I hope you enjoyed the video I posted last week! A coworker of mine pointed out that it was unclear what the youth did, which I was prepared for! Make sure you watch the video all the way to the end to see the pictures of the process and the end product 🙂
In the meantime, compost has been breaking down, little seeds sprouting into substantial beings, and lettuce from the garden feeding our guests. I’ve even had some guests in the garden!
You might not be able to tell, but the kids from winter retreat should recognize that this pile looks quite different from when they created it four weeks ago.
And since we’re sharing pictures of compost, let me show you the massive amount of finished compost we now have available to use, to fill our remaining garden beds made by the youth!
Let me assure you, we will have no problem using this valuable dirt in a short matter of time. Our wonderful landscaper Dorothy has found the compost to be a most effective amendment when planting around the property, and as I pull finished plants from the garden, I mix a scoop of compost into the empty square before planting my next crop.
Joni payed the garden a visit on board meeting day. She has an enduring dream of turning a toilet into a flower pot, so when she saw our discarded lavender toilet we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to make it into a planter.
I think placing the toilet by the compost is an excellent way to symbolize compost’s role in the cycle. People usually think “gross!” when they hear the word compost, just like toilets are kind of “gross.” But when it’s finished breaking down, compost gives nourishment to seeds to turn into plants! I have planted nasturtiums in the lavender toilet, flowers which are edible!
We placed a screen over the toilet hole and secured it in place with some gravel rocks before filling the bowl to the brim with Mel’s Mix dirt (compost, peat moss, vermiculite). To illustrate the beauty it will someday behold, Joni stuck Camellias into the dirt. And look, she’s so proud 🙂
The seeds the youth planted are coming up strong and with a purpose! I’m pleased with the germination rate, as usual. ->
Below are the pepper plants I’m growing in my room. I planted 28 pepper seeds and 12 have sprouted. I haven’t yet given up hope on the other 16. My mom suggested maybe I planted them too deep. I don’t know at what point I should dig in and try to recover the unsprouted seeds and re-plant them better. The pack only came with 32 seeds! They are precious!
My tomato plants are also doing quite superb. They are growing strong and producing flowers!
However, my friend Antonia lent me a helpful piece of advice. She said “You should put cages around those now, before they get any bigger. I’ve had tomato plants and I promise, it is not easy getting those cages on after they are so well-established!” That may or may not be a direct quote.
So I heeded her words of wisdom.
Now I have four substantial tomato plants in the window…. each with their own cage. What I intended to be cute tomato plants in my own room are turning into ginormous food-giving beings! However, it’s fun so we’ll see how big I can make them. I may or may not regret this once tomatoes begin to swell and threaten falling onto my carpet. I’ll keep you updated.
I’ve been saving the last tiny carrot in the dirt for someone to come and enjoy. Angie was the lucky winner! She did give me a bite, the sweet girl! Carrots are patient, because they will stay good in the soil until you feel it is time to pick them. I also wanted to give it the chance to grow a little more.
Our most recent guests, Food Corps, got much greater harvests to feast on!
Here again I am proud of our harvest. The same lettuce plants keep producing and producing if I pick leaf by leaf, rather than an entire head at a time.
These past few weeks have been filled with growth, physically and within us, here at Happy Valley.
Along with developments in our personal lives, great and devastating alike, we develop and morph our own perspectives on life. We feel the real possibility of what could come next and it carries us away on a cloud with grace, or hits us hard in the gut, taking away any last breath we thought we had.
So when the future suddenly becomes so clearly evident, what then? How do we live in the present moment? How do we approach each day as it comes? When there is so much to consider for the future, sometimes the best thing is to allow yourself to stop.
Just stop where you are, stop your projections of what comes next, in a few weeks, a few months, three years. It’s not here yet, so I say experience fully where you are in this exact moment.
Close your eyes and check in, learn what’s going on inside. Become aware of your own body taking up this space right here, not there or someday, but standing up or sitting in your chair, sitting next to your loved ones or alone.
We all know how easy it is to get caught up in the wonderful experience of life. But listen to your heartbeat for a moment. I’m serious. Right now. Stop. Feel your heart beating.
Look at something you find beautiful, or find the beauty in something you see every day. If not RIGHT NOW, then when? There is nothing else, except this moment.