Drought is a Zen Teacher: Rain and Climate

Drought is a Zen Teacher: Rain and Climate Sometimes when it starts raining, it just keeps going. So it seems now! In the last week and a half, we have had over eight inches of rain. Now the projection is a another six to eight inches by the end of this week. A growing cloud… Read more »

Discipline in Farming

Beginning visit with Valley Oak     The method is simple: suspend rational thought, forget what you think you know about what you are seeing, lay down the mantle of ownership. Simply be. With your hand— or in your mind’s eye— draw the plant. Get every detail: the way the leaf curls inward on the… Read more »

When Old Friends Die

When Old Friends Die Death always feels sudden, it seems, and no less so for a tree. Last night the dear old Valley Oak by the little farmhouse where Ramon and his family live, fell. The tree, at least 300 years and perhaps close to 500, lays shattered on the driveway. Although years ago a… Read more »

Wider Perspective: Turning of the Year

Wider Perspective: Turning of the Year   Meditating Crow Each afternoon this week I walk the goats and Hijo, our llama, in the meadows around our house. The sun is warm on the south slopes, the grass just barely up, and the last hours of light have that magical feel of transition. On the eve… Read more »

HMI Practice Exercise One

            HMI Practice Exercise One We are asked to think of a simple ecosystem and make a list of the many living things living there. The question: what happens if one or two of these living things are removed? This is a part of a general principle that is also… Read more »

Vineyard Visitor

Vineyard Visitor These foggy mornings the vultures wait in the trees until the sun burns off the fog. Then they raise their wings to dry. This vulture rests on a dead branch of a Valley Oak in the small pioneer cemetery in the middle of our ranch. I have heard vultures called Mother of the… Read more »

Biodynamic Compost Preparation 505: Oak Bark

Oak bark of Valley oak Biodynamic Compost Preparation 505: Oak Bark This is one of the plants our ranch grows in abundance. Rudolf Steiner specified the bark of Quercus robur, the common oak in Europe, whose substance of bark is about 77% calcium. In United States, the White oak is often used. Our native White… Read more »