Chicken Tractors and today’s bento

Chicks out for a little sun

Chicks out for a little sun

The last day of April started out chilly and wet but by this afternoon it was beautiful. I brought the baby nuggets out for a little bit of sunshine. Meanwhile, the original nuggets (now 5 years old and still giving us eggs every day) were in their own tractor getting a different planting bed ready. The bed in front of the tractor is where I get my daily greens for my school bento.

Sweet ol' girls

Sweet ol’ girls

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Speaking of Bento today’s featured slices of Ray’s Enchilada with our fresh greens, the newest radishes, kiwi, cantaloupe and watermelon stars, plain Greek yogurt with bananas and blueberries. (one day soon there will be some kind of fresh fruit)

Everett’s pretty day: 59/46 but it felt warmer then that. Sunrise at 5:52, soon to set at 8:20 for 14 hours and 28 minutes of day light. A little rain this morning but it hardly registered in the rain-gauge. Expecting the same tomorrow.

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Meet the new nuggets!

Gypsy-Julia, Honey-Hannah and Misty-Meghan

Gypsy-Julia, Honey-Hannah and Misty-Meghan

The mother of one of my students asked if we wanted chicks. “YES!” (and thank you for thinking of us)

The best part was listening to her kindergarten son introduce them all to me. These are the friendliest chicks, thanks Dillon for raising such sweet girls for me. He assures me that they will like riding on my shoulder when I take them outside. They already will climb on my hand like a parrot when I press against their tummy. So far they do not run from me, that is REALLY nice.

We are going to need better weather and soon. While writing this I had to go rescue Meghan. She has already figured out how to get out of the box. The kitty-kover (and sometime chick-tractor) is more chick friendly (and safer) then the cardboard box.

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It is still April in Everett

Spinach, kale and micro-greens bento

Spinach, kale and micro-greens bento

Warm days, no sweater needed (inside at least) may have seduced me into believing that early summer has come to Everett, Washington. Outside there was a gentle, north wind. Chilled me to the bone! If I had not needed a handful of parsley and a pinch of oregano I would have stayed inside. Burrr!

Later that Shabbot evening, Ray and I settled in to watch Chris Travels take us places we cannot afford. That was when we first heard the pelting of hail. Uh-oh! There was nothing we could do but wait it out. Our early food would either survive or not, it was out of our control.

At first light, everything looks good from the kitchen window. I’ve only planted the hardiest of of greens and peas. Hallelujah!

Now I’m worried about the pepper sprouts in the unheated green house.

Chickadee in a Pear Tree

Chickadee in a Pear Tree

I wonder where the birds go when the weather gets mean?

Everett, Washington; April 25, 2015 (Happy Birthday Jackie!) 56/39 but the wind has swirled around to the south-east instead of coming from the north. Twenty percent chance of something wet coming down, though the morning is honey-colored with sunshine…. which has been up since 6:01, and will not set until 8:13 for 14 hours and 12 minutes of daylight. Shabbot Shalom!

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Way Points: Deuteronomy 6:7

and you shall teach them (the words which YHVH your God is commanding you) diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by The Way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:7 RSV

Toy Box Tomatoes

Toy Box Tomatoes

Teach them, talk about them. Walking in The Way is not something we are suddenly good at because we have been born again. Walking in The Way is a skill that needs to be sharpened. Young believers and buddies need the fellowship of the word, which, by the way, does not just happen for two hours on Sunday (two hours and 20 minutes if your pastor tends toward rambling). Fellowship in the word happens on your commute to school, it happens around the game board or after-school snacks, at bed time and breakfast. It is as natural as knowing how to grow tomatoes.

I’m going to go off subject here and say, growing tomatoes did not come naturally to me. It has required lots of reading and talking with people who have successfully put ripe tomatoes into my hands. It is an art that requires skill. Buying a package of seeds is the having the potential for success. Fragrant fruit that I can share with others is more then just good seed. It is the same with successfully living the life of a Christian.

The Way (DEREK in Hebrew) is the journey with Elohiym

The Way (DEREK in Hebrew) is the journey with Elohiym

Moses gave us YHVH’s plan for life but nearly everyone who came out of the slavery of Egypt failed and died in the wilderness. Y’shua (Jesus) paid our penality for violation of Torah (sin-lawlessness) and the Spirit of YHVH (a.k.a. the holy spirit) has written the Torah on our heart. We have every advantage yet we still stumble. Why is that? Here is my $0.02

We do not read Torah for ourselves. Few of us even read the letters of Paul or John and Peter. Few of us have read the Gospels for ourselves. We just go by what we hear. One day someone invites us to a Christian Yoga session. Great! Christians who stretch together! We invest in yoga pants and a cute top, a yoga mat, maybe some blocks and a band (guess what I have done). We get ourselves to the church basement with fellow believers, we listen to christian pop music and position ourselves into lion poses or dog position. We are encouraged to find our center and think about Jesus. It’s a fun time. But we still have a question, Is it OK for Christians to practice Yoga?

Why do we have to ask? Why don’t we just know?

For what it is worth, my opinion is that we do not read the Word for ourselves, we just go with what other Christians are doing. Other Christians celebrate Easter and Christmas, the Bible doesn’t say anything about either of those adopted holidays. We worship on Sunday knowing that Friday night to Saturday night is the appointment the Almighty has made with us for rest in worship. We do not know if Yoga is ok or not because we do not know the Almighty’s word or how He feels about practices that come from the worship of other so called gods.

Read the Word of God, the Bible. Do not be content with just reading it, pray it. Insist that the Almighty give you understanding so that you can walk The Way with skill to please him. Talk about what you read, in the car, at supper time, when you pray before bedtime. Then you will know Truth and truth makes you free.

From our devotional passage found in Deuteronomy 7: 4-25

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Between the Rain Drops… Mid April At The Toy Box Suburban Farm

Spring at The Toy Box Suburban Farm

Spring at The Toy Box Suburban Farm

Fits and starts, I think that is what it is called when nothing happens then everything happens then nothing again. Such is April. Every day I peek at the progress. It seems like nothing changes, until all of a sudden I see something new.

Parsley and Peas (Green Arrow)

Parsley and Peas (Green Arrow)

The trouble with daily peeks is not noticing the change. At first I had to get down on ground level to see the graceful arched stems of the peas pushing out of the ground. I have no idea how they got so large all of a sudden. These are Green Arrow shelling peas. We also have a short row of Canoe, Cascadia Snap, old fashioned Sugar Snap, an Italian snow pea and Tall Telephone (more per square foot then my favorite Maestro). Out front in the Back to Eden area there are some Dakota peas. I know, crazy, but I wanted to plant stuff and peas are ok with the cold of Saint Patricks Day.

Green Garlic

Green Garlic

All my garlic this year is volunteer. I took a chance, dug them up and seperated them. Then trimmed the leaves and roots like you would with leeks and replanted them. So far, so good but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I’ve never done this before. Looks good so far!

Kale Buds

Kale Buds

I have been plucking kale buds and tiny leaves from this plant all winter long. The poor thing is getting desperate to make seeds. The buds are starting to ripen up faster then I can tuck them into my lunches. The larger leaves have made some fantastic soups. My Bento’s get some of the tiny leaves with the spinach and radishes from the green house for the sweetest early salad that only gardeners in the Pacific North West get. One of the perks for putting up with all the rain.

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossoms

One nice thing about the rain, it does make the air smell sweet! April 12, 2015 in Everett, Washington, it seems a little chilly. High 53, low 43. Even though there is only a 10% chance of rain, that 10% added a half inch of water to the rain gauge. Sunrise at 6:25, sunset at 7:54 giving us 13 hours and 29 minutes of a pretty spring day.

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Filed under Back to Eden Garden, Square Foot Garden, Urban Farm

First Day of Spring

March 21, 2015 1st day of Spring (8)

Pear Blossoms, March 21, 2015

Every year I promise myself that I will not bore you with plant baby pictures, and every year I get all excited and take baby pictures. I cannot even say I’m sorry about that.

Radishes, scallions, spinach and greens in the greenhouse

Radishes, scallions, spinach and greens in the greenhouse

About a month ago I planted a little box in the green house. Slow growth and slugs. Even so, it looks like I’ll have a few radishes! The scallions are about ready for their first haircut and a couple of baby lettuces have survived hungry slugs. I’m so excited! I can even see a tiny bunch of spinach that needs to be picked.

Hello Fava Beans

Hello Fava Beans

The same week that I started the radishes in the greenhouse, I also planted a few fava beans along the back fence. Hello baby fava beans! Grow babies, grow! I’ve sort of forgotten what our actual “soil” looks like until now. We are hoping to score more green chips to scatter on top of this soil. Everything we hear in western Washington state sounds like we will have a bad drought this season. Mulch of any kind may be a must. We are very excited about the Back to Eden gardens we tested last year. So excited that we (ok, “we” means Ray, I took pictures) moved some of our Square Foot Gardens to make room for a larger BTE area.

Comfree and Raspberries

Comfrey and Raspberries

Did I call it or what? Comfrey is making a comeback in the new raspberry bed. Never mind, the nuggets and I use lots of this healing herb.

The little Raspberry canes have a few blossoms and I am going to let them be.  Originally there was an early and a late red as well as a yellow that came ripe in autumn. I am hoping to at least see what I still have after all those years in a pot.

Farmer Ray

Farmer Ray

Did I mention that it is the first day of Spring? We have been eating fresh kale and kale buds along with Toy Box eggs, herbs, parsley, dry apples, frozen blueberries and who knows what else. But we sure look forward to that first sweet salad of late spring. Peas are up, others are waiting to be planted. Tomatoes and peppers also need to be planted. The early kales and broccoli need to go out under the cold-frame because they are starting to out grow their soil blocks. I love these kinds of To-Do lists. Today in Everett, March 21, 2015 the wind is excited and is bringing just enough rain to keep everything fresh. At 52/41 the underground is predicting that today will be much cooler then yesterday. I don’t care, I have spent the last week in front of a computer getting students and their report cards ready for the end of the third quarter. Sun rise was at 7:10. We are all the way up to 12 hours and 12 minutes of day light in Everett, Washington. Sunset at 7:22

 

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Way Points: Psalm 2:12

Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in The Way, For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! 

Psalm 2:12   NASU

The very first Psalm ends with this warning, YHVH knows The Way of the righteous, all other ways lead to destruction (will perish). Psalm 1:6 Now in Psalm 2 we see the contrast between politicians that we can see with our eyes and the unseen throne of Adonai, the Lord, who laughs, scoffs and speaks to them in anger.

The next group is the people who put their trust in the Son of the Most High. The politicians and tyrants we can see make life miserable but the king of our heart who we know by faith (‘amen) strengthens us to stand against His enemies on earth.

The Psalm ends with our Way Point, and it is rather strange to our eyes. It is possible to perish in The Way? How does that happen? The clue is in “Do homage …” or “kiss” (KJ) The Son. We are to walk with our eyes on Y’shua. It is too easy to get lost in the rules of the road, the Torah. But the Torah has been made flesh and we are to follow Him. He makes the Torah that we read alive, he fills us with the breath (the Spirit) of God so that we are alive to Him, able to stay on The Way even in the times that David calls “walking in the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23)

Do homage-kiss the son, an action that cannot be done from a distance or to a stranger. Take refuge in him. You know the news of the day, the wrath of God will soon be kindled, happiness will only be found then as it is now, walking in the shadow of our Messiah. The place of eternal safety in a wild world.

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