Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Growing Challenge: A Magic Valley County Almanac/Gardening Journal

(Can click on all pics for closer view.)

OK, so I haven't even finished the book A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold and I'm using a play on the words for my title. A co-worker on the B.U.R.P team I worked on in the summer of 2005 for the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality gave it to me; and what I did read of it, was wonderful...beautiful. (I hope to start it again and finish it this year, though I haven't been reading as many books I'd like to lately. I'm currently - finally - reading Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv which has been sitting on my shelf for quite some time.) I started my own Almanac in March of 2005, and after reading that bit of Leopold's, I was inspired to fill up my little notebook with all my observations on weather, plants, gardening, bird sightings, and the like from my natural surroundings. But, if you know my record, you could probably guess that my entries were sporadic and rare. Nonetheless, I continue to scribble in it now and then.

One of my favorite uses for this spiral-bound book is writing down the bird sightings I see around my home. (I have a separate field journal for nature seen outside of my home range). I especially love when these bird sightings occur with my little boy at my side. He enjoys watching birds perching on branches or flying through the air; and I have no doubt he'll enjoy all the aspects gardening has to offer.

Currently, I am using my notebook to write down my findings on growing vegetables, crop rotations, green manures, and all that wonderful play-in-the-dirt gardening goodness. I've also been making lists of the veggies I'm hoping to plant - and that has been all sorts of mouth-watering fun. I plan to include all of my successes (and undoubtedly failures) of this seasons growing adventures in there as well. Such a handy little book of white.

Another favorite thing for me is to look at the previous year (granted I wrote anything) and compare it to the current year and season. This is interesting for bulb appearances, buds on tree branches, the arrival of certain birds, when it was sunny, and what the temps were.

I love lists. I love to write. I love to fill up the blank pages of notebooks.

What notebooks are you filling up with the moments of your life?

© Meadowlark Farms 2008

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