Earthen Heart, Bangor, Michigan, USA. Summer is full throttle. My beloved and I have found our way back to each other and three of her children have moved into the renovated upstairs of the farmhouse. Along with our two children that makes seven of us in the main farmhouse! The little house, a new pop-up trailer and camping are available to visitors, interns, WWOOFers which will start coming in next week! We are excited to host and share with others! Here is Palma helping clean garlic a few days ago.
We do what we can to harvest and process from the bounties before us; both on-site and with neighboring Organic farms. Having recently secured a commercial kitchen, we will be selling blueberry and other fruit leathers on a commercial scale very soon while we continue to sell a diverse product line of cottage foods! Most importantly we are eating more from what is here on site and minimizing the need for food that travels long distances and is heavily processed. Building the community that supports this lifestyle is the primary challenge. How do we create the village we wish to live in? Mostly there are questions and experiments not direct answers but certainly quality is a focus over quantity. How to support this lifestyle in a capitalist world with so many bills to pay? Perhaps we can minimize our “needs” and maximize local community infrastructure. The questions exist whether you are in a city, in the burbs or in the country. How do we maximize our communities to become thriving resilient places in the face of global social and environmental unrest?
At Earthen Heart we are focused on food and community building. Certainly there are plenty of other ways to navigate the waters of being human but these things are truly human and I believe at the core of a global healing that is underway. Energy, transportation, education, healthcare, etc. are also huge issues but perhaps not as fundamental. We see countries experiencing economic distress and the people resorting to backyard gardens to survive. Observing nature, re-learning the uses of plants that grown through the cracks.
Here at Earthen Heart we plant only non-GMO and mostly open pollinated seeds. They often re-seed, sometimes with a little help from the wind, rain, or a human such as I who moves the seeds deeper down the food trail. We always let a few garlic go to seed and dig in the many seeds, then transplant the little garlic bulbs which appear to become full size in a two year cycle. This could allow for exponential growth of the garlic crop. Still experimenting on that but growing traditionally from saved seed to assure a good crop for the homestead.
Rye is an easy grain to grow and supposedly one of the easier to process. We shall see. So far its not necessarily easy but seems worthwhile. We also harvest amaranth which is generally considered a weed but has amazingly nutritious seed and leaves. The rye berries are quite dry already and will be ready to process soon.
Drying area for grains keeps it off the ground.
taking seed off the stalk leaves straw for other uses and allows a final drying away from chickens and other birds
getting the rye berries separated is the next challenge
awning under a Norway spruce tree is our drying and cleaning area for herbs, grains, crops
grape cuttings from Maynard Kaufman’s property nearby. Allwood, Buffalo and Concord. ABC. they will be transplanted to their final home this fall
berries just started coming in and will be plentiful soon! get in touch if you wish to join us in the harvest. we get our family berries during the morning walks – blueberries, blackberries, raspberries (red and black) and the dogs have fun too
In upcoming posts I shall work on sharing information about the plants that are often ignored or seen merely as weeds. Enjoy the heat and put a little love in the world.