Anticipation, yes, but preparation as well.
It was over 60-degrees in central Iowa yesterday, with higher temperatures anticipated today. It's disconcerting for mid-February, here in the midst of USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 5 more typically buried in snow for weeks yet to come. But sunny, warm and clear, we took advantage, hitching up the chipper/shredder to the Club Car and settling it in near the former compost pile that degenerated into a brush pile catch-all bound for uselessness that we intend to reclaim and repurpose for wildflowers.
Because nothing is finely useless. More and more in agreement with those regenerativists who assert that there is no such thing as “waste”, and with the first of Barry Commoner's Four Laws of Ecology that “everything is connected to everything else”, we went to work regenerating and reconnecting. In a process parallel to bucketing up my neighbor's alpaca manure -- which came out the back end after going in the front end as hay which had sprouted from the soil -- and now returning it to the soil, we fed the stalks and spent vines and branches from previous gardens into the front end of the shredder and mounded out the back end a pile of mulch that will return organic matter to the soil to nourish future vegetables and flowers.
As soon as the soil is workable -- which will likely be sooner rather than later if this weather pattern continues -- we will free and remove the abandoned compost cages, level the surface, prepare the seed bed and scatter the seeds, which will draw strength from all those apple cores, onion skins, pepper stems, egg shells and other by-products of the kitchen which had accumulated there, plus that mulch from yesterday's shredding...
And the butterflies and bees will feed there, who in turn will pollinate the orchard and garden, which in turn will grow and fruit to feed us, who in turn will gather our kitchen scraps and spent branches and vines and...
Meanwhile, we have already been busy pruning the fruit trees, and earlier this week settled into its location the new chicken coop that will shelter the several new hens that will arrive in the coming weeks. And the contractor slipped in on Wednesday and accomplished the prairie burn -- that once-every-three-year intervention mimicking those ancestral lightening-ignited fires beneficial for invigorating the native grasses and wildflowers.
Because spring is coming...and growth.
And while it's fun to anticipate...
...it's better to prepare.