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Chick Crack?

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

A pretty mat of springy green

And little white flowers abound.

Full of nutrients for fauna and man.

The chicks will gobble it down.

But as for me, it’s the bane of existence,

Smothering my plants all around.

Clover, Bee, and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

 

invasive chickweed!

invasive chickweed!

Can I just say, I have a love-hate relationship with chickweed!  This spring when the weather finally warmed up a bit, I went out to the back yard and found my big hosta bed covered in this dense mat of tiny green stems, leaves and white flowers.  Every year, it seems my flower beds get inundated with a different weed!   So I went to the computer to look up the latest weedy culprit.  I found that what I had was, chickweed!     It said that it was so named because chicks love it and it is good for them.  Great!…  so now I’m gonna feel guilty if I rip it all up, instead of saving it to give to the new chickens.  I decided to give some to the chicks to see if they really do like it.  Of course, they  LOVED it, which is why, I guess,  some are calling it “chick crack”!

Then, I read, that it is really quite valuable not just to livestock but as a wild-grown food source and herbal supplement for humans.  Doubly great – now that I’ve read it is wonderful in skin treatment.  Just the kind we are making and are busy infusing home-grown herbs into, to add to our honey, beeswax and propolis  health and skin care products.   So now what do I do?? It is choking out my hostas and coral bells!

Chick weed covering the walk back to the coop.

Chick weed covering the walk back to the coop.

When I set out to start weeding, I decided that it had to go in my hosta bed.  As I pulled it up, I saved a lot of it to dry for our oil infusions, and gave some of it to the chicks.  I decided it looked kinda pretty around the stepping-stones leading around the garage to the  coop.  So the compromise is, I will leave this patch of chickweed to give treats to the chicks and to save for our skin

care oils.  The rest is going bye-bye.  And let me tell you, it was a PAIN to pull out.

 

 

 

Psalm 65

9 You visit the earth and water it;  you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain,   for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers,  and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Dig of Spring

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Psalms from the Hive

by Jeannie Saum

One garden bed down, 13 to go

Satisfying, that first dig of spring

Ground cold, but weeds growing

Preparing the earth

In anticipation of bountiful harvest

With help from the bees.

All this, while our bee girls “sleep.”

Clover, Bee and Revery

Reverie (revery) –(n.) state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing; a fantastic, visionary, or impractical idea

It was almost 50 degrees today, though breezy and damp. I decided to brave the chill to go out and weed the first garden bed of spring.  Steve has a new raised bed/cold frame in the works and has the 2 x 12’s painted and ready to go.  It will go in a former flower bed of mine, below our back deck.  One of those beds I just couldn’t figure out what to do with and so had neglected for several summers.  I’m glad Steve will be taking it over!

It was exciting to get out this early in the spring,  to get a jump on the grown of weeds already flourishing in some areas of my 20140529_022524gardens.  In past years, on a Saturday in mid-March, I would be  ensconced on the couch for hours, surrounded by piles of papers and journals to grade, and piles of lesson planning materials.   But this spring, my first one of retirement, I can get outside on the first warm enough day and get started.

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the gardens I have created and  dread going out to what seems like endless work.  As someone once said so well.  “Whoever said a job well done is a job done once, never had a garden!”  We live out in the country a ways, where no one trims, or treats for dandelions or fertilizes their lawns – which is fine with us!  We’re into the more wild and natural look.  But it also means tons of invasive weeds seeds brought in by birds and bees and furry creatures  and wind.  So, keeping my garden beds under control is a never ending battle, and one for the last 35 years I haven’t come even close to winning.

But this year, I hope to get a jump on things and keep up.  I have to psych myself into getting started though, when there is so much to do.  I am a person who like closure on projects – I like to work on something until it is finished.  But there is just too much outside to do.  It would never happen.  And I am finding that at my age, I need to pace myself.  Too long working in the garden, and I won’t be able to get up off the couch for days.

So I went out today, intent on doing JUST ONE BED – that would be “finished” for today.  1 1/2 hours later, muddy rear, muddy elbows and knees, muddy shoes, tools and gloves – and I had accomplished my goal.  I love the look of freshly turned soil, just waiting to be planted, waiting to nourish and grow seeds and plants, in concert with our bee friends.

Without the bees, we would not be able to grow anything.  They are such a huge part of God’s nature plan.  I have worked, for years, in my garden, side by side with the bees visiting from flower to flower.  But I never really thought about how important they were to our world, our food source, our lives.  And I certainly never thought I’d be raising bees!

Two years ago, our first with the bees, our gardens were phenomenal!  But last summer, due to the demands work and of caring for our sick parents, we didn’t get much of a garden in. So I am excited to have an early start on gardening tasks.   I know we will reap the benefits of our bee friends’ work, with well pollinated crops and bountiful harvest! There is something immeasurably satisfying about growing your own!