The earth just wants to feed us

Every now and then I will come across a phrase or word that has a huge impact on me and how I feel. Today I give all credit to Jo from All the Blue Day for this sublimely wonderful sentence. πŸ˜€

“Really, the earth just does want to feed us.”

She does! Oh how much does she want to feed us. She wants to heal us too. And protect us and nurture us. This beautiful planet on which we live has all that we need to be well fed. πŸ˜€

As Jo says,

“For the price of a packet of seeds you can have annual herbs forever, if you let them go to seed…Β Their abundance is embarrassing in its lushness. When you can gather a year’s worth in a matter of minutes…”

And this would be no different with many other plants too if left to self seed they will grow everywhere. I am expecting to find broccoli seedlings absolutely everywhere in a few weeks as both the garden bed and greenhouse grown broccoli have flowered and dropped seeds. No mind. I will dig them up, transplant them around and they can grow through the summer, ready for winter food. πŸ™‚

One of three bunches of purple sprouting broccoli that I blanched and froze during the week. The rest is all going to seed which I hope to collect. I'd plant this broccoli again anytime.

Just one of dozens of bunches of broccoli sprouts grown in my garden. It was wonderful to be able to harvest all winter long and even now we still manage to rescue a few bunches from bursting into golden flowers.

Foodnstuff writes in her post that when a potato sprouts she plants it out somewhere in her food forest garden. It will do its best to grow and provide spuds for future meals. She also plants mini cuttings from tomatoes, capsicums, basil, silverbeet, cucumbers and lettuce. A small scrap of plant and you have a new one. How frugal is that! πŸ˜€ Whilst mulching our gardens just now there was a spare spot. Not any more. πŸ™‚ Sprouting spud planted! Thanks for the idea Bev. πŸ˜€

I learned first hand about attempting to compost apricot pits and walnuts. If you don’t want them to grow, don’t compost them. πŸ˜‰ I have probably 10 or so extra of apricot seedlings give away. (If you’re local, email me if you want one.) That’s on top of the dozen or so I have to plant out. πŸ˜€ Who knows what the fruit will be like (they may or may not fruit and it may or may not be palatable) but I intend to find out. πŸ™‚ The walnuts may take some time to grow large and lush but with 9 of them planted out and a few more to go (not sure how many survived being whipper snippered to the ground though) they will provide a beautiful lush shady border to our place and enough nuts to last us all year long with excess to give away or trade. πŸ˜€

Walnuts and blackberries

Walnuts and blackberries, both which will grown in abundance once established.

I also recently was given 2 huge bags of strawberry runners. Left alone, strawberries will multiply by sending out running roots which form new plants and they will create a living and fruiting carpet. I was given a few spadefuls of this carpet and each spadeful, less than 1 square foot each, contained dozens of strawberry runners! Some haven’t survived being pulled apart and planted but dozens of them are sending out new leaves and one already has flowers! πŸ˜€

David Holmgren on the tour I attended at his house Melliodora said that each year he ends up with a different plant becoming a weed in his garden. Last year it was carrots! Some had obviously escaped being pulled up, had over-wintered and then shot up to go to seed. Can’t complain about that hey. πŸ™‚

And I still remember as a child we would feed food scraps to the chooks. When our chooks died the chook pen was left empty for some time. Without the hens in there the fallen seeds from the food scraps that had escaped digestion, grew We had pumpkins and tomatoes absolutely everywhere! πŸ˜€ I even remember the year we grew the tomato plant that had the tiniest and sweetest tomatoes I have ever eaten. It was planted by a bird leaving a deposit in the garden. πŸ˜‰

And finally, ask Narf about her feral chooks sitting and hatching eggs by the nestful! If not for the feral cats she would have dozens of dozens of hens all laying dozens of dozens of eggs each! I think she already gets drowned under an egg glut every year! πŸ˜‰

The earth is trying so hard to feed us. Busting a gut to do so you might say. Shall we allow her to do what she does best instead of forcing it like we do with modern agriculture? Shall we all give her a little space and the tiniest of starts (a pack of seeds or a seedling) then sit back and watch the food grow? πŸ™‚

All photos credit of morguefiles or my own photography.

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15 thoughts on “The earth just wants to feed us

  1. Jo says:

    This is lovely Jessie. You’ve said it much better than I did πŸ™‚

    • Nothing would have been said without your beautiful phrase to inspire me! It still has me tingling! πŸ˜€
      And I must disagree. Your post and Bev’s too both have the proof in the pudding. I haven’t the skill at using glorious words like iniquitous either.

  2. This is a lovely piece, Rabid. Sometimes the most simplistic observations are the truest.

    For me, this sort of observation brings on a social critique. Why aren’t we all out there responding to Mother Nature’s enthusiasm, growing our own food, and living a better life because of it?

  3. Love this πŸ™‚ We have quite a few self seeded fruit trees around the place and never know quite what they are going to be until they first fruit after several years ….a wonderful black boy peach surprised us as it’s our favourite variety of peach…we are pretty sure one we have been waiting on is in fact an apricot and we are very excited with that lol. We plant them and if don’t want them later they’e easy enough to remove. Lots of plum and peach yet to fruit.

  4. Sue says:

    We are currently in the grip of the Blue Mountains bushfire emergency with the fire not too far from our home. I have watched my vegie garden be reduced to dust through lack of water over the last 5 months but I firmly believe the earth is trying to feed us and its up to us to see it and make the most of it.
    I fear we may lose everything tomorrow – my home, my garden, my fruit trees, the chooks we cant take with us, but there will always be hope and faith.

  5. narf77 says:

    Damned right it wants to feed us but we have to be willing to compromise sometimes…learning to eat what the earth is going to offer up freely in any given climate is most important. I love how everyone is sharing what they learn. I love picking up bits of information like a crow/magpie harvests found objects and stashing them away for personal use. I just saw a wonderful permaculture uprising in Sydney in the shaddow of the bushfires with smoke reminding us all that we are nothing special on this earth and that our lives can easily be affected by nature or by our own choices. I also saw an excellent war poster on Wendys blog (quarteracrelifestyle) this morning about growing and preserving food for your family and community. There is so much darkness at the moment and so much fear but also there is the amazing opportunity to rise up and take the challenge that modern living has thrown at us and use what we are learning from the past and from new technology and apply it to our own situations to make a positive impact on our immediate environment. We can all grow something and as you so sucinctly put it Jo, the earth just wants to grow things. I am not quite sure it is actively trying to feed us (much as my chooks would have something to say about my predation on their carefully hidden eggs πŸ˜‰ ) but it does want to carpet itself in foliage and if we are clever enough, that foliage can feed us too. I LOVE positive posts that get us all to gird our loins again and think about getting out there and just “doing”. Pity it is peeing down outside but at least we got those 4 poles concreted in yesterday and when that rain stops it is full steam ahead for our amazing fully enclosed possum proof permaculture whizz-bang garden of the future and I am VERY excited that “the future” is this week! Love this post Jess…keep them coming πŸ™‚

    • You’re right that we need to accept the climactic limitations of what can grow where. I’ve learned that even with a greenhouse there’s little point in me hankering after bananas where we live (although friends up the road have their banana tree doing well so if she grows slips I might see if I can give it another go) but apples, persimmons, pears, cherries and more are well within reach.
      Humans are very much like the phoenix. We will and do frequently arise again from the ashes, in this case quite literally but when disaster flattens us down we are nothing if not tenacious and whether we are fighting a winning or losing battle we will give it another go. That tenacity, coupled with the community rally around disaster victims mentality that we all have is what will see us through the coming global crisis with peak oil, food shortages and climate change. We WILL get there because we are programmed to do so. πŸ™‚
      Nice work on getting your poles in too. Veggie paradise is just over the (rather soggy) horizon! The future begins today. Every thing we read or learn or share is all part of our wonderful futures. πŸ˜€

  6. narf77 says:

    I also love this little community that we all seem to be fostering. It spans states and is very exciting. I love sharing knowledge. It makes me feel like I am rich beyond rich…won the brainiac lotto in fact and all of you wonderful bloggers are gifting me my enormous winning lotto ticket. Cheers to you all for sharing what you know, what you are learning, your stuff ups and your triumphs so that the rest of us can watch, learn and apply it to our own lives. I LOVE this sense of community πŸ™‚

    • Community is one of the strongest tools we have in our tool box. Seriously! Whether online or IRL it makes no difference. Support is support in whichever form it arrives. Online communities foster information gathering/sharing, know how and how to. IRL we can swap seeds or produce, time in each others gardens and the hug and shoulder to cry on when it goes other than to plan. I think community, in all forms will be our best tool for the future.
      The other major strength I find that is most powerful (to me) from the online community is motivation. Maybe because it’s easier to project just the positives, but it works for me. πŸ™‚ Your motivation narf is mindblowing. I would simply adore to set up a direct siphon of your energy to run here to me. πŸ™‚

      • narf77 says:

        You wouldn’t want my energy at the moment as it is severely negative at the moment. Our stupid lecturer has been playing “silly buggers” with us about past assessments. All I can say is we are bloody lucky that we keep and archive our emails as we could prove that we had resubmitted work that he insisted we didn’t…sometimes it pays to be anal doesn’t it? πŸ˜‰ Not looking forward to my next assessment that needs to be marked though…methinks I am going to get a serve from hades on that one πŸ˜‰

  7. LyndaD says:

    Great posts and comments everyone. I think ive caught up now and yes i missed you all. 3 Days, no phone reception, no data, no landline out of local – its was like living on another planet, and its was wonderfully relaxing. I did miss you all athough. As i was driving around the coast i noticed patches of burnt areas and all the new growth around it. Yes, the Mother Earth is forever living, healing and providing. We just have to get everyone else (not us, the converted) to listen and not get in her way. Prayers for all those in the bushfire areas. Perhaps we could all send seeds or cuttings for those who have lost their gardens.

    • She does live and heal and as such, climate chance will not destroy the planet, just what we perceive as good and right will be changed. Humans may not survive but the earth sure will. She has all she needs with or without us to heal and it’s up to us to work WITH her. πŸ™‚
      Love the idea of sending up seeds and cuttings to those who lose their gardens. πŸ˜€

  8. Love it! And the best, strongest plants are often the ones that plant themselves πŸ™‚

    • Hmmm, I have PLENTY of those in my garden, most of them deemed by society (and me if I’m honest) as weeds! πŸ˜‰
      I reckon I will have purple broccoli seedlings to give away, sell and even more. I’m convinced that they will be popping up everywhere. πŸ˜€

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