I’m still absorbing the wonder-full wisdom Atina Diffley eloquently expressed in Turn Here Sweet Corn; I’m definitely going to have to read it again. She tells beautiful stories about miracles manifest in the life cycle of seeds, and the imperative of planting the right seeds. Every seed planted at Gardens of Eagan has a story and was planted with attention in just the right soil, location and time. Getting and preserving the right seed is an art, one that our good friend Rich Csavoy has been practicing while feeding his family from their organic garden for over 30 years.
I raised the question about how we wanted to approach reintroducing native sand prairie plants and now the importance of the seed we use is much clearer to me. Don Dane said they did not have any appropriate seeds gathered at the time and that only locally harvested seeds could be used. I’m looking forward to seed collecting adventures with Don and Amanda! In the meantime, we’ll let the native plants that are thriving on the sand prairie contribute their seed. We do need to review whether or not the native plants we currently find there are simply highly adaptable, opportunistic plants, from a different ecosystem, or, are they the right seed for a sand prairie. Any botanists out there?
My Lymes test came back positive showing active antibodies fighting a current borrelia burgdorferi invasion. I can feel it in my head and body and am pursuing a remedy in earnest. The sunshine, fresh air and water at The Springs provided some relief and I was chomp’in at the bit yesterday to try Don Dane’s idea to use a hedge cutter to remove the cattail and phragmites seed heads before they mature. After the ponds were drained, invasive cattails and phragmites began to dominate the valley along the Scuppernong River headwaters.
The hedge cutter was like a hot knife through butter and, just like when brush cutting the sand prairie, slowly “hedging” the valley gave me a perfect opportunity to look closely and carefully at the land. I’m encouraged by the variety of native plants, like joe pye weed, goldenrod and blue vervain trying to make it just below the canopy of cattail and phragmites; their blooming flowers will become very evident in the next few weeks.
Now, I just need to learn how to keep the hedge cutter sharp!
See you at The Springs!