Wood/Land at Deep Water Gallery

Peter stands by his submission to the Wood/Land juried exhibition at Deep Water Gallery Feb 16, 2023

Wood/Land reflects the relationships and influence of the forest. Artist submissions must consider the theme Wood/Land through technique, perspective or subject matter. What of the land that grows the tree? What do forests and woodlands mean to us?

Deep Water Gallery call for submissions January 20, 2023

When our local gallery published this call for submissions, I saw Peter’s eyes light up.

Really, he lives his life immersed in trees, constantly interacting with them through his teaching, planting, removing, burning of them for heat and reading about them for pleasure. On top of that, we are taking an online class about coppice agroforestry. Trees are his jam.

You may recall we (meaning mostly Peter) started a dead hedge project in 2020. I wrote about it here on the blog. That project blossomed into two dead hedges in the meadow that became our very own wood/land project–perfect for submitting to the gallery.

Peter’s recent writing about the dead hedge (and hedges in general) accompanies the photos. This is merely the tip of the iceberg of what we are learning lately. Here is one of my favourite quotes from recent readings:

We think we know a tree when we can name its genus and species, perhaps place it in a family, and recount the tale of invisible processes like photosynthesis and the production of pigments. What if this were really a strange, abstract, and less useful way of knowing trees than to know them by the forms in which they grow, live, and die? … even into the Middle Ages, human beings were better at the latter than the former way. In those times times too, they had a very active relationship with trees, depending on them for energy, warmth, structure. …In those days, we knew trees the way we know friends: what they like and don’t like, how they are likely to respond to a thing we do with them, what we should under no circumstances try with them.

-William Bryant Logan, Sprout Lands

Well, I certainly look forward to deepening my relationship with the trees and woody plants around here. There is so much to learn.

A recent shot of the dead hedges in winter, February 12, 2023.


Please accept my apologies for any bombardment of your inbox in the next several days as I get things updated on the website. I THOUGHT I’d found a work around to keep you all from getting notifications with each post, but it may not be working. It’s a bit hard to tell from this end.

cordwood shed at bird's nest garden farm
The cordwood shed sits snug as a bug

Most of the backdated posts are pulled from my newsletters last season. So if you are one of my veggie share people, you may feel some deja vu.

It actually is a bit fun to review last year’s season in this condensed way. Plus I’m loving seeing all that colour when all outside right now is white and assorted neutral tones.

Rest assured, I’m deep into crop planning and inventorying seeds.

In six weeks I’ll get my first little seeds started and the growing lights turned on. By that time the days will be longer and there will be more daylight to run our off-grid system.

So, settle in and review last summer or delete at will. Or wonder of wonders, maybe the workaround worked and you’re thinking I’m off my nut. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you are seeing at your end!

Keep well – Erin



Bean There, Done That (Newsletter)

fresh beans for polka dot hen produce veggie boxes
Fresh beans are coming your way this week.

I’m drawing a bit of a blank tonight regarding what to write about. This heat and humidity really take it out of me. At least the evenings are cooling off a bit.

The individual days kind of blend together into one big mass. Looks like there’s a few more similar days coming our way. So my deja vu may continue.  

But these are great conditions for the “tropicals.” The tomatoes and cucumbers are growing into a jungle. And the beans, oh my. The beans continue to produce more with every rain. And the second planting will soon be bearing as well. Continue reading “Bean There, Done That (Newsletter)”

Using the Long Days (Newsletter)

freshly harvested garlic at polka dot hen produce
The garlic harvest begins! Here the largest and best heads of Stella wait to have their roots trimmed. Stella is a softneck garlic variety (no scapes) that has a milder flavour at harvest that deepens in storage. 

Sorry this newsletter is a bit late. Yesterday kind of got away from me. I thought a good night’s sleep was better for the veggie scheme this week than a slap dash, late night newsletter.

So why did Sunday slip away? Well for starters, I tried my hand at a new skill. And boy, do I need to practice. That gal on Youtube made it look easy. Continue reading “Using the Long Days (Newsletter)”

Patience is a Virtue, Right? (Newsletter)

green beans growing for polka dot hen produce shares
Little green beans are forming in the bean patch. So many veggies are on the verge of taking off. It is hard to be patient.

What was I just saying last week about taking time to appreciate the days? This week I feel like I can’t wait any longer. It’s time for certain veggies to just get on with it already! 

When I peek in the hoop house, there are cherry tomatoes just starting to turn scattered here and there among the greenery. The green beans are starting to fill in and the collards are slowly putting on some size. Little tiny eggplants are starting to form.

Deep breath. Everything in its time. Continue reading “Patience is a Virtue, Right? (Newsletter)”