Like many of you we have moved through April at a slower pace than usual. There are so many treasures to marvel at in the natural world and we hope that at the end of the current situation more people will be able to connect with nature at a deeper level. It is time to stop abusing the planet and to understand that we are only a small part of the web of life.
Almost all of our meals in the last month have had something foraged from the wild included and we were very happy to add this harvesting knife to our list of treasured possessions. It has been made by the youngest member of our family in his forge where he likes to spend most of his time. Nettle pesto, salad with sand leeks, plantain and dandelions and stirfries with ground elder and ramson have all made regular apperances on the table. Kale and purple sprouting broccoli have, however, been the real stars of the show with six plants providing all of us with daily meals for over a seven weeks now.
We have been hard at work planting vegetables and potting on seedlings. The onions and potatos are already growing nicely. All our annual beds are raised and we never dig them. Mulches are added to the top layer constantly to supress weeds and add nutrients. We use old carpets for covering paths.
Around our circle the trees and shrubs are greening up and lots of flashes of colours can be seen where flowers are starting to spring up.
We have encountered some lovely inhabitants of the land in the past month. Down by the pond we came across a beautiful swamp spider for the first time. It is by far the most imposing spider in Ireland with a length of about 25 mm and lovely stripes down the sides. We found him sunning himself on a stone right next to the water.
We have seen around 50 orange tip butterflies this spring, a massive increase from previous years. It is such an alluring sight when they land on a blue or purple coloured flower.
The land is full of insects and there are few things more comforting than listening to the lazy buzzing of hundreds of bees mixed with constant melodious birdsong.
We hope that you have been able to spend some time in nature in the past month as it is the perfect antidote to worries, pain and sorrow. There is no place we would rather be.