tending and care

California Farm - Mollie Bridgeman

Lots to catch up on as the ebb and flow of this journal comes and goes beside the assiduity of life. Coming in and out of the landscapes in our lives this year has been a fulfilling journey. We’ve made two additional visits to Oregon; had Hives come and go; enjoyed a whole glorious and colorful spring in the backyard garden and lived a long, slow, mild summer. We are craving a visit up to the land again now as we approach preparations to build a central cabin and start a larger garden plot on the back one. As the global climate continues to evolve and change, one beautiful expression and one disaster at a time, we feel called to keep fostering nature’s sustenance. Daily walks in our California neighborhood canyon keep me on point and listening to how we can fill our cups with earthly tending and help heal forests, waters and wildlife that fall subject to humanity’s feet. A giving outward and a leaning inward is the dance.

All being said, we are continuing to love the Bees as a fulfilling force of good. Last Spring our Hive split three times and all three swarms eventually wilded away. Another feral hive came in late May under our care with a false Queen. This means she was unable to reproduce. We re-Queened this hive but strength was not in her cards and this colony dissolved rapidly. This was a loss, but we still have our strong original Hive, affectionately known as Hestia. She shared a glorious harvest of honey with us in early March and a small amount again in late June. We leave the majority of her honey with her and she’s now plump full again and on point to lay low with her harvest for Winter. Her natural rhythms continue to amaze and inspire and we’ve felt fortunate to share her lessons and stories with friends, children and neighbors, many of which conversations inspired a new love for the Bees. Next Spring we intend to try and rescue her swarms and disperse them amongst our caring neighbors.

Tending the garden and rotating new plantings is also a continued flow. In Oregon we started a small berry patch consisting of marionberries, raspberries and blackberries. We found a way to irrigate the young seedlings without power or extensive plumbing by hand pumping sixty gallons of water from our well into a holding tank fixed with gravity-fed force and a battery timer. At our mid-summer visit we had to adjust the piping after a possible bear interference but hopefully the young seedlings are now thriving and the fruits just finished off a harvest for the birds. We will know more at our next visit in the coming months.

In California, the garden happily provided forage for the bees all summer long and we’ve now switched gears and rotations with fresh fall and winter crops. Kale, carrots, broccolis, lettuces, beets, chard and okra are now interspersed with calendula, marigold, herbs and buckwheat. It’s lovely to spend time out there watching the transformation take place amongst our perennials and fruit trees as well. And the chickens (now a flock of 6) happily overwhelmed us with endless eggs to eat and share with neighbors over the last few months; they are now slowing down for the season too.

Fulfillment and fostering aside, more pointed, outward action is a work in progress. We take time each day to pay attention to the news of the global climate with a mindful ear. We take in books on change, preservation and protection and listen to podcasts of the same kind. The forests, waters and wildlife are often in my daily prayers, but how we can more actively support is a question we continue to explore. What actions with our time and resources will make the most difference? Giving has been an exploration and offering for us with organizations like the Sequoia Parks Conservancy and the Wetlands Wildlife Care Center in our California home. And in Oregon we are researching ways to get involved with the Williams Community Forest Project in an effort to protect and restore the local watershed. Responsible and balanced choices are also in the workings of research on materials for our forest home cabin and transportation to and from. Currently I’m on the hunt for the best possible alternative to HFC refrigerants used in all things cooling and refrigeration as regulations begin to shift for the good. And what about lithium resources for a battery powered vehicle when our current single car is transferred to our children to share? All of this is a small start, but a step in a direction that feels purposeful and needed in our world that needs change now.

We will continue to get out there to love and grow with that which we are One. The dance with expansion and contraction and hopefully a level of potency will evolve. Being with nature to learn, embrace, merge and share is something we hope to inspire. Stay open, inquisitive and ready to care. Peace to All!