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.

Irrigation Irritation

Zucchini and tomatoes grow in a hoop house
Prickly zucchini leaves are located too close to the water line header.

Written by Peter

Picking up the irrigation equipment order was a journey full of holes. Early in the day, I lost precious time trying to locate a local irrigation salesman who’s business has yet to embrace modern standards of advertising, especially when it comes to LOCATION. From the third parking lot deep in Old Order Mennonite Country, at least I finally found him on the phone.

He drawled, “Aww–you’ve come all that way, and now you’re actually pretty close to us. I’d like to meet you, but I have a family reunion and I have to leave now or be late.”

Ironically, that made two of us. I zoomed away towards the store where my order waited, passing many places I’d loved to have stopped if the time thief hadn’t stolen my savings. I arrived at the store with just enough time. It was a good thing the order was pre-packed, because it was expensive and took many lines of typing to put into the computer.

An elderly salesman gathered my order, and added a few new items I’d chosen. Sheepishly, he then informed me, “Uh oh–I think I just accidentally deleted the order.”

Not funny. I tried to think sympathetic thoughts, while he re-entered the entire order, line by line, with the speed of someone who’s first language did not require typing. Upon purchase, I whisked the boxes to the car and ignored the first rule of parcel pick-up: check your order. Upon returning home many hours and hundreds of kilometers later, I realized he’d accidentally double-billed me on one item. That would prove to be easy to remedy; at least I had everything I ordered.

Everything except the irrigation kit! During the initial phone order, I’d included numerous non-essential items and add-ons to customize the kit to our needs. But I never added the actual kit order number. So there was no kit inside the boxes I picked up.

Nevertheless outside, temperatures were climbing, plants were drooping, and watering by hand was still the only lifeblood of the tomatoes. Continue reading “Irrigation Irritation”