Broad Valley Orchard

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Cool and Wet for the Foreseeable Future

Hello again,

We got 1.5″ (6cm) rain last night, and it continues to drip. Except for the fact is is rather dreary, I have no complaints; in fact it was nice not to see frost on the ground after a chilly week. I have already been out twice running overflow hoses from our spouting/rain barrels to our gravity fed 2000 gallon (4800 L) Rube Goldberg constellation of barrels and tanks. Judy uses rain water for irrigation in our cold frames, so as to not concentrate mineral salts in the beds – our mountain well water is rather ‘hard’.

The three field trips went well; sixty-six students and faculty attended. We decided to tailor our presentation to three points that will really impact these young folk’s future:

1) Global Climate Change will be the big news for their lifetimes. Our message was “adapt, but also work on lowering your own need for ‘energy slaves’ ” which will limit their own carbon contribution. We also recommeded that they plant trees, and garden, to do their own personal part in carbon sequestration.

2) We showed off our new “pollinator’s garden“. In the early 1980’s we had planted a spruce wind row to protect our house from 60 Knot gales, which we saw plunge to -15 F (-27C) that once buffeted our house. Now that the climate has changed, we no longer needed that dense windbreak, and it was shading our orchard. Over the last three winters I have logged it out, for firewood, and the brush was chipped for mulch. Now we have planted that area with annuals and perennials that attract bees, birds, and butterflies for pollinating our crops. This is especially important because Colony Collapse Disorder is decimating the domestic honey bee industry, and many food crops depend on them. At BVO we are fortunate that many wild solitary bees have taken up residence in our shelter belt, and do the work for free.

3) We told the students that they should not plan their lives to revolve around easy credit and conspicuous consumption, which is what the Global Corporate Economy has planned for them. I will take a moment here to give kudos to Kurt Vonnegut, who died today. In his novel Cat’s Cradle he describes a machine run society in which human beings are relegated to being mere ‘consumption units’. The students were amazed that we have never taken a loan, and have no credit cards.

Well, I’ll use the rainy day to figure out what I am going to say during the Step It Up event. I will be speaking on “Local Food, and Local Economy” as a way to both provide local food security, and to reduce our ‘carbon load’. I hope you can all get out to your local Step It Up. Earth Day follows the next week.

I remember the first Earth Day back in 1969. I’ll write next neek on how hopelessly naive this once young hippie was. Sigh!!

Thank You

Thom Marti

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