…we have been on the land: listening, looking, walking, marking. And working. We started planting first, in the previous family’s kitchen garden, raking the leaf mulch up, hauling our seedlings out of our old home garden, some from Southside Community Land Trust’s plant sale, and flats prepared for just this exciting day after the closing. We plopped the plants in the loamy soil, each with a little scoop of worm castings. A deer visited that second night for some minor mayhem, so the next day’s project was slapping together a quick fence.
Jim and I slept in a tent by the pond, and that weekend we moved ours and Bridget’s stuff into the house, with the help of friends and families. Phil pitched his tent out in the woods, and began marking the way there by dangling white peace cranes and swan feathers, which glowed in the moonlight, making his way to bed visible at night.
A permaculture consultant, Carter Tracy, came by and walked with us: taught us to walk the perimeter with soft eyes, to observe for the first year before doing anything.
As much as I love and prefer being, not doing—well let’s just say I failed that first assignment.
We had seen a buck stand and look at us, the first night we were here, from right in the middle of the kitchen garden we were about to plant. It was almost as if he said, I heard you folks are planting a garden here! Cool!
If we’d observed that observation, we might have thought, okay, so let’s build a fence, then plant the garden. It was June 12th already, though, and we were very excited to finally be landing on our farm.
Two years, one season, and one moon later, the days are getting shorter, the garden is in its profligate decline, and the lengthening nights are ripening for storytelling.