Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Amish Ladies' Day

Hi-ho healthies!
Steve and I spent a good part of the day in Newmanstown, PA listening to speakers talk about preparing the soil for spring planting and permaculture (permanent agriculture). We learned about the importance of native mycelium (fungi) which decomposes wood into nutrient-dense soil. We learned about the details of composting manure. New to me. We walked around a few square-foot gardens and picked little spring greens and ate them.

Steve says, "It takes a strong man to go to Amish Ladies' Day." He's secure. And we had fun. I can't remember the last time we took a day off of normal life to do something unusual like this together. It was really fun. Some of the Amish ladies were selling interesting things. I bought a jar of cod liver oil "cinnamon gummy fish" vitamins for the kids, a bottle of homemade pure vanilla extract, and a stainless steel bread baking pan. Steve bought 3 packets of hierloom seeds: purple string beans, yellow watermelon, and popcorn. When we got home, he helped the kids plant them in their own little containers, and they were so excited about it! He has already planted lettuce, kale, and spinach in the garden. Last week, he helped the kids plant jicama in little containers. We have young kale growing leaves from last year's plants already.

I'm very thankful for my gardener husband. I've learned a lot from him over the years, and he's been really patient to wait for me to catch the vision. It's only in the last 3 years that I've become remotely interested in gardening... and now I love to see fresh food emerge from dirt. It's truly amazing.

The next Ladies' Day will be held at an Amish family's farm in Bird-in-Hand on Wed. July 14 at 10a.m.- 3pm. It is always a discussion format. The ladies said they'd like to hear more about these topics: dental health, food storage containers and staying away from plastic, and how to know which fats are healthiest for you and how to cook with them properly. So, one of these topics will be discussed at the next event and it will be advertised at Miller's Natural Foods on their bulletin board for anyone interested. It may feel like it will take an act of congress to re-arrange your schedule to attend one of these meetings, but it's worth it!


Andrea said...

Totally worth it to get to these - I agree! I look forward to going each time with Anna & Kelly and learning something interesting. Dave has made me 9 new garden boxes (we have clayey soil so boxes seem easier for my inexperience w/ soil) and I am chomping at the bit to get them filled and to figure out how to 'permaculture" them -lol! I think I'm gonna try adding beneficial attractors under manhy of them and see what happens!
It was good to see you two there! Hope you plan on taking full advantage of the coming warm weather this weekend!

Amy said...

Definitely. Steve's plan is a full gardening weekend. He even rented a sod cutter because he's forging a whole new garden JUST for the kids. I like what you said about beneficial attractors. It's so great to think of various plants harmoniously existing together and helping each other grow.