I went to my permaculture group last night. It is my new favorite thing. For one thing, it’s small. Only four of us attend every meeting. We are all already growing a lot of food and have the basics down. The thing which really appeals most to me is that this is a true working group. We are working on the specifics of our orchards right now. My job for the next meeting is to research which mushrooms species are the most beneficial to inoculate the soil with. Others are researching similar ideas like dear deterrents and insect control. All of the complementary plants come together to form guilds. A guild is like a plant community. I have already learned that I can plant daffodil bulbs around the base of my young trees. This will deter the critters that like to borrow down and girdle the trees in the winter.

I had a lovely thing happen last night. The young woman who hosts the group just sold a book store and she has a ton of wonderful books. She was planning on selling them on-line. Of course, I could not resist looking through the boxes and came up with three books I had to have. The first was Gaia’s Garden, the text our group is reading together. There was also a copy of Barnyard in the Backyard and the Backyard Beekeeper’s Honey Handbook. I went to give this girl the money and she asked if I would barter instead. I asked what she wanted in return and she asked for some lessons in kitchen organization and canning. She is young and her mom died several years ago. I was so moved to be asked. I would have done it for free, of course and I offered to do so but she seemed to be more comfortable with the barter arrangement. I will make sure she goes home from our lessons with some food and cider. One of the other women who attends is an herbalist. We are doing a field trip to her house to learn to make Echinacea tincture. The fourth woman worked for years in a green house and knows about pruning grapes.

The news is so grim right now. Every day brings more violence in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan. Every day more people are losing jobs and homes. I want to be informed but I also need to protect myself. I am starting my days with a few minutes of reading something beautiful before I face my day. I will write here and plan for something joyful everyday. Even something as small as walk around the perimeter of my land will bring some peace to my day. I make sure to talk with friends and family and play with my little girl. I made her Halloween costume yesterday. The fabric came from my dear friend, Barbara. It is sweet little fairy costume. I spent a few minutes in gratitude tha Phoebe is well enough to go trick or treating and would not consider dressing like a hooker. Every year I see little girls dressed  in costumes that curl my very straight hair. Small things. Big gratitude.