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April 2015

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Mercy me, the fecundity

Spring is here, and the backyard is  teeming with life.  Everything is growing,  budding, sprouting.  The frogs have returned and the fish make regular appearances now.  What could make us happier, other than the baby boy who will grace our doorstep any day now?  I’m sure the stork will fly over our pond and eat a frog or a couple of goldfish on his flight back from our house.  Everyone else does.

Farthing Pond 2015Shawnna and I have been laughing a lot and using the word fecund to describe everything.  It’s one of those words I remember from the SAT.  The word comes from from  the French word  fecond (“fruitful”) and  from Latin fecundus, (“fruitful, fertile, productive; rich, abundant.”)

solomons_sealThe yard has never looked more fecund as it does at this moment. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are capturing and using more rainwater than ever before.

For example, in the very back of the yard near our paw paw patch, I dug a big trench, which gives the appearance of a fake stream bed feeding into the pond.   It gets filled with water that would otherwise trickle down the yard and into the street.  The paw paws, being river trees, seem to love the extra water.

pawpawWe are also using drip irrigation for the first time, and I believe this is making a huge impact.  We have hoses attached to our rain barrels, which are placed under every downspout.  Some of the hoses have holes punched in them so they will drip like a soaker hose.  For others, we’ve just let a slow steady trickle come out of one end.



We have a hose dedicated for the strawberry patch.



We’ve planted some beautiful comfrey around the strawberries, which are providing a natural source of nitrogen for the strawberries.  Some of the leaves of the strawberry plants have now gotten as big as the palm of my hand.


For the first time our pitcher plants are producing flowers that are at once both strange and beautiful.



The ferns are opening back  up.   They remind me of tiny seahorses.

fernI thought I was a little crazy when I bought all those barrels and built a large pond in the backyard, but I think I had the right idea.  Now we have about 2,000 gallons of water at our disposal.  I’ve been amazed at how much our yard can use.   And, with the drip irrigation, we can spend less time watering our yard and more time playing with our new arrival.  Of course, he’ll be helping out on the homestead as soon as he’s able.


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