Growth 2017

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Leafhopper Farm has been growing for 5 full years now; on July 31st, we begun our sixth. It has been a wonderful unfolding of tended soil, grazing animals, and a budding community. Above is one season of growth in the Asparagus bed. I wrote about the lone stalk earlier this Spring, and now there are three additional friends joining to create a green party. We might get to harvest some in 2018. For now, the plants are encouraged to grow and seed as they wish, encouraging larger roots for greater production next year.

The growth of the farm’s Asparagus is a great metaphor for the farm its self; start small, grow slow, and keep adding every year. Highlights from this year’s growth include more goats (including a new buck), double our chicken hatching with help from the incubator, a farm manager, wildflower pollination stations, kittens, an outdoor kitchen, more community garden space, native plant instillation, raspberry patch, and much more!

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The Cascadia Hops Humulus lupulus are looking great. I’ll have the largest harvest ever at Leafhopper Farm this fall. Young hop buds are full of sticky yellow resin located in the Lupulin glands, and the scent of its essential oil is overpowering. Hops are part of the Cannabaceae family, and are very medicinal in nature, like their other relatives. The past two years of harvest have produced great beer attempts. This year, they will also be dried and stored for use in future batches of bitter drink. The roots will then be relocated into their own space away from the front garden to allow them plenty of place to expand.

That expansion is felt at the farm this year, both in living space, garden space, and dreaming space; for the future of this land and the community enjoying it. We’ll host classes, students, teachers, farmers, activists, inventors, horticulturists, writers, WWOOFers, service men and women, children, feminists, mothers, fathers, grandparents, elders, story tellers, and guests still unknown. Weiss Creek is singing her song through our drought and the pond still hosts fish.

So much gratitude to all the people who use this place, from the two legged to the four legged, creeping ones, and the winged ones; all are here to grow with us, all will add to the web of life. Thanks for the chance to build this dream, together with so many others who support and share such positive energy. The land is ready to be asked for its blessings of abundance. Though stewardship, the earth gives endlessly to all who work with her in splendid harmony.

Parting Shot:

Muir caught a mouse this week, and reveled in his skill as a hunter. This is the original instructions for domesticated felines. He will be an invaluable support to the future growth of Leafhopper by keeping the rodents at bay.  Though his work, we have eliminated all toxic baits from the land to protect owls and raptors who also help to hunt  prolific vermin. The cats are new working animals we’ve teamed up with this year, and comforting when engaged in furry, purring cuddles.

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photo courtesy of Annika

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