Monday, February 20, 2012

Planting chants

We finished planting the second of the new pastures just at dusk tonight. We fenced them off yesterday and tightened the fencing today. After much research, reading and talking with local farmers, we decided to plant our soggy clay hill with annual rye grass right now, followed by a quick graze down the end of March and then an over-seeding of bermuda and chickory. I'll let you know how it works.

We had planted the first empty paddock last weekend with perennial rye. It's not up yet and I am starting to worry, but it is February and colder than ideal germination temps, though rarely much below freezing. The seed says 7-10 day germination. We're at 7...

We planted the pastures this weekend because it fit our schedule, the modern American life of work nine-plus hours per day, five-plus days per week. We planted the pastures this weekend because the weather was nice for working outside. We planted the pastures this weekend because we could buy the seed today.

But, as I was planting the pasture,
mixing the fluffy seeds with dry soil to help even out the spread of seed;
shaking the can to mix the seed evenly;
working my arm to shake the seed from the can in a wide arc;
moving my feet in a even path to make sure the coverage is complete;
working with the light breeze to spread the seed;
I realized it was the new moon - the right time to be starting new plantings.

And that made me think of the chant -
Dark of the moon, new beginnings;
Dark of the moon, plant a seed tonight;
Dark of the moon, what we envision;
will come to be by the full moon's light.

My vision, my hope for these new pastures is full green growing grasses, holding the soil on our hills and growing sweet food for our sheep.

And as I watched the seed spread over the soft brown dirt, I thought of the planting chant that I first learned for corn -
One for the coon;
One for the crow;
One for the worms; and
One to grow.

I hope we planted enough grass seed today to have plenty to grow. I'll let you know.

Do you have any planting chants? I'd love to hear them. Leave them as a comment here or email them if you're willing to share your words to help plants grow.

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