Storytelling

The storm last night was fierce, the windows rattling as thunder boomed and lightning flashed directly overhead …

We took comfort in a handful of dewberries picked earlier in the day, sweetened with a bit of ice cream and a granola/streusel mixture for a deconstructed crumble (recipe at the end) …

This morning we woke to green and 3.8 inches in the rain gauge …

Fortunately, we live 300 feet above the Blanco River, which is at flood stage and rising. Not for the last time I think, “we live in a land of flood and drought.

The land this spring is a riot of grass and wildflowers, everything taller than we’ve ever seen things, especially the Mealy Blue Sage …

and the Yellow Indiangrass …

I tried to capture how much the soil and mulch moved in the downpour last night, but it defied the camera’s eye. Suffice it to say everything got scrubbed clean on the Rocky Road …

And so it was that I pondered green along with the Kindred Spirits (#Ragmates2019) in Jude Hill’s Patchwork in Perspective.

My first impulse was to pull out the luscious package of cloth purchased from Fiber on a Whim last year, a study in green …

But after watching Jude wander through her scraps, I took a quick look at this relatively tidy bin (which I was the result of organizing my cloth while waiting for class to begin) …

and then ultimately decided to root through the small scraps …

Given how much I use green (my grandkids can tell you it’s my favorite color), it was no great surprise that, in the end, it felt like I just won the lottery …

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Recipe: Topping for a deconstructed fruit crumble

1 Tbs softened butter

1 Tbs cinnamon sugar

2 Tbs flour

2-4 Tbs homemade granola

Mix together and crumble onto a sheet of parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and crunchy (I gently nudged the crumbs every five minutes or so as they baked).

Use as a topping on fresh fruit and ice cream … or just nibble (I did both).

Addendum

Necessity is the mother of mending

My jeans, the ones I wear when working the land, were torn …

The result of moving the rusted bedsprings gifted by neighbors Connie and Karl Akers …

Fortunately, it was only the jeans that tore. In the future, I think I’ll leave it to Don to move rusty bits around as he does a much better job of it …

Nonetheless, I do like having a good excuse to mend …

And now that my itchy stitching fingers have been soothed, I’m off to do some (more) weeding!

Inch by inch

Nancy’s question yesterday led to a picture walk around our five-acre homestead in hopes of providing some answers.

Our land was choked with brush and cactus when we arrived in 2010, much like this undisturbed back corner …

We have spent the past eight years clearing brush in hopes of encouraging the return of native prairie grasses such as little bluestem, sideoats grama, and yellow Indiangrass, with much success. It has all been done with hand-held tools (clippers and loppers), no herbicides ever …

The debris is then put in rows of compost that act as berms to slow flood waters along vulnerable areas …

plus a cover of dead leaves, grass and/or wood mulch to keep things dark and damp ...

After a couple of years (we are patient), we take off the dried-out cover, put that at the bottom of a new compost pile and congratulate ourselves on the resulting soil (hard to see, but there’s a 2-3″ mound of soil here) …

The rock gardens are in closer to the house and Don’s current project involves  taking away all the brush from a rocky area …

while leaving desirable plants like this thimble flower and mealy blue sage undisturbed …

unearthing loose rock for a planting bed …

that can be filled with GeoGrower’s Thunder Soil …

then planting natives (here a bush germander) …

and finishing the whole thing off with a covering of GeoGrower’s Magic Mulch …

plus the occasional wire cage as needed because deer-resistant doesn’t mean the critters won’t take a taste at times …

Needless to say, there’s a lot of sweat equity in our landscape, but what’s good for the garden is good for the gander (not to mention the goose).