Some unidentified critter recently dug a few holes in my garlic patch, unearthing some cloves. I'm not sure why. I thought garlic was supposed to keep animals away. I'm wondering if the freshly dug soil, warmed by our brief Indian summer was just too enticing for a burrowing creature nearby. We did recently spot a muskrat in the pond, which runs all along the south side of the garden. And those muskrats just love to burrow all along the bank! No matter though, I had been meaning to spruce up the patch and add another row before more snow blankets the ground, so this gave me a good reason to do it.
Here's my humble garlic patch. I put rocks all around to help mark the area. I have a feeling I will be very happy I did this come spring, when weeds cover nicely planted rows of seed with reckless abandon seemingly overnight.
Our pond runs all through the middle of our property. We use all its nutrient-rich water to irrigate the crops and landscaping during summer, except for the brief time every year when the spring stops flowing and the pond becomes a giant mud pit (otherwise known as the dogs' playground. I'd prefer it if we had pigs rolling around there instead. Someday, yes.)
The chickens also prefer drinking from here, and as soon as the barn door is opened they rush over to the far end where the water is flowing, and have their morning meeting at the watering hole.
The light reflecting off the layer of ice on the pond was just beautiful this morning.
My muskrat-hunting party was hard at work, too. Aki regularly hunts (and catches! and eats!) mice. Yes, he eats mice. He sniffs them out, chases them, and pounces on them, too. Sometimes he thinks he's a chicken, other times a cat.
Do you see those two troublemakers? I spied Aki's mouse-hunting prowess this morning, as he did, in fact, eat a mouse for breakfast.
As I was working, I began to think about how farming for me is really about a constant renewal of hope. A seed is planted, and I hope it becomes all it is meant to be. I hope I do right by it, giving it what it needs to thrive, and in turn I hope it helps me and my family thrive as well. Farming is good for me in this way, as hope isn't easily controlled. And I need to be reminded that once I've done all I can, I should let go of my need for control, and put my trust in nature's wisdom. I suppose this is also true for life. A hope and a prayer, many a time that's what it all comes down to.
Now let's just hope that the nice bed of hay I used as a mulch doesn't attract some other unwanted guest!