Spyglass Gardens

  (Meridian, Idaho)
A time to be Thankfull

Soil Health and Regeneration of Life

The health of our bodies relies on the health of the soil, the air and water. Sounds kind of odd? or does it make sense. Everything on this round sphere we live on is entirely reliant on each other. Without plants we would not have oxygen, without water or soil we would not have plants. Without plants we would not have food and the list goes on. Even all the tiny microbes in the soil are included in the community in which we all live. 

However, there is more to this equation. The health of all of this directly effects the whole.  If one is out of sync the health and welfare of the community will be disrupted. The use of pesticides, herbicides is not all to blame as the recking ball. The mismanagement of human waste, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, overgrazing, poor forestry practices, water management, add to the daily destruction of our environment.

 Human nature (as a whole) tends to believe bigger is better and more is best. When all along we have stripped our soils of life, endangered the health of our forest, poisoned our waters with chemicals and polluted our air. In many cases mankind has changed the ecosystem in areas so badly, it has taken decades to recover. Man-made soil enhancements are no different than man made pharmaceuticals. They work on the symptoms and not the problem. Many times, creating an anerobic environment - in which life doesn’t grow - it becomes sterile and merely withers and dies.  

 You cannot keep taking cookies out of the cookie jar and expect the jar to be full. You must replenish the jar. Our earth is no different than the cookie jar. We as stewards of this sphere we must realize that we are not the only intelligent life form. Even as God created the earth, the heavens above, and all creatures great and small… he created man to tend the garden. He did not tell man to ruin the garden but to tend the garden. The garden we all live in - the earth.

The foods whether they are plants or animals that we consume is intended to nurture our bodies, to make us healthier both mind and soul. This is the same for the plants and animals. They too must consume high quality foods in order to grow, and multiply. The foods that we all consume should not make us sick. If we destroy their environment how do, we expect to live our lives disease free. We are all in this together.

At Spyglass Gardens llc, we believe in giving back. Tending the garden with care and being diligent in caring for our soil first. Creating an environment for beneficial insects and conservation efforts to restore the ecology around us. We have joined the “Bio Nutrient Food Association” – educating growers in creating healthier soil ecosystems resulting in healthier food.

Regenerating Life one step at a time. 

 
 

Crisp Air - Falling Leaves - Pumpkin Pie

Crisp Air – Falling Leaves – Pumpkin Pie

Those are just of few of our favorite things this time of year. Leaves of gold, rust and red falling to gently to the ground creating a tapestry of colors. A breeze whispers through the trees as yellow finches devour seeds on giant sunflowers safe from the farm cats reach. The hummingbirds are journeying to their warm southern homes leaving behind flowers loading with seeds of nourishment for the next critters dinner. Fields of winter squash and pumpkins are visible as the frost mats the leaves to the soil. Crisp juicy apples sweetened by the colder nights are ready for the table.

Fall starts the cycle of renewal. As plants decay from the frost and rain – they bring nutrients to the soil. Each one giving life to the soil and creatures within. The air changes from dry and stale to moist and earthy. Huge fluffy clouds appear, afternoon rumbling, and isolated rain showers pass through the valley. Flocks of geese and ducks fly looking for newly plowed fields – tasty seeds, bugs and worms will be their forage. They fertilize as they stroll across the land.

Sweatshirts and jackets now hang by the backdoor. Baskets of potatoes, winter squash and pumpkins are sorted and stored. Apples peaches and pears will be preserved and will be placed by the jars of tomatoes, pickles and beans for the long winter to come. A pot of stew is a welcome sight especially with the scent of fresh pumpkin pie.

 
 

Bonding over the Dirt - Making Friends

Seems like a funny title for a blog. Bonding over the Dirt and Friendship is actually the way the first folks on this earth became friends.  Think about it, there was Adam and Eve then their children and as the human race started multiplying more and more folks were wandering about gathering and planting foods. Working side by side folks bonding their interests, families and common goals over the dirt. Helping each other build homes, plant foods, gather foods - cooking foods and of course sourcing materials for clothing and to make tools. 

 Making friends along the way was just the way of life. Friendships between families, cultures, religions have manifested through the years. Women mainly were the founders of these friendships. Women were the planters, harvesters, provided meals and created clothing and tools. Lending a hand to another was just the right thing to do...Many hands make quick work!  Children of these families also became friends. As friendships would grow among the ladies, the men folk would cultivate their buddy system between men. Lending a helping hand in hunting, preparing the soil and building structures etc.

It is safe to assume the first friends were made by their hands together in the dirt.  Lending a hand for any cause makes one feel good and accomplishing together, brings a smile to all. Working side by side in the cold or heat, rain or shine to reach a common goal is a definite friendship stepping stone.  

 On our farm we have been blessed by many of these friendships - cultivated in the dirt. From planting seeds together to planting in the field. Pruning trees to harvesting the bounty.  Sharing stories along the way - these friendships have blossomed and matured into bonds of love and trust for one another. Neither one worrying about getting their hands dirty. Always willing to lend a helping hand and sharing their love for the dirt!

 
 

Sowing Seeds

"Sowing Seeds" ... We should do for the LOVE of IT..

In the spring we always think of planting or "sowing seeds" . Springtime seems to be the right time to re-plant or plant the garden. Big acreage or small plots - container or raised beds - personal or community we get the itch to play in the dirt. 

As the sun warms the soil our mailboxes are filled with seed packets that we have painstakingly ordered from countless catalogs we received last winter. Every time we visit the local mega mart we are lured into scoping out the seed racks and purchasing a few more.  

Some folks sow seeds indoors to get a early start - mini greenhouse to commercial size greenhouses, starter trays are filled with potting soil and tiny seeds are lovingly sowed and watered. Watching daily as the seeds sprout and green makes us smile.  Awe.. life begins - tiny baby plants breathing in C02 and giving us precious 02 as if they are saying thank you for giving them life. 

Sowing Seeds doesn't have to be just planting seeds for the garden.  "Planting a Seed" or "Sowing Seeds" is a gentle way of expressing ones love for another, soft nudge to guide in the right direction and a lighter design of teaching. All of which are done with Love.  Planting a seed in a child is simple: Showing how to write their name, sitting a reading to them, cooking with them and playing with them. Being a good example and mentor.  As we grow older Planting seeds or Sowing an Idea is a bit more difficult - But is still and should be done with Love! 

Love is the water we give our tiny seeds, Love is the nurturing we give to the plants and Love is the gift we receive from the plants in return with their bounty. Our soil has been nurtured as has our soul. To Love someone and watch them grow and succeed is the greatest gift of all ...

Can you imagine what our world would be if we all sowed seeds? 

 
 

Picture of Spring

Fruit tree buds swell

Soon they will burst in the warm sun

Blossums of pink red and white

In the early morning, quite a delight

Frost brings the farmer alarm

Because cold mornings can bring harm.

Praying each blossum will bare fruit

Sounds of honeybees - Birds gathering in trees

Courtship of spring fills the air

The farmer prepares his fields with great care.

Willows gently bend in the breeze

Clothed in lime green leaves

Patches of yellow appear in the the grass

Weed or flower some ask

Dandelions golden in the sun

Bring joy to the honeybees - such fun

Soon the fields will be enchanted

In the colors of a rainbow

Textures of the life tall and low

Baring tiny blooms that last for days

And huge blooms only lasting an hour

Some smell sweet some sour

But altogether with the help of the bees

Soon bring forth a great bounty

For you and me. 

 
 

Pickles

Pickle....To be in a pickle? or just to be a pickle? or To make Pickles is the question!

Did you know that to be a pickle means to be put into a tight area or circumstance. Think of a jar of pickles, sweet, dill or bread & butter...they are squeezed into jars, submerged in a brine and left to age.  Humm sounds like the ol' saying "I'm in a pickle" doesn't it. 

All jokes aside Pickles are tasty and easy for the preserver to make.  Yet with the fast paced life we live in this amazing treat is left to the big commercial canners...One common thing...Commercial pickles all taste the same, look pretty much the same and have no story to tell. 

Homemade pickles are healthy, easy and such a fun treat for all ages.  In our family we have Grannies recipe, tried true and O' so tasty...Yes you got to wait 30 days or more to open those jars, but once opened the jar is empty in no time....Those same size jars from the store will sit in your fridge for months before they are empty...Do you know why?  

Try making Pickles and start your story today! 

 
 

The Wind Switched-just an "Ol saying

Yes, once again in Idaho the weather is never predictable. At least not by the weather men, though they do their jobs well, Idaho weather can always catch you by surprise.

 "Be Prepared", my dad would say as we would be packing up the camper or boat...not just for what fish we were to catch or the food we needed to stow away...but for the "weather". It would be absolutely gorgeous and somehow he knew a storm was brewing. Or all week it had rained like "cats and dogs"-miserably cold and that weekend we would all get heat stroke and sunburned.  He would always say "the wind must have switched".

 This winter is of no exception. Last winter buried us with mountains of snow. Ice melt, snow shovels were totally sold out, bird seed too.  Hundreds of snow blowers were purchased over the summer. Stores stocked pilled snow melt, shovels, bird seed etc.  We all were in anticipation of extreme snow fall...we waited and waited, super excited to have some for Christmas. Yet we waited for more. Idaho ski lodges held snow dances, resorted to making snow and prayed for snow.  January brought us 50+degree weather-yikes totally unheard of in Idaho!  Then it happened - the Wind Switched.

...yup it did!

 February came with just a bit of sunshine on the glorious day we call Groundhog Day.  Scads of folks said "oh Spring is on it's way he didn't see his shadow and if he did we don't believe that "Ol Saying"...Well maybe ... We should.  Within the next few days temperatures leveled out, humidity came up and the clouds rolled in. Once again in Idaho the weather caught us all be surprise. The winds bought us billowing snow, blizzard like in some areas.  Few inches to feet fell across the state. Fierce wind caused drifting piles of snow over roads and fields. In one day the wind switched 4 times - just on our farm.  Told ya the wind switched.

Will March come in like a Lion or Lamb? - are you going to believe this Ol saying.  We sure do and hoping for a Lion start. For us as farmers snow is a huge blessing. It helps with the water shed we all share, wet snow helps keep the ground moist and organic organism flourish. The cold temps kill and suppress bugs and help keep the fruit tree buds tight. Remember last year we got late March snow and killed the flower buds. Over 70% of fruit crops were frozen in their infant stage. In our book March can definitely go out like a Lamb bringing forth a warmer April which will lead into May with showers and a great Idaho summer.

Course all of this depends on if the wind switches.... 

 
 

Sleeping Earth

As we celebrate the New Year, we look forward to its unfolding. Looking out at the fields all covered with snow we can hear the earth sleeping. Such a silence is peaceful and sweet. While others scurry about, the farmer simply admires the slumber of the good earth. 

In the farmers home this is a time of reflection, a time of planning, mapping and surveying. Seed catalogs are piled on the table. Ordering sheets are filled out and the cycle starts all over again. The farmers mail box will soon be filled with envelopes of seeds ready to be filed and listed on the planting calendar. For the earth may be resting but the farmer's days soon fill with mulitple tasks.

The greenhouse in the winter can be a very busy place. One would think it would be vacant for these cold icey days. But it becomes the work center for overhauling equipment, wood working workshop, paint and varnishing station. Now it is time to sweep and prepare bedding tables,sanitize seedling trays, make hangers for baskets and test the heating system. 

While the earth sleeps and mends it's self, the farmer must prepare his body for the hard work ahead. Just as the earth mends through the breaking down of matter, the farmer must manage his health. Getting proper rest, drinking plenty of water, and excersize through the winter will help keep the farmer in tip top shape for summer.

Sleep now dear earth - for spring wil be here soon! Looking forward to working the earth once again in 2015. 

 
 

Garden Cleanup and Sore Muscles!

Its never an easy task -- cleaning up the garden. No matter how big or small theres is always debris, broken pots, hoses to mend and trees to trim. 

 Winter in Idaho can be hard on everything. Stacks of leaves smashed into every corner, branches torn off from the winds and "dirt".  Yup sounds funny but "dirt"...You know the kind sifted, powdery "dirt"-- it's everywhere!  Not only is it found on table tops, roof tops, bbq, windows, patio furniture,outdoor sinks, patios but it finds it way into your house!!!  

Hosing off the side of your home will prove this annual Idaho phenomenon. Doesnt matter that we have had loads of rain this spring it's still there.....As the garden and it's surroundings are picked up and organized-we clean, and scub and clean again until at last --- ahhh! Our silky dust is returned once again to the earth to rise again next year.

On our farm the robins follow us around watching for tasty treats that we about to uncover. Under those stacks of leaves await huge worms and other crawlies  warming under their leafy blanket. Starlings search the rafters of the barn for hornet nests full of larve snacking on them as they tear the comb from the wood. Sparrows are busy stealing nests from their neighbors and picking up twine & straw to rebuild their new condo.

It isnt just you cleaning up the garden. No matter how big or small the critter may be, we are all in it together!  

 
 

Spring Green

Love the Color of Spring Green...its the kind of green you only see in the Spring Time.  Tiny leaves unfold with excitement and are filled with energy to bring us a new year. Trees are dotted with this Spring Green, the grass takes on a flavor of new growth and winter wheat fields sprout with great anticipation.

This Spring Green can be seen miles away from a hill top. It boasts a promise for days of summer yet to come. It outlines the valley beneath mountains covered in snow. Spring Green warms your soul.

Our greenhouse is a mass of Spring Green-warm and inviting even on a cold wet morning. The smell of Spring Green is earthy. It will soon give way to floral scents from the buds on trees that are just starting to pop.

Spring Green brings promise and peace...Enjoy it while you can! 

 
 

Winter Rest for the Farmer

   Awwhhh peace at last for the ol red tractor!  Now in December the soil has turned to frozen dirt.  Most of the day it has a white frothy substance tracing its clumps in the sun. Golden leaves are cast abroad and a quietness comsumes the field.

   But in the farmers barn office there is a buzz!  With the fire stoked with logs there are careful calculations of this years harvest being recorded. Countless seed catalogs are strung on the floor and the ol Red Dog's back is to the fireplace and warm and cozy with the one eye on his master.

   The mailman loads the mail box with late season catalogs and the first boxes of seeds for the new year.  Equipment is lined up for servicing, the greenhouse is cleaned and the heater is inspected. 

   As the sunsets each day it brings the farm just one more day closer to the New Year and all it has to offer.

   As the farmer and his wife go to bed they pray to our Lord and Savior and thank Him for all of the blesssings of family, friends and to grow and provide healthy foods for them. Without God this would not be possible and for the farmer and his wife they are truley forever grateful.

   Winter is just not cold and windy days, it is a time of rest, peace and reflection of love and receiving Gods grace. Please...Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season...not the mall...take time to rejoice in his love.

 

  

 
 

Spring Rains, Sunshine and Sunsets

Spring time wouldn't be normal if there wasn't rain. What is so wonderful that after the spring rain you witness streaks of sunshine radiating to the earth. Occasionally the skies open to an array of brightly colored clouds painted with Gods finger. And off in the distance another storm builds, skys darken and the wind tickles the trees. With the sun still warming the soil waves of rain pass over the valley. Steam rises to meet the rain and the earth smiles with the passing of the clouds.

Here on the farm, business is as usual. Servicing equipment, trees are trimmed, working in the greenhouse planting of thousands of seeds, baby chicks hatch and the anticipation of another harvest is all that is discussed. The fields are too wet to plant, but raised beds are recreated for early plantings. Leaves and debris are raked and piled for future composting. Birds are present taking up residence in the nearby houses and leftover nest.

Yet something is missing.  A member of the farm...Papa

As the rain fell today a special man was missed. Papa. Today a year ago he left us for an everlasting life in heaven. Today as the rain fell he was smiling watching the progress being done here on the farm. Today as the rain fell the sun would peek out inviting us out to enjoy the tapestry in the clouds. Today as the rain fell there were rainbows.  Today as the sun set in the west, we all smiled remembering the life of Papa Glen. He touched our lives.The oranges and yellows with scattered peach rays bring us the warmth of his kindness and love. His memory will always be with us. His legacy lives on in his family. Thank you Lord for sharing this man with us.

 

 
 

Harvest Thanksgiving

This time of year brings on a special meaning...at our farm now 10 years old as a business, we have evolved from being open 7 days  week to now a full fledged CSA Only Farm....Through trial and error, expense with the powers that be and personal pain, loss and sorrow, we have become stronger in faith in God and commitment to our family and members...

Our farm stands today as a testiment to working always do better, to strive for versitality and to enjoy what God has in store for us...To let him be the CEO of our Farm...

We look at 2011 with great anticipation...We give Thanks to Him for our bounty this year. The trials of weather and the weeds that loved the wettness without His help this year could have been a complete loss.  Instead through his blessing our fields reap a huge bounty....We are so grateful....Thanks to the Lord above - 2010 was a success.!...

This time of year to our family is when we come together and count our many blessings...It is our hope that you do the same...

 
 

Golden Harvest - Fall has begun it's magic!

As the days grow shorter and the air becomes crisp...we are reminded once again the long days of summer are slipping away and fall is here...

The leaves on the trees are being painted by the cool breezes and frost sparkles in the morning sun.  Day by day our grasses become covered by falls first harvest of golden leaves.

Baskets of ripe red apples taunt us with the thoughts of dipping them in warm gooey carmel and quenching our thirst with ice cold apple cider.   Winter squash becomes sweet as their shells become hard in the cool dark nights...Onions can be found along the country roadside fallen from the trucks...Fields become bare and are put to rest for the season.

Yes another summer has come and gone, but the fall harvest is now here for our pleasure. Taste the fall air, take a walk thru a pumpkin patch, enjoy a crisp red apple (with homemade carmel sauce)...sit by a firepit and enjoy the Golden Harvest.... 

 
 

Peaches Pears and Apples -- Oh My!

I remember when I was just a lad growing up on our little farm...fall was worth waiting for... the fruit trees were always fair game as long as you let mom have some for jam and make dad a pie...Hidden in the leaves would be treasures kissed by the sun...After school and during chores those treasures would be the secret snack.  Only you and God knew you had tasted this gem...it's juicy sweet meat and tangy core was all yours...I would savor every bite, mind you now, you only ate one or two a day unless they were tooooo ripe,  cause you must not waste this treat!  I remember finishing my chores with a a sticky smile, tasting just one more before going to the house....As entering wiping my hands on my jeans..."Whats for Dinner"..Yes I am starved...haven't eaten since lunch!...Mom always knew the real story...or was it the juice stains on my shirt!...Remember fall is always worth waiting for....and a warm peach, juicy pear and crisp apple straight from the tree is the best snack of all! 

 
 
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