The kids had been waiting for days for Tree Cutting Day. Going out to get the tree on the farm is so rich with memories for all of us. This year, I couldn’t go, so our daughter Carrie took photographs for me to treasure.
I waited at home for them to come back. When I saw the sheep skitter across the knoll, I knew they were on the way. First, I saw Caroline come around the bend, pulling the sled with Georgie on it. Not far behind were the rest of the children, talking, laughing, skipping. Last, came an enormous tree with two pair of legs, boughs jauntily bouncing to the rhythm of their steps. I couldn’t believe what a gift I have been given in these people, in this place.
“I could leave the world with today in my eyes.” – Truman Capote (from A Christmas Memory)
The Rose is without an explanation; She blooms, because She blooms – Angelus Silesius
This beauty was overlooked on our farm up until this year. But the goats noticed her before I did. I’m horrified at what they’ve done to the lower half of her. She is a venerable shrub – rather enormous. Once she has done blooming, I will make some cuttings and give her children pride of place in our gardens. Not only is this Rosa Rugosa a beautiful thing, it is also a very useful culinary plant. You can make so much from the petals, but also from the great big hips that come at the end of the season. You can make everything from an elegant syrup to a luscious dressing for poultry.
The indescribable innocence of and beneficence of Nature — of sun and wind and rain, of summer and winter,–such health, such cheer, they afford forever! Henry David Thoreau
Herbe de St. Joseph (achillea millefolium)The legend is that St. Joseph hurt himself while at work and the Child Jesus brought him a sprig of this herb to stanch the bleeding. It is used today for bleeding wounds as well as for fever, inflammation, and menstruation. It is also used as a decongestant and expectorant. How blessed we are to have ample supplies of yarrow here on the farm. It is a very useful herb for the home apothecary. The essential oil from this plant is a brilliant azure. It is wonderful how God has hidden such surprises all around us!
I love teaching our children about the uses of the plants that grow here on the farm. It seems a shame to undo what God has so perfectly cultivated here. We are doing our best to plan to leave wild areas or to propagate natives to place within our gardens.
O, the mulberry-tree is of trees the queen! Bare long after the rest are green; But as the time steals onwards, while none perceives Slowly she clothes herself with leaves– Hides her fruit under them, hard to find. But by and by, when the flowers grow few And the fruits are dwindling and small to view– Out she comes in her matron grace With the purple myriads of her race; Full of plenty from root to crown, Showering plenty her feet adown. While far over head hang gorgeously Large luscious berries of sanguine dye, For the best grows highest, always highest, Upon the mulberry-tree. – Dinah Maria Murlock Craik