Full House, with Seedlings

On this rainy, chilly day I find myself alone in the house for the first time in over a week. My in-laws are here, and over the weekend we had a crazy house full of friends and family – eight adults and two kids, all sleeping over. I love extending the dining table to the point that it hardly fits the dining room, and everyone gathering around for a home-cooked meal. A friend of Amie’s came over for a play date and found herself at that table for a late lunch and for a moment I could see it all through her eyes: crazy, heart warming pandemonium!

On Sunday morning one of our friends, a string instrument maker and viola player, took out her viola and Amie brought out her cello. They played together seriously for a while, until the audience could no longer hold it in. All the instruments came out of the wood works: our African drum, a recorder (played orally and nasally), flutes of all kinds and materials, an “Indian violin” (one string strung on a coconut shell with an animal skin stretched over it), and a yardstick for a baton, with a warning to the self-assigned conductor not to emulate the unfortunate Lully, who died of gangrene in the foot after stabbing himself with his conducting staff. There were also many voices, ululation and, last but not least, the kazoo. This went on for over an hour and ended with everyone in stitches.

Today the rain and quiet are welcome and I have a moment to list what is growing. Of the medicinals the following managed to germinate: Lobelia, Astragulus, Yellow Dock, Motherwort, St John’s wort (2 out of 25 seeds), Selfheal, Echinacea, Hyssop (only 1 out of hundreds of seeds), marshmallow and horehound. No Aconite, Boneset or Giant Solomon’s Seal yet, nor is the broadcast stinging nettle showing itself.  But all the Goji berries germinated:  Goji forest here we come! The sweet potatoes decided not to grow any shoots, so on the advice of my MIL I turned them upside down, dug out some of the flesh, and filled the resulting cup with water. If I don’t see shoots in the next week I’ll have to order slips.

The chicks are growing like crazy, all cozy in their brooder, and the rather quarrelsome hens are laying 3-4 eggs a day. They were quarreling, quite too early in the morning, for the one nest box they all want to use. There are two, but they always chose the one that is a little bit larger. Sometimes I’d see to chickens in there, all smushed inside, quarreling. I hadn’t seen an egg in the other box for months. A visitor wondered whether that was because the big ox had a fake egg in it. I put it there to dissuade the hens from pecking their eggs, but perhaps… I found another fake egg and placed it in the other box.  That day they four eggs were evenly divided between the two boxes. Like the fake egg bestowed legitimacy on that space. Why not.

Next weekend is our big Earth Day weekend, and my own Open House  is among the attractions. I had hoped to get the irrigation – the rainwater harvesting as well as the drip system – in, but no luck. I had also hoped to be at two hives instead of one but my new bee package was delayed by a week.


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