Underground With The Root Children

I love Winter and joyfully embrace the introspective and quiet solitude that comes with this time of year. This time of year, most plants are dormant and animals are hibernating or resting or have migrated elsewhere. Nature knows to rest and restore energy and I am inclined to follow nature’s lead whenever possible.It seems counter intuitive to me that our society has made the Winter Solstice the busiest time of year when nature tells us to retreat – to rest – to restore energy – to embrace solitude. But as members of this society we all generally follow along with the masses. The Holidays dictate parties and gatherings and busy “hustle bustle” everywhere. All this makes it difficult to follow the natural order of our world. There’s scarcely any time to rest at all! But I must say that during my holiday break, I greatly enjoyed spending time with my dear family and friends. Also, I was able to find and enjoy some precious solitude and introspective time as well.

So, it’s been a long time since I’ve written here. We’ve come through Fall and the Winter Solstice and Holidays and are now in the New Year – 2012! Happy New Year to everyone!

January is a natural planning time for me and I absolutely love working on projects! I have many, many ideas for creative, fun and useful projects that will keep me and our Stoney Hill Farm team very busy over the next few months!

Right now we are working on several community activities. As most folks know, I am passionate about nature and caring for all creatures. Stoney Hill Farm makes regular donations of time and money to various organizations that help care for pets and wildlife. For a number of years, we have been actively involved in a local spay and neuter program. My goal is to reduce the number of unwanted animals in our county and to try to help educate our community about the importance of spaying and neutering pets. It’s a huge challenge, but I am committed to making it work.

I am also working diligently on the Stoney Hill Farm Inc. website. This has been a work in progress for about 8 years! We currently have a bit of a website up and running, but it’s terribly out of date and needs to be replaced. The new site that I am working on is scheduled to go live no later than March 1 and we will offer a number of interesting products from Stoney Hill Farm and The Herbarie as well as arts and crafts from our community and nearby communities. It’s great fun working on this site and I can’t wait to have it go live very soon!

We have yet another building project scheduled for this year. We are converting one of our existing buildings to a new workshop/lab! I’m out of space in my current lab and simply need more room. I will also (hopefully) be using this space to offer workshops for our Herbarie customers who want to learn how to make emulsions, balms, shampoo, etc. We haven’t worked out the details, but hope to be able to offer our first small group workshop early in 2013!

And of course gardening is always my passion! This time of year SC is perfect for working outside much of the time. We are so fortunate to have daytime temps in the 50-60F which makes mulching and weeding very pleasant. This is also the time of year when we plant our fruit trees and other dormant trees and shrubs. I will be planting my 8th and 9th Asian Persimmon trees in a week or so! I have fallen in love with Asian Persimmons and have purchased our trees from the wonderful folks at Just Fruits and Exotics in Florida. I love both the astringent and non-astringent types. But my most favorite is the non-astringent type that can be eaten just like an apple when they ripen in late Fall, early Winter. The only problem is that our deer also love them so I’ve had to find spots that are protected from those beautiful garden munchers.

In February, I’ll start my tomato, eggplant and pepper seeds in the basement so they will be ready to plant in the spring. My Rose heirloom tomatoes that I grew from seed last year produced until Thanksgiving last year! The Corno di Toro Peppers did the same thing, but I had to cover them a couple of nights with protective fabric. Those two are well worth growing from seed since they cannot be found in garden centers as transplants and they are soooo delicious!

Last night I dreamed about one of my green frogs that live in the waterfall pond. In my dream, he was sitting on top of a rock sunning himself. With the cold weather, the frogs go underwater to hibernate and I miss seeing them this time of year. But I know they are resting, hibernating and will be back in spring with the other creatures that I am so fond of spending time with.

Next month I’ll prune my roses and add another layer of compost/mulch for spring. All are dormant now and straggly haggly, but still look beautiful to me. Many of the roses are like children to me since I rooted from cuttings years ago. In a very few months, they will produce new growth and then gorgeous blossoms in April for all to enjoy!

I’ll end this time with an excerpt from my favorite children’s story – “When the Root Children Wake Up” by Helen Dean Fish.

“All Winter long the trees are bare, the wind is cold and the fields are empty”. “The root children are sleeping soundly in their warm earth home. They will rest and sleep the cold winter through until spring comes, welcomed by Earth Mother. Soon she will come with her candle and her little firefly helpers to tell them they must be up and at work for it will soon be Spring!”

Best Wishes for Restoration, Renewal, Rebirth and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!!



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