Why "Growing Edge?"

Earth
Hey! Life is amazing and if you aren't paying attention, it just may be passing you by. Slow down! Observe what is around you. Plant a garden. Make your own food. Create Beauty.

Welcome to our blog. We love discovering what Earth has to teach anyone willing to be on the Growing Edge of life.


--Denise Rushing, New Story Center

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Not-So-Silent Spring

In the midst of the California drought, I admit, I think about frogs. 

I think about them a lot.

So last summer, I hatched a plan.

I decided to hand dig a miniature garden pond.  My intention was to create a tiny oasis for creatures who might need water—and attract beneficial insects to the garden.  Plus, I thought—what better workout?  

So each morning, I dug for about an hour.  Fueled only by my imagination of the future oasis, I dug.  This was real work!  After a month of chipping away at the hard ground, I had successfully created a six foot long, four foot deep dry pit.

It looked more like a shallow grave than a future pond.
 
This is where my imagination helped.  If I squinted I could imagine what it might be like filled with water and teeming with life.  A masterpiece.
 
I carefully placed sand in the bottom of the pit to prevent rocks from puncturing a pod liner, and then installed the liner, surrounding it with stones I scrounged from elsewhere on the farm.  This was just in time for the first rains.  I collected rainwater, invested in a few pond plants to keep the water clean, and added a few “mosquito fish” (guppies, really) to keep us safe from pests.  Then I waited.

And I waited.

And waited.

First came the algae, which I dutifully skimmed off the pond.   
Imagine my delight at the sound of the first bullfrog. It worked!  I had a real pond!

What I did not consider when locating the pond was how loud frogs can be.  One frog became two, then four and then...   many. 
The tiny pond is a living oasis, a cacophony, drowning out conversation one might enjoy on the front porch.  As we walked by, the pond suddenly became silent, only to resume when we were a safe distance away.

Frogs make me smile.

Apparently, given habitat, frogs happily reproduce.  Thousands of frog eggs appeared in the pond just a two weeks ago.  Of course! 

Lesson: Create the conditions for life, and life will thrive.

With new life, comes joy...  and abundance.
Every frog on eleven acres was looking for a wet environment for its offspring.    Each day brings a new discovery.  At this writing, thousands of frog eggs have turned into polliwogs.  Song birds have arrived to celebrate the food source, and dragonflies dance above the oasis.

What is Permaculture?


Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is an ecological design framework inspired by living systems. The ethics, root practices and principles in permaculture can be applied to the garden, the farm, and indeed any living system including human structures.