I have commissioned my friend in New York, the fine artist Alison Silva, to design the imagery for Earthen Heart that will be used for the banner on the roadside and product labels and general artistic marketing. The HeART of the eARTh is an Earthen Heart. Tierra del Corazon.
To have an Earthen Heart is paramount to being a citizen of our evolving community of humans. We must push past the ignorance and the greed. The maddening rush to obtain a moment of stasis and the pursuit of what appears to be comfort and happiness through convenience is only a means to destruction of our most sacred gift Planet Earth.
I am glad to have lived and worked in Metropolis and I actually (unlike many of you, I know) love the cities of the world. But, if they are to continue on as part of the human presence on earth, we must integrate nature into our cities! Paolo Soleri envisioned Arcology as opposed to the single family home of his mentor, Frank Lloyd Wright. Soleri offers us a glimpse of what it might look like to have dense human clusters surrounded by wilderness through Arcosanti and Cosanti in Arizona, USA. The immediate Earthen Heart village and hyper-local community is what is most important to the project. Urban connections, however, offer a source of income and input from the outside world that is very important.
This artistic undertaking and collaboration with Alice is really a process of envisioning an improved future where our hearts, lives and work are dedicated to improving our place in the biosphere through art, food, community, and heightened awareness of the relationships we have with fellow humans and other plants and animals. This can be done wherever you choose to live on the glorious lands of our Mother Earth. Cities, towns, villages, rural areas, wilderness. Even, I am starting to believe, in the suburbs.
Because we don’t spray our berries, there is some loss and nuisance caused by beetles, birds, etc. But we also get lots of volunteers when birds eat the berries and poop elsewhere! We keep finding new berry bushes. The first picking is underway and, as you can see, the ripe berries are scattered on the branches. Looks like we will have a long period of time for picking. Retail orders are being filled and picking is being done by the residents of Earthen Heart.
The animal fencing situation could still use some help here. We are doing the herding/foraging nomad style which is quite interesting as it forces you to see things on their terms a bit. However, some damage has been done to neighboring farms so our fencing strategy should receive some more attention soon!
Garlic scapes were cut over the last couple weeks and around 30 of the bulbs were pulled from the ground before last nights rain. We are currently working on renovations of the attic space to be a media room, library and guest room. There are several ecovillage minded folks coming in July to help plan the community building aspect of this project. Goats are still being watched in nomadic fashion as I slowly work out some of the options with the electrical fencing. Getting good at making yogurt, cheese and caramel with the goat milk. Blueberry field is looking great after another round of substantial pruning and ongoing elimination of cherry, maple, sassafras and other unwanted foliage in the blueberry zone. The experiment of wine cap mushrooms planted between the rows in wood chips has been working well. This may be expanded upon as the mushrooms fruit at different times than the blueberries. Rabbits are providing occasional food and pelts, hens are laying a couple dozen eggs a day and there is still goat meat in the freezer. Mustard greens and kale are fairly bountiful and often eaten raw and tomatoes and potatoes have volunteered in the main garden from last years left behinds. Most of the nut and fruit trees I planted are looking promising and the existing apple trees (7 and counting) have nice big fruit growing on them. The pruning we did during the fall and winter seems to have helped! Other plants that appear well at this point: horseradish, beets, cranberries, dill, thyme, arugula, rhubarb, prickly pear, blue dent corn…So, though there has not been much time to cultivate, till and expand the gardens, the manure keeps coming, the soil is building and the variety of crops is expanding!