Saturday, 28 May 2011

I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover...

I enjoyed a little R&R at my parents' house in the Annapolis Valley this past weekend. Muffy bolted out of bed at 6 am on Saturday morning, upon hearing the backyard birds sing. "That sound is beautiful! Look Mommy, it is summer here. Look at all the leaves and flowers!" He then proceeded to wake all inhabitants of the house with the exciting (and very loud) announcement that June bugs were mating on the deck! I think this escape to the sun was in order. The ubiquitous fog in our area has us all going a bit snakey. I left home to a temperature reading of 11 degrees Celsius. An hour later I was donning shorts and a tank top in 28 degree sunshine! It's like another world down here!

I deserve the break! I've been a busy little bee this past week, working like a mad woman on that garden of mine! A big thank you to my sweet mother, who has been helping me out with the house and Chi-Chi and Muffy. With my dear hubby vacationing on the other side of the world, I've been forced to take things into my own hands if I ever want to get those seeds in the ground. Although I most certainly miss his company, I have to admit that I'm missing his muscles right now! Although I'm very active and pretty fit, I simply don't compare in productivity when it comes to manual labour! I've been shovelling, shovelling, shovelling, shovelling heavy wet soil. Each night I find myself hitting the pillow with aching, twitching arms and shoulders. I'm proud to say that progress has been made. In retrospect, I would have done everything differently, now that I'm reading up on no-till gardening.....but live and learn I suppose.

On Friday I planted my first row of Jerusalem artichokes and a small patch of rhubarb! I've been busy designing a garden layout in preparation for the upcoming week. My two sweet boys will be helping me out in this area. Although these two little monkeys certainly know how to get into mischief, I've found them to be very respectful of the garden space. Chi-Chi in particular, is so very careful with his planting - approaching the task at hand with such seriousness! This year I'm trying out edamame - a favorite snack of my little Chi-Chi. Involving the wee ones in the garden and allowing them to take some ownership for it is truly the best way to encourage healthy eating and veggie consumption!

The boys and I visited the Wolfville Farmers' Market at their new location on Saturday. What a great space with such a positive, energetic vibe. We picked up some fresh organic asparagus and broccoli - yum! I had to control my urge to buy everything in sight as I know I've got a box full of goodies headed my way from Taproot Farms early this week.

Since reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle just a few weeks ago, I've had food on the brain. I was scanning my posts from a month ago and immediately spotted the image of the fresh fruit I had purchased for Chi-Chi's birthday party. Certainly, a much better option than chips and cheezies, but all those items were certainly not local, shipped from lands far away, burning up fossil fuels to arrive on our plates. Perhaps I should have opted for apple slices and nova scotia blueberry muffins instead? It's been an interesting exercise to examine my shopping habits outside of my local CSA box, looking for areas of improvement.

So, do you think some good luck with sunny skies might be headed my way? Check out all the four and five leaf clovers the boys and I found during a nature walk this morning in the fields surrounding my parents' home! This is only half of them. Seriously, this has to be a sign (:


IWK Funding Coordinator said...

hey jen

I love reading your posts - look at the before garden and your now garden!

I have a comment that I have struggled with over the last couple years with the local movement. I have never found "the" answer but perhaps someone else has it.

In a the global village we live in what happens to the farmers in Chile when we stop eating their grapes or the Costa Rican pineapple or bannana farmers or the avacados from Peru. I try to buy local and in season, but other economies rely on our purchases to sustain their economy. We dont need more thirdworld countries and many are bumped up to second world because of their agrigultural exports. It is hard because wine, coffee and some beer are accepted as consumables here because our industries are non existant or just catching up?

Perhaps this is good Taproot dialogue for Patricia or has this issue been brought up in discussions or books?

The Wool Fairy said...

Yes, those before and after photos make me pretty proud and I can't believe I moved all that earth all by myself, with a shovel. Todd will be shocked!

So, I find all these issues confusing as well. I'm not well read on it and don't know all the issues. Patricia would probably add insight to this. On pages 66-67 of the book they address this. They seem to indicate that it is the corporations that sell these products (i.e. Dole) that make all the money and that the farmers are underpaid for their labour. Do you have the book. Check out the bottom half of the pages - comments by Steven Hopp. Here are a couple of quotes:

"Thus, when Americans buy soy products from Brazil, for example, we're likely supporting an international company that has burned countless acres of Amazon rain forest to grow soy for export, destroying indigenous populations. Global trade deals negoatiated by the World Trade Organization and World Bank allow corporations to shop for food from countries with the poorest environmental, safety and labor conditions. While passing bargains on to consumers, this pits farmers in one country against those in another, in a downward wage spiral. ..........In every country on earth, the most humane scenario for farmers is likely to be feeding those who live nearby - if international markets would allow them to do it.....etc"

Complicated. It refers to this website for more info:

Let's ask Patricia!!! (: