We are all from different places but share the same Earth

What a great visit from Jennifer and Gary from Australia and Ireland (respectively) who now live in Toronto.  Sometimes it just clicks.  This was one of those times.IMGP4739Now I don’t want any of you thinking a visit to Earthen Heart is all just sitting in the hammock and going to the beach, but we did put in a visit to the lake on a majestic late summer day.

IMGP4755There were several firsts while Jennifer and Gary visited, including:  butternut squash chips, chicory root tea, edamame and amaranth and melon salad.

IMGP4803Many of the soybeans did not grow fully (likely due to soil quality and cool summer).  But there were plenty of tasty ones, especially with the dipping sauce of soy sauce, vinegar and oil.


They stayed in our tent mansion on a queen sized blow up mattress.  Some nights were quite cold (Fahrenheit 40’s) but they had a nice down comforter and chose to stay out there though there was room in the house.  Dogs ripped a hole in the door and some other damage has been incurred, so the tent might not make it another season.IMGP4761We also had tomatoes to contend with.  We dehydrated some and they made some awesome ketchup which we will enjoy for months to come.

IMGP4783Praise the Vita-Mix!  Had to let these guys try out some of our blueberry ice cream…

IMGP4784Blueberry ice cream is best consumed immediately!  Storing in the freezer does seem to change the texture which is why, I am sure, they add things like locust bean or guar gum.

Jen+GaryinGardenOur new friends seemed to truly enjoy being in and on and with the land.  Most of the work we do here is by hand in the many gardens which are always expanding.  Working this way makes you understand and appreciate why machines were designed to do the work more efficiently.  Certainly we are not “against” the use of such machinery.  It is only that we humans seem to have difficulty knowing when to say enough is enough.  Where is the Logic of Sufficiency, not simply Efficiency?  We are dancing and living with these questions and certainly often toy with the idea of buying a tractor.


IMGP4789Jen and Gary got along great with all the animals:  the girls, the dogs, goats, chickens, ducks, praying mantises…

IMGP4791Triticale and barley were planted in various areas after weeding, raking, tilling.  Rye will be coming in later today in the three sisters planting area after Sam and I harvest corn on behalf of the Van Kal Permaculture Grains Co-Op.  All of these grain plantings will serve as green manure, adding nitrogen to the soil and competing with existing plant life.  They will also serve as feed for the animals and possibly a little for us humans.  Hopefully those free ranging chickens don’t eat too much of the grain before it gets established.  The gardens expand slowly but surely as we experiment with different low till and no till methods and observe what plants do well here and how amendments influence the plant growth.   IMGP4741Endless thanks to Jen and Gary for all your help. I can honestly say it was an enjoyable and important part of continuing to build this place and nurture the land in the best way we know.  Pachamama is smiling and the dogs miss you!