Now I know some of you out there are thinking – why is this blog entitled Erin’s backyard farm? Why not just Erin’s back yard.
Well I will tell you why.
It is because of how we think of things around here. Everything is interconnected and we know it.
When I am placing the soiled chicken straw in its pile I am not tucking it away somewhere. I am letting it rest and mellow. I am letting those yucky microbes die off and those good microbes increase in number. I am saving it away, until it is mellow enough to lay on my garden. I am looking into the future and dreaming of rich soil.
When I choose to pull up plants to create a garden space, I am not only thinking about the bounty I hope the future vegetable plants bestow upon me, I am thinking of the insects and worms who live in the earth surface that I am disrupting. I think about where they will go, which ones I would like to have remain as residents, and which ones I would like to send away (slugs).
When I start seeds in their trays, I am thinking months, sometimes seasons, ahead. I am planning out our food intake for the year to come. I am planning out how the garden will look, and where these starts will go.
My backyard is a microscape of the whole Earth. When we considered cutting down a tree I thought of all the loss of trees in the world, and we kept our little tree. When I choose to grow a garden at the base of our Doug Fir trees, I thought about how agricultural land is overtaking forests.
Many folks may say that this is a dramatic view on things, and that actions as small as these are not what are causing the problems we face in the world. I believe that each of our actions matter so much because of how much our collective actions matter.
I call this Erin’s backyard farm because of all the interconnected aspects that I weave together to make up our life. I bake the bread, and the muffins, and the cookies. I cook the food, clean the home, and let the baby run through her tiny gigantic wilderness of dandelions. We make the toys, create the artwork on our walls, and sew the quilts on our beds (well ok, some of them…) We do a little bit of all of it. and it all comes together. The cats, Rudy the dog, the children, the chickens, the garden, the herb planters growing tea and spices, the candles, the slave, the tomato sauce, the pickles. It is all together. It is home. It is our little backyard farm, and we bring it with us wherever we go.