Friday, March 20, 2015
Buddha in the land, crops in the ground.
It's been a weird weather year; I think most of us citizens of Planet Earth can agree on that much, if nothing else. Here on the Central Coast, it feels almost like the end of spring already. We had our first 90 degree day last week and the hills are still green but have a brownish cast to them now, as no rain and hot weather has put an end to new growth. It's sad, but there's not much I can do about it so it's just something to accept. Very Buddhist of me, I know.
But with this very warm weather, I'm wondering whether to push up the schedule for spring planting. The lesson I learned the hard way in years past is to never plant much outside before Mother's Day, as both crazy late freezes and punishing winds can destroy tender plants before that date.
But things seem to be very mild, and so I'm mulling over what to do...take a risk and plant, or wait?
Right now I have a lovely crop of spring lettuce, green onions, and red onions in the ground -- typical winter/spring crops that don't mind the cold or wind. But I also have cukes and zukes sprouting in the conservatory, and will sprout my tomato seeds tonight. And pumpkins will need planting next week as well.
And so the endless dilemma....when to plant all these lovelies once they're ready to go outside?
In other news, Big Ag has a week off between jobs and will probably be putting in fence posts in the pasture so we can keep livestock on a rotational-grazing basis. My only dilemma is that I absolutely love the spring wildflowers, and want to make absolutely sure that we don't graze the land to a point where these beautiful flowers don't come up in spring anymore.
There is, literally, no property around here that has the wildflowers we do, and so it's a serious concern. I am torn between cute sheep and beautiful wildflowers, and I know which one is native and belongs here. So the livestock question is still that -- a question -- but fencing is a good investment that does nothing to destroy the seasonal meadow, so we'll get that far and see how we feel.
This stewardship thing sometimes feels like a heavy burden, and I am sure others don't worry about it like I do. But I feel a deep sense of responsibility to pass this land on, someday, in at least as good condition as we got it in. Which means spring grasses and wildflowers.
So I will say what I say about all the potential projects around here we could jump into, which is....we shall see, my friends. But I have to err on the side of compassion, which means having compassion for the natural landscape as much as any animals we could care for. So in my very best Dalai Lama voice, I say, we shall see.
P.S. We have a landscape designer coming this morning to help us with extending our patio area and removing another good swath of grass, all in the name of water conservation. I'm excited to see what we can imagine together!