Jane Heyre and Bridget always know exactly what to do. This morning’s enthusiasm was: eat these spent brown-eyed susans, newly winter crispy, and make poop out of them. I shook the branches vigorously into the snow to scatter more seeds before bringing them inside to the bunny room. I still haven’t mulched and bundled Salvatore II for winter, which came on suddenly November 9. But I did get the garlic planted in between stories yesterday, a very sunny day all day.

These pagan god/numeric month names don’t really work. As a hodgepodge globalist language, English has perhaps lost some of its vital essence in this way, or never had it (Chaucer also had Roman months). The Czech name for November is listopad (leaf fall), which this year here was spot on. I propose these month names:



Pond Tend


Garlic Scapes

Sunburn Big Wave Day




Garlic Down/Sunchokes Up

Solar Fairy Lights

Year in Review


I used to think spring was my favorite time of year, all violence and promises. But early fall is now the month when I go out in the cool morning and eat round 2 of everbearing raspberries (usually bigger and redder and more than round 1), gather hazelnuts, check the hoophouse for ripe figs, and say “you’re welcome” to the birds eating the high haws and elderberries and the dragonflies taking out mosquitos over the pond.

Dry Spring

MDNR says no open burning right now. Let's hope people listen.

Still, nice to get 20 minutes of free vitamin D. Seemed like a good day to give White Pine some space; it's been looking a little harried. This native crapapple has been very successful in this hectic location; time to challenge it some more. More inside branches for inside bunnies.


Tanks and hoses are still frozen, so let's see about making some water while working the desk job.



Trying again. Ten this time. Here are some. 


In the Walnut Mulberry Gooseberry Currant Strawberry Guild. 


On the east side of the pond over Bayard Rustin's grave. 


On the north side of the Pit of Fecundity alternating with cup plants. 

 And did some tidying in the Elberta Quince nursery. 

And did some tidying in the Elberta Quince nursery. 

Compost Mentis


This is year four for these sunchokes residing in the compost pile. They are beasts with two-inch diameter, eight-foot stalks. Two years ago I took some out and replanted elsewhere and they turned back into David Banner.

End of April

70 degrees


Linden and wild cherry branches trimmed in March that are STILL ALIVE in stock tank 2. The cherries have flowerbuds. Interested to see if they'll bloom.


Snails and tadpoles coming soon to take care of this algae. The one wood frog is quiet now, but he/she's in there.


State of the Hoop. I planted a bunch of the carrot starts already and these (along top of left rail) will be next when I clear the space. Fig is doing well and Michigan Pecan is busting out. Spinach, far left in back, is like spinach trees.


Pea fence


Pea fence. Goddam I love welded wire.




Just threw up some affordable housing. 

Two solar-powered floating fountain pumps to aerate the frog pond. The second one does work-the motor had just come unhooked. I do wonder if the little sound they make underwater bothers the one frog, a wood frog, who made it through the winter. Water beetles and water striders are also active.

Former Rabbitrarium, now woodshed and skunk bunker. 


Frog and toad safety corridor


Transplanted cup plants, kicking it


Last year's garlic row is this year's tomato and carrot row (next to hazelnut alley).


This was a pond hole that is now a hole with sticks in it. 


Vertical line through center of this photo will be a persimmon row (trees purchased from the Benzie Conservation District sale) flanked by black currants and rabbit graves (Chelsea Manning and Geronimo are buried here). To the left under straw is crimson clover and maybe a horseradish if it lived. 


Prematurely planted garlic (note to self, November at earliest this year) and the Elberta Quince Preservation Society quince nursery. Oh yeah and American chestnuts. Planted about a hundred of those seeds from the diseased tree in Frankfort.

Seed Starting


State of the Hoop, April 2. More greens than I can eat by myself.


You can't really tell from this photo, but this bird feeder on Francis's grave is very popular. The dogwood behind it offers a good waystation.


Danvers carrots. 


More Danvers carrots. I've never grown carrots before. But I've been following Ray Peat's advice to eat a raw carrot salad nearly every day, and #becauseJaneHeyre, so it seemed like a good idea to try. Behind, flamingo spinach, which is awesome because it is both a big leaf and a flat leaf, requiring less-careful washing, and perfect for sandwiches. And milk thistle in and out of pots, which I've been giving away.


Hoop flap propped up on old screen door for daytime ventilation (it's 85 degrees in there right now at 10:30 am with the flap open, 49 degrees outside air temperature). I planted 10 black currant starts from Oikos Tree Crops this week, some of which are here in this strawberry mulberry gooseberry square.


The birds (again, they flewed away) really like this feral-cat-proof fenced-in pond for baths. I hope the frogs made it through the winter under there.


Inner bed walls and floor complete


Intern insisted on installing steps. Eyeroll. 


Alas the lemon tree and grapefruit have not made it. But the fig seems fine in its dormancy. 


Et voilà. 

I missed it at peak, but there was a massive crew of cedar waxwings chowing down on this crabapple. Like 15 or 20 of them. That's my crap pruning job, the "i gotta get through here with a wheelbarrow" technique. Will fix it in March. I've never seen anybody eating these before, so I wasn't sure it was good for anything but bees. Maybe I'll plant another one. The hawthorn, dogwood, wild cherry, and I'm sure remaining raspberries and wild grapes are denuded.