A lot happens over the course of single season during the life of a garden. By late autumn, the plants that produced all sorts of good things during the summer have become compost, the fields will soon be tilled under to mark the transition to fall, and the leaves on the aspen trees turn from … Continue reading Rest in Gratitude
What does it mean to “cultivate”? Well, it could mean to prepare the soil for planting, or to acquire or develop something such as a skill or quality. Whatever it is you are cultivating, that’s the first step– then once you’ve cultivated, you’re ready to plant and tend, and eventually reap the harvest of the … Continue reading 12 Tiny Things: Cultivate
Evening is falling into the day like a silk scarf slips off a woman’s shoulders when she relaxes into a lover’s embrace. The lake is dead calm, and the fully clothed trees admire their reflection, flaunting their leafy abundance a second time over. As the sun sinks lower in the sky, the shoreline across the … Continue reading That Wild Family of Things
Have you ever heard of a “food desert”? The term is becoming more common in conversation these days, but if you are unfamiliar, a food desert is just what it sounds like: a geographic area where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh produce) is significantly reduced due to the absence of grocery stores within reasonable traveling distance. These regions show up in urban neighborhoods, but also in small rural communities. And when you live in one, or even visit one for awhile, it can be really hard to maintain healthy eating habits. Continue reading “Navigating America’s Food Deserts”
Woodland Manitou is a book for individuals who are searching for something that they can’t quite verbalize; those who aren’t content with the state of the world but are trying to make peace with how things are; those who are unsure how to move forward in taking action to change what feels important to change; those who want to find solace in natural spaces. Reading this book provides reassurance that we aren’t alone in uncertainty, a reminder that there is beauty in the ordinary if we take time to notice and focus on it, and hope that one person’s choices can make a difference even if it’s not always apparent what that difference is.
If you’ve read Prairie Grown, you may have noticed that I like to quote Wendell Berry. His writing, and his ideas about the world, have influenced my own significantly, and I got to wondering if there was a story behind why my folks have so many of his books. Mr. Berry has written over 40, and I would wager a guess that most of his titles have graced the Hillside Prairie Gardens homestead at some point during the last 40 years. My parents have a small organic farm, one that is committed to keeping the health of the soil good and contributing in a positive way to the local community — much of Mr. Berry’s writing focuses on those basic principles of sustainable agriculture.
“For the true measure of agriculture is not the sophistication of its equipment the size of its income or even the statistics of its productivity but the good health of the land.”
― Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture