Images of Darwin’s View and a Few Thoughts to Go with Them

Some photos of Darwin’s View for your viewing. It’s looking spectacular up here. I thought I’d share.

These are “before” shots.
Before as in 2012.
The first chicken coop at Darwin’s View, what became the Hay Chalet.





Speaking of sharing, I (re) discovered this week that Carl and I have different sharing capacity levels. Or is it definitions? He says “Come one, come all, whenever!” I say, “Right. But call first.”

It’s not that I don’t like visitors. Only, I get easily startled. P1040560Big Red watches over his hens, not me. Too, I have my routines-for-sanity and goals-for-the-day to accomplish. Carl accomplishes without thinking about it. Me? Ever on edge, the phone rings, or a pile of clutter calls and my goals go unfulfilled. . .  Fortunately, there is today’s post on goals. I need to recalibrate: it’s not goals. It’s the practices that help us to reach them.

My goal? To write the three books that are bobbing about in my head, like apples in a tub of water than I can’t get my teeth into. Three beautiful books. If that doesn’t give a person writer’s block, I don’t know what would. But I am taking out that wall/block that has lasted for weeks. And weeks. I’m taking the plunge. I have donned my summer writing attire—t-shirt, sweatpants—sharpened pencils, lined up pens that roll smoothly with just the right amount of ink. Cleaned the house. . ..

I am still not clear what the Darwin’s View book’s point will be. It’s purpose, and mine. Clearly, it will not, and I am not, going to save the world with this book. It’s come around to saving myself. Not in a selfish way. On the contrary.

But stop! I must write it out in book form, not on this blog. It is not time to practice the flute. Nor clear the endless clutter from the house. Which has an amazing effect. I spent Father’s day cleaning the upstairs and quite suddenly, I can imagine sitting in the couch there, reading. Being still. The energy is moving better. I slept last night, and didn’t wake up with my usual dread of the day, nor anxiety. Ditto in my office. Subtle changes–P1040600a curtain hung over the double doors to block the view and my computer faced to the wall—and I am better at sitting still. Though my eyes still rove to the east and the window view there, which leads me to think it’s time to hang another set of curtains. P1040601The view is too nice, don’t you think so? I could stare out these windows forever, thinking of all the work that needs to be done out there. The planting and weeding. The chicks and chickens. They hardly know me. I don’t spend any time with them. Unless they join me when I’m broadcasting seeds, or studying how cilantro is taking over the gardens. I planted no cilantro and here it is in all the beds. And sunflowers, too.

P1040565Nature’s way. Volunteer plants rock. They prove the resilience and determination of life.

Biodynamic farming/gardening is not so easy as I had imagined. I thought that by dividing the “pay attention to your plants” hours into four—fruit, leaf, root and flower—it would be easier to get the work done. Rather than be overwhelmed by trying to do it all at once, we could divide and conquer. The small wicket in that spoke being us. Our schedule this month settled down for two weeks and a day. That is record breaking! It took about ten days for me to stop anticipating packing up. Moving. But even during that time, we kept missing the windows of opportunity. The asparagus roots that sat in various paper and plastic bags for two months, shrieking PLANT US!—continued to dry out while Carl built a stone wall, dug up the soil and filled the future asparagus garden with compost. And then it wasn’t root day. Or are asparagus leafs? Time and again, I have looked up what asparagus is, writing it down, then losing the piece of paper. Too, different people say different things. Carl finally tossed caution to the wind. He said that the first two or three years, we want the asparagus to concentrate on its roots and so it’s a root.

P1040567He is so organized and careful. We now have a beautiful asparagus garden. Ten rows of asparagus most of which might be dead but at least Carl had a positive attitude: he called it planting, not burying as is my wont to call planting.

P1040589And then it was flower day and, while he worked to prepare for another apricot tree, and built gates and tossed the compost, I spread mulch. And he planted our red roses.

P1040573We were worried about having too many leaves. Our share at Tracie’s Farm CSA in Fitzwilliams kicked in last week, just as our spinach, arugula and lettuces peaked. Fortunately, we have chickens to check our bounty. They broke in. P1040571One morning we looked out the kitchen window and there they were—Brownie, CooLots, Ping, Daffy—all under the wire cover, pecking and chopping the greens apart.



Later that day, before racing off to my first gig in untold months, maybe even years, I tidied the plants up, cutting out the deadheaded, weeding the entirely destroyed, and leaving what I hoped would become new sprouts. Carl, meantime, created a fence to keep the chicken-gardeners out.

But here is the challenge of practicing biodynamic gardening. The leaf time ended at 2PM and I didn’t have any lettuce, arugula or spinach seeds to bury. Nor the time to plant the spearmint Carl had brought up from Providence.  And so, I drove off at noon for my gig, leaving no new seeds to root themselves, and the mint to remain unplanted for a full week. The next leaf period is Sunday the 28th at 7PM.

Sunflowers from the eye level of a chicken.
The front garden, with sculpture, from the point-of-view of the truck when it’s getting ready of the work day.



A lousy photo of a strawberry. I’ve already made six pint jars of jam!
Our future luffa sponges!
I planted these tomatoes from SEED! How is that for miraculous?





Today, however, is fruit day. And tomorrow? The Big Apple where I will think of all the things still to be done at Darwin’s View.


Now that would be having a purpose.


These are our Tier 2 garden plots: melons and squash in the hay areas, cabbages and I can’t remember what else in the soil areas.


One thought on “Images of Darwin’s View and a Few Thoughts to Go with Them

  1. loved meeting you today.. Darwin’s View is so
    Impressive! Love your blog, but don’t be too hard on yourself and those goals and plans. You’ve got a busy life going on..

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