CSA 2018 week 17 Sept 24th

       Yesterday marked 36 years since the day of my birth.  It was the fall Equinox, which Ma says also occurred on the day I was born.  It is the first time that I remember by birthday falling on the day of the Equinox, which added an element of reflection and consideration to my process.  It has been an amazing journey and I appreciate both the blessings and the challenges.

      I am grateful for the opportunity to throw myself into a vocation and calling that challenges me to rise to new levels of understanding and capacity.  There are times when the growing pains feel like they are too much to bear, but that is part of the joyous process of life. How we rise to meet our burdens and challenges defines how we live our lives; small, incremental steps add up to large gains as the seasons cycle past us.

       It is said that you can jump into the same river, but never the same water.  Life flows around us and we do well to appreciate the unique facets of the water that passes us by but this once.  Appreciating the beauty of the sun glistening on the morning dew reminds me to stay in the moment and not let stressors and thoughts get the better of me.  The more balanced and present we can remain, the more effective we are at negotiating the challenges that life presents.

       For life is challenge; we each struggle to bring our best selves to the journey, and the more open interaction and communication we can have, the better are our chances of achieving this self-actualization.  I am learning to speak my heart and mind with openness and without judgement, but it is no easy task. It is difficult to separate emotions and to rise to the deeper presence that is like the ocean to the waves.  

      We are beginning our fall pasture management strategy.  We moved chickens around this spring and summer, creating fertility and managing disturbance to get the forage into ground contact for better decomposition and soil-building potential.  The nutrients available in the chicken manure offer a boost for growing forage, but also the potential for leaching into nearby channels when the heavy rains come.

        Our irrigation strategy allows us to water the pasture before the rains come, helping the plants to grow back and new seeds to germinate.  The readily available nutrients will cause a period of rapid growth during the warm, dry fall because of the irrigation that we are able to apply.  This is a new process for us, before this year we did not have the infrastructure set up to be able to pump enough pond water to have extra for irrigation.  

       As we continue to expand our water system capacity, the goal is to be able to irrigate pasture all summer so that chickens and rabbits always have fresh forage, even during the dry months when the landscape turns brown.  This micro-scale land-management strategy provides potential for scaling via a partnership between decentralized private ownership and public resource support.

       The benefits to such a program would include more functional ecosystems and thriving communities based on restorative economics.  A greener, wetter landscape would be more productive and would help avoid the cataclysmic cycle of fires that is the new norm. The savings in costs from fighting fires and the damage they cause, along with the public health benefits and health care cost savings would far outweigh the money spent up front to provide materials and support to engineer the project on a landscape-scale.  

        Each trip around the sun offers innovations that move us in increments towards a more regenerative future.  It is a joy to share the journey of learning and process, to accept the challenges as they come and to seek win-win solutions that benefit all.  Much love and appreciation, great success! 🙂