Saturday, October 30, 2010

Collecting seeds, organic feed, and time for Halloween

Bucket o' seeds

While Richard worked on moving the guinea/chicken house planter into a sunny location, I watered some plants and collected marigold seeds. I have enough seeds now to plant a field of marigolds.  It was a remarkably nice day. Very warm. The kids ran amok in the grass, playing on their little fort, screaming and yelling and being wild children. Nothing beats a warm Fall day.

We went into town for a minute to get chicken food from one of our local feed stores that now stocks organic feed. Hurray for organic feed!!! We ordered grains for the goats and llamas, food for the cats, for the dogs, and for the chickens. Unfortunately it is expensive, but I think if we can, we should buy it, sending the message to organic producers that we are interested and to all the rest that we aren't going to buy their poison laden feed for our animals any more.

The Cottonwood trees down by the river are turning gold. Against the backdrop of the mountains and the dark water flowing in the Arkansas river, it is a beautiful sight. The farmhouses all have pumpkins on their porches, kids are running through corn mazes, and the smell of woodsmoke fills the chilly evening air. The leaves are starting to collect on the ground and soon it will be time for us to cruise the neighborhoods, collecting bags of unwanted leaves from suburban yards to make into compost for our gardens.

Something about Fall makes me feel all warm and cozy, like finally coming home. I'm not sure how a season could make me feel so at peace or like I completely belong, but the Autumn does that to me, no matter where I am. All of a sudden, I want to make cookies and watch movies and snuggle with my kids. I get urges to run through leaves and take walks along the river, and sip hot cocoa in the company of a good friend while we share our dreams for the next year.

Tomorrow is Halloween. We are planning on taking the kids to a party one of the Canon City Co-op members is having, and then into town for merchant trick-or-treating. It'll be our first celebrated Halloween in this small farming community and I can't wait to see how it goes. We found costumes for the little ones at the Goodwill--a cow and an elephant--just their sizes, and quite a bargain for the quality. I love thrift stores.

Box o' cans
This week, Richard thought of using our tin cans, the ones we get canned food in, as planters for our vegetable starts next Spring. Great idea! Recycle and re-use.Sometimes we have an aha moment, when a brilliant idea seems to float into our heads, and then are astounded that so many people are already doing what we just thought of.

Last year we bought hundreds of plastic disposable cups, which we saved, of course, but many have just broken down from the sun and from age, I guess. The plastic seed starter "pots" are hard to work with,  fall apart over time, and are too expensive for this farmer. Tin cans will last until they rust, but the positive is that we will be recycling the cans, which we normally do anyway, taking them to the recycle bin in town, but when you can really re-use something that would otherwise be trash, it is a wonderful feeling indeed. I also think they will look adorable with little baby tomato and pepper plants in them.

I did look online to try to find out if the tin would be hazardous to the plants, but I can't find anything at all about tin cans (aluminum will leach) and many people use a variety of small and large cans, some with memorable labels, to make interesting container gardens. What a great idea. I am just so excited by this concept. I could paint the cans if I had a moment of creative inspiration, and some people even use the tin can planter idea as a craft project for kids. I wonder if my little ones would like to decorate some cans? Painting the cans will extend their lives against rust, but then you do have to be careful with the paint and/or sealers...what do they leach into the soil?

Happy Halloween everyone! May your Fall days be filled with inspiration and love, hot cocoa, or better yet, organic herbal tea, good company and good ideas for the coming months ahead.

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