"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Zucchini Has Arrived!
Let us begin by thanking the bees for pollinating the squash plants, and even more
appropriately, thanking our Creator for moving the bees and the flowers with such wisdom and harmony that they bear fruit to nourish us as well. It can be enjoyable to remember the intricacy that goes into the growth of your food as you eat it with gratitude. I truly enjoy summer squash and watching the alarming rate at which the plants grow. They produce such lovely, large, bright, yellow flowers that always seems to be a buzz with bees. We have four varieties of squash, Raven (dark green skinned zucchini), Costata Romanesca (lighter stripped zucchini), Magda (pale green oval shaped zucchini, and the Yellow Crookneck (yellow summer squash). The Ravens came on most prolifically this week, as the other varieties are just beginning to bear fruit. Hope you will enjoy them for weeks to come.
This week, quite a bit of time was spent with the honey bees, with deep gratitude for the whole experience. It was a lot of fun! About a month ago we divided the hives. We let them rest, hoping that during that time a new queen was being raised and caring for a new generation of brood and the expansion of the honey bee population at the farm. On Monday, I went in for the first peek and found cells full of freshly laid eggs, the new queen's first laying! It was more rewarding than I could have imagined to see the hive healthy and growing with a new queen. Quite a bit of nervousness did exist with the original splitting, as it was such a vulnerable process and I was hoping it would work out well for everyone and not harm the bees.
The original hive we split from, had multiplied again at an alarming rate, filling every cell of the hive with fresh nectar, capped honey, pollen and lots of brood! They had created new queen cells on multiple frames, which is a sign they are growing too large for the hive and need to be divided many will depart in a swarm. The swarming process is healthy, as it continues to populate the world with bees and helps to cleanse the hive as it leaves them space for the bees that stay behind to continue the natural process of expansion. We decided to create this space for them pre-swarm by splitting this hive as well, encouraging the population to remain here, where they could continue to pollinate the Farm of Peace, safe from pesticides as they continue to flourish. With all of this hive splitting, we most likely will not see a honey harvest this year, as they will need all the nourishment to grow and create winter stores. Our hope is that with patience, we are creating the foundation for Farm of Peace honey in the future, on safe habitat where they can continue to thrive.
On Another Note...
I recently read an article that nearly brought me to tears about the alarming rate at which farm land is being purchased in Africa for large corporations to produce hundreds of thousands of acres of corn, rice, soy and wheat. What happens to the native plants, animals, people and communities? Bees certainly cannot thrive in mono cultures of this expanse. Promises of better jobs and economy to those that inhabit the land, are tossed aside as the people are moved onto lands that are poor for growing and the jobs that are available come with a toxicity to the body and soul. This is not a new story, but one that is repeated throughout history, with greed as the underlaying motivating force.
I feel small in the face of such "big" problems and the huge desire in my heart to be a helpful steward of this earth swells. As I cling to my faith and pray for understanding, what I remembered is that it is the small deeds that add up. It is small farms holding hands and uniting in their efforts that keep ecosystems and communities alive. Your choice to buy your food locally, raised consciously, does have an impact. We change the world one choice at time, one person at time. It adds up. Whether it is in the food we eat, or the choice to smile and offer a helping hand to a friend.
It may not seem to stop the agribusiness that is consuming healthy land continually at alarming rates, but it makes a difference. Choosing to give to organization that are conscious about the how we wish to leave the earth for our children makes a difference. The choices we make determine what we feed the growth of. As these large agri-businesses are taking over huge swaths of land, the article also spoke of other farmers who were creating smaller and medium sized farms and using the resources to truly care for local communities, through good conservation of the land, providing water, electricity and health care; acting more as a heart if you will. That gave me hope and reminded me that every small choice counts and really it is all we have, in each moment.
Our daily lives are full of so many choices, it can be quite overwhelming sometimes. Balancing conscious choices with mercy for ourselves in a complicated world and trust in the wisdom underlaying it all, is something I find myself pondering and reassessing all the time. I enjoy the conveniences of this world in moderation, but I find the deepest rewards in knowing my choices leave the earth enriched. I wanted to share this with each of you and thank you for choosing to purchase your produce share with us this year, with hopes your hearts open to receive the blessings of the choice to support local agriculture. We know it has ups and downs. We live in a country that makes getting what we want, when we want it, quite easy when it comes to food, and the discipline to choose to eat with what is provided in season can take some effort. One step at a time, with balance, focusing on those small choices helps them grow in our awareness and the joy of taking them.
Our Lord, we ask you to please protect all of your children and help us to receive clean nourishment in the way that You intended it to be. Protect our land, our children, our crops, and our native species. Help us to make choices, rightly guided by You. Amin.
Summer Squash Tendril
With Peace and Blessings,
Halima Jen Willett
Farm of Peace
1212 Haven Lane
Warfordsburg, PA 17267
717-573-2956 (Farm house)
717-404-0326 (Cell Phone)