Abundance, Everything in Nature is…

Abundance is the word I’ve meditated on the most this year.

Here’s a story that recently happened.

Yesterday one of my chickens survived an attack from an American Kestrel (a small falcon).

It’s very lucky or “meaningful coincidence,” because I happened to be outside. I’m usually not outside these days. (Yesterday we were not home all day). Last weekend we went away for the whole weekend to Kansas City and left the three chickens to their own survival.

But to put a timeline of events together. It all started about a year ago. I saw an ad on Craigslist for a bunch of plant pots, compost and gardening tools, for $50. I answered the guy and met him down in Chicago to make the trade. I felt all the tools were worth more, so I gave him three $20 bills and told him to keep the change. We ended up talking for several hours in the parking lot where we met, telling each other our stories.

A year later, I got a call from Chicago from the same guy. I didn’t even remember his name anymore, and barely recall the situation. He saved my phone number! He asked if he could drop off some more supplies, that he was moving, doesn’t want money, and just wants to see them go to a good home. I said sure and I gave him my address.

He never came that night, but when I woke up the next morning, there was a large pile of stuff in the driveway!  Four rain barrels, and maybe 50 some potting planters. He must have brought them in a truck, and all the way from Chicago at that!

That morning I was trying to organize and put the planters in the garage, when all of a sudden I heard one of the chickens crow out a bone chilling crow from the backyard. I ran around the back of the house to see what was all the commotion. One chicken ran for it’s life across the yard, and the other wasn’t too far behind. I looked onward to see the third chicken was being mounted by a kestrel.  The kestrel and I made eye contact. The kestrel knew I’m at the top of the food chain and immediately flew off in to the sky.

The chicken tried to stand up and walk, but it was very wobbly and kept falling over, in to her own plucked pile of feathers. I jumped over the fence and stooped down to hold her down, calm her down and talk to her.  The side of her head pushed out a few droplets of blood. I put some pressure on the wound with a finger to help stop the bleeding. The chicken started calming down and closed her eyes. I wondered if she is going to live.

The other chickens came back to check on their sister, probably to make sure if she lived or died (interesting how they know death). In which I put them all back in the coop and run. I gave some nutrient dense food in the run (chlorella, spinach, kale, collard greens, spiralina, apple, celery, mint, ginger–these chickens get better medicine then most people), the two good chickens started pecking, but the wounded chicken wobbled inside to the coop and rested.

She probably had a piercing, concussive blow from the kestrel’s sharp beak. I imagined the Kestrel talon’s crushing the breath out of her lungs. I felt terrible all day thinking about the terror she experienced.

Several hours later I came back out to give some more nutrient dense feed. To my delight I found the chicken bounced back to life, full of energy, and wanted out of the coop and run prison, as if nothing happened. Chickens are very forgiving.

I’ve had several moments like this and last week. Life is full of abundance and God has blessed me.  I should have lost these chickens to predators three times over now.  The life of enjoying abundant blessing, is there any other way to live life?  These chickens should be and could be dead. I’m not sure why God, or the universe, give me these blessings, maybe so I can turn it back to joyful worship.

I made a youtube video, can see some dried blood on the chickens head.

The Urban Farming Guys in Kansas City

Grace and I drove to Kansas City to meet the guys at Urban Farming Guys.  They live and serve in one if the highest crime zip codes in KC.  Currently they own four houses, a bunch of lots for farming, and a large warehouse they call the Maker Space. 

This lot is being used for their CSA.  There are several raised garden beds they are growing fresh vegetables for the community.

This is one of the four houses, currently being used for the interns to live in.  Plus the lot with the compost pile will eventually turn in to further parking for the Maker Space.

More raised beds and rain water catchment under solar panels.  They said the solar panels they had a lease to get the panels for $25 per month, compared with $300 per month being on the city grid.  

This pool grows Duck Weed, they use to feed fish in their aquaponics system.

This warehouse is the Maker Space.  Tey have huge dreams to have extracurricular programs to get kids off the street.  They recently aquired a grant for a robotics program and that will be the first classes they begin.  Later they want to have computer classes, 3D printing, laser cutting, art classes and a rooftop garden.

They aquired this warehouse space for 10 cents on the dollar.  The business use to make statues and ship around the midwest.  The owner retired and sold the business to the wrong person, and the business failed in less than a year.

The Urban Farming Guys are putting new hope and love in to the neighborhood.  Very inspiring they have big dreams and are going for it and not slowing down

Memrise: the Best Smartphone App–Life Hack

​Memrise is the smart phone app that I use the most. I first started using Memrise to study the Chinese language and it’s the best way to study another language that I have found–And I’ve tried all of them out there. 
I like Memrise because it links with other learners and I can compete against them. Right now I’m ranked #7 overall against the other Chinese learners, and… I will be #1! The sense of healthy competition keeps me motivated, where other apps I get lazy and bored.
Another huge thing about Memrise is it’s not just a language learning app, there seems to be an endless amount of subjects to learn about. Other subjects I’ve downloaded: tree identification, mushroom identification, herbalism, 7 Laws of Attraction, and vitamins. 

There is also programming languages, business, stuff for children, and endless infinite amount ofsubjects, I haven’t been able to scroll to the bottom of any of the categories. Treasure trove of learning, and a learning engine that does delayed reinforcement, speed rounds, and competition with other learners.

What apps or life hacks can you not live without?

Easy Way to Grow Your Own Microbe Culture Compost Tea

I’ve been learning how to make microbe rich compost tea. My friends at Microbe Tea Facebook Group are also advising me.

Compost tea is that fastest way to put life back into the soil that I know of, and can be simple and cheap. The microbes are mainly bacteria and fungi, which are in abundance anywhere and everywhere, covering nearly everything, floating around; and are already at your service waiting to come to a thriving life and be utilized where you wish.

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First, I swept up some local plant debris: leaves, twigs, flower petals, rocks, dust, cobwebs, bugs; and put into a bucket.  (There is already wild bacteria and fungi present on the debris, lying dormant).

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Next ingredient is to add sugar.  Any sweetener will probably work, but white sugar is sterile with no unknown organisms present. Sugar is the microbe’s food and what activates their metabolism to multiply fast.

Next, I filled the bucket with filtered water.  (Be careful of city water that has chlorine).

Next is to add oxygen to the water by stirring with a stick, several times per day.  Oxygen will activate the beneficial microbes and give an advantage over any “bad,” or anaerobic microbes that may feed on your plant’s roots.

Other considerations to add in is any organic material.  Mulchs, composts, urine, blood, fecal matter, etc., but again, I’m going for simple and free.

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Small patch of dead soil to use, a few feet by a few feet (meter squared).

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This is the normal soil of Southern California: sandy, dead dirt, doesn’t hold moisture.  There is hardly any rain and the government has declared a drought for the past several years.

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Next, I transplanted a Back-to-Eden strawberry plant that Paul Gautschi gave us.

The strawberry is wilted from being unearthed a week ago.

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I splashed some of the compost tea to get some microbial life started.  I covered the dirt with local debris to protect the new microbial life.  Covering the soil is the most important thing.    The compost tea is only 24 hours old at this point, but I’ll sprinkle some of the compost tea course over the next few days.

Other websites have more rigid rules and make it in to a science, but hey–I’m just learning, watching what will happen, trying to keep it easy and simple.

I’ll let you know how the strawberries make out and see how fast the dead dirt will change in to living soil.

Some other thoughts:

 

There are ways to buy the microorganisms if you want a full spectrum–though, I do not know the benefits, though diversity always a good thing.

Also there is technology available if you want to scale up and apply compost teas on a broad scale.  Large aerating tanks and back pack sprayers come to mind.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any other ideas.

Paul Gautschi, Back to Eden Tour

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Grace feeding Tirzah a strawberry

Grace is feeding Tirzah a strawberry.

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Paul’s dogs eat a vegetarian diet.  They eat raw chicken eggs, they pull up raw carrots, dig up potatoes, and eat fruit droppings from the orchard.

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Tirzah searching for ripe strawberries in the strawberry patch.

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Paul’s 16 year old dog, Tovah.  Paul said his dogs eat a nutrient dense food everyday and do not have cancer and hair is still shiny.

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Paul is breaking all the commonly held beliefs. Right next to each other, sage (an herb that grows in a desert), next to wasabi (an herb that grows in water).  The blueberry bush in the background is commonly said to need acidic soil.  Yet all are growing together in Paul’s soil that he has built with composted chicken manure and wood chips.

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Chickens are Paul’s composting managers.  Paul throws all his garden waste, left over table scraps and wood stove ashes in the chicken pen.  There the chickens will pick and scratch it in to a beautiful black mulch. Which then Paul transfers to his garden beds with a shovel, screen and wheel barrel.

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Mason bee homes.  Paul doesn’t have honey bees because they are not as good of a pollinator than the American Mason bees.  Once a honey bee has enough honey they stop pollinating his orchard and garden.

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