Skeptical Druid

gardening

This was my second month volunteering at the garden, and I enjoyed it just as much as the first (if not more, because it was warmer this go-around). The work was pretty straightforward, but I took lots of photos, so I'll share those here!

We planted onions; lots of them!

Rows of young onion plants.

There was a lot of yarrow growing where it shouldn't be (the asparagus garden), so we weeded that out.

Big bunch of yarrow growing in mulch.

Did you know passion fruit sells for $8/quart? They grow best on a trellis, so that'll go overtop the asparagus garden later this year.

Passion flowers with a sign that labels them.

There were lots of these neat-looking centipedes while I was weeding the asparagus garden.

Black and yellow centipede in mulch.

I took a bunch of the yarrow home with me, so it's now part of my little herb garden. I also planted some basil seeds in the same container, so hopefully they'll take off like they did last year.

Yarrow planted in a rail container.

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#onions #asparagus #yarrow #gardening #farming #druid #druidry #druidism

Back in January, before I even started my OBOD journey, I got a letter from the Arbor Day foundation. Thinking back on it, I think that letter may have spurred my interest in druidry again. I ended up making a donation, and I had mostly forgotten about it.

Then, last week, my complimentary trees arrived (all twelve of them!), and I was talking to my partner about planting them, since he does most of the yard work. He asked if I wanted to plant them in a circle “for witchy shit,” which was already my plan, but I was really happy he asked so I didn't have to be awkward about bringing it up!

Eight mulched trees in a circle. It's too far away to see the trees, since they're so small!

I planted eight in a circle in the back yard, aligned with the cardinal and semi-cardinal directions. I'm hoping I planted them far enough apart, but if we gotta move them a couple years down the road, I'm cool with that, too. The additional four trees got planted in the front yard for a little more privacy there, since it only has one tree.

Small plants update

Four tomato plants in planters with cages.

  • Acquired a snake plant for the office, which was dreadfully void of green.
  • Added creeping rosemary to my herb planter where my garden sage (grown from seeds last year) has been thriving.
  • Planted four tomato seedlings for tasty summer snacking.
  • Might have shocked my poor pothos with too much sunlight, but I'm hoping it'll pull through.
  • Moved the aloe outside to a shady spot (has been living indoors for the winter).

Garden sage and creeping rosemary in a railing planter.

Community garden volunteering is next weekend, and Beltane is coming up in just a few weeks. Time sure does fly!

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#druid #druidry #druidism #OBOD #BardicGrade #gardening #trees #grove #plants

As part of my spring equinox celebration, I spent the morning volunteering at The Well Fed Garden. I didn't know what we'd be doing, but the owner explained that we'd be inoculating logs with shiitake mushrooms. What's that, you ask?

Shiitake mushrooms growing on a log.

First, you need logs. These were sweetgum logs, cut down a few weeks ago. These should be cut down either early spring or late fall. There should be some sap in the tree for the mushrooms to feed off of, but not too much.

With each log, we drilled holes about six inches apart in a diamond pattern. There's a special drill bit that only goes down a little way. The angle grinder was heavy. I definitely need to work on my forearm strength!

Along with the drill bit is a special tool. It looks like a hollow metal rod with a palm plunger on top. So, we stabbed the bag of mushroom inoculate (or as I like to think of it, mushroom babies). The hollow part of the rod fills up, and we used the plunger to inject it into each of the holes.

The next step is waxing. There were two crock pots filled with soy wax (although beeswax is just as acceptable), which we used to cover each of the holes we'd just filled with the inoculate. This is to prevent critters from getting to the inoculate! We also covered the ends (lightly) and any places where branches had been cut off. This is to prevent unwanted fungi from growing there.

Three stacks of inoculated logs.

Once the log is waxed up, it's labeled and stacked in a grid pattern. The mushrooms will fruit twice a year (spring and fall), gradually reducing how much they fruit with each passing harvest.

After we were all done with work, we had soup made from mushrooms grown right on the farm! I'd never had barley before, but it was an awesome soup ingredient.

Bowl of soup with barley, vegetables, and shiitake mushrooms.

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#mushrooms #gardening #farming #druid #druidry #druidism

I have a few bushes I planted last year, and they are looking rough. In an effort to save them, I put some mulch around them to hopefully keep the weed population down. I think I may get rid of the tall grass around this bed and replace it with some flowers that would do well in this region, but I need to do some research on that first. Maybe daffodils!

Three bushes surrounded by mulch.

Gardening is not something I did before last year, but it's been a good way to get outside. My little garden sage plants survived the winter outside, my aloe survived inside, and my golden pothos is still kicking (although all her children died over the winter). I'm hoping I can propagate some more pothos plants and sprinkle them around the house.

Much of being a druid is connecting with nature, and gardening is such an obvious way to do so. Tending to plants is relaxing and meditative.

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#gardening #druid #druidry #druidism