tulips

Other gifts of spring:

Henbit is a weed but it is beautiful and possibly edible. I guess it is in many fields but dies off before it causes problems for most crops. There are vast stretches of purple in some of the fields here.

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Jason had planted wine-cap mushrooms last year in wood chips and we have a wealth of them coming up.

Jason winecap mushroomsThe fruit trees are still blooming and the nights should be warm for at least the next week.

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We have to eat the rest of the potatoes so that the sprouts can be planted. Always such a chore.

potatoes

I’m clearing out the cabinets of winter food for more spring-time foods.

lentil soup

Finally, I was recently blessed to spend time with friends and family. Here are a few of them.

Glady & Mike Easter 2015 Tish and Kaley coffee