Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.
My Husband Michael and I live in a small cabin/hogan on a 35 acre solar ranch at the base of an old caldera, in the San Luis Valley, Southwestern part of Colorado. Natural vegetation is pretty sparse here at 8200’ elevation, mostly sage, cedar and Pinon trees. For the 12 years that we have lived here I have never thrown out a seed or pit (on purpose anyway) I save them all, every thing from old strawberry, orange, melon, apple and squash seeds to cherry, peach and even avocado pits in a bowl. Once a week I grab my trusty spoon and walk around the property planting them all, thinking about rain fall and runoff for natural watering also paying attention to where water pools when we do get a good rain knowing once they sprout they're on their own! My daughters at first thought I was crazy when I told them that “one day,” and it probably won’t be in my lifetime, “when the climate changes, this area may become a lush tropical paradise.” If you know this part of Colorado you know that most seeds won’t take here (now).
About 5 years ago what I thought was a beetle elm started to grow to the left of our front steps right where the gutter drips. Hearing scary things about beetle elms I tore it out. The next year it grew back and while I loved the green and admired it’s tenacity I felt the need to once again pull it out. The next year when it started to grow back I just didn’t have the heart to tear it out and I secretly made a pact with the tree that if I allowed it to live, would it please not harm our home. The bush turned into somewhat of a sprawling awkward “elm” tree. One day a friend came over and asked if it was a peach tree, “no,” I said, “I think it’s a beetle elm.” The next day another friend was here and I asked “do you know what a peach tree looks like?” as I lifted a leaf ... to my amazement there was a peach! I couldn’t believe my eyes; one of my pits actually took hold and bore fruit in spite of me! Well that first year that was the entirety of the crop, one big tasty juicy peach. Last year the crop doubled and this year we had a bountiful harvest of eight luscious peaches! Can’t wait to see what happens next year! I do think of every seed and pit as potential life (although I may not be able to identify which kind). Why not plant it forward?
Okay, so as you can see I’m not a grower. What my husband and I really like to do is alternative building and recycling old, what some people might call useless, items into modern day treasures! So hope you come back and see our blog next week!
I would love to hear from you!!!
Organic Peddler & Peace of Art cafe
Del Norte, Colorado,