Recap of Birds Nest and a Micromob at Heirloom Gardens
A few weeks ago, a handful of us were lucky enough to head up to Blairsville to help Biodynamic guru Hugh Lovel get the UAI farm in good shape. How does it get better than working beside and learning from a guy who’s so full of knowledge about the soil that you just want to write down everything he says? By staying at Birds Nest with Hugh’s wife Shabari Bird (whose late husband, Christopher Bird, wrote “The Secret Life of Plants” and “Secrets of the Soil”) who not only put us up in awesome accommodations — I, for one, had a bed suspended from the ceiling — but fed us like kings and taught us dowsing and all sorts of interesting stuff.
After a full day of cleaning out the barn and farmhouse (just ask us at the next mob about the treasures we found), clearing a bunch of bamboo, and finishing a bunch of other tasks we all got the chance to settle in and really get to know each other over dinner and drinks…including, of course, Mike’s famous homebrew. Following that, Hugh gave a fantastic talk about learning to read weeds and what they’re saying about your soil. The big takeaway is your land will let you know exactly what it needs if you learn to speak its language, but Hugh explained the chemical makeup of the weeds, what they need, what they produce, and how it affects their physical structure. It was pretty awesome to say the least.
We (mostly) behaved and got to bed (relatively) early so that we were ready to roll the next morning. A little more barn cleaning, and a wood chopping session later, we had a fantastic lunch and sadly headed back to the city. Luckily Shabari told me she just might need help with a few more things in the next several months, so we might just have a chance to head back up there and let more mobbers enjoy Birds Nest and UAI.
But in the meantime, we *might* have a full size mob later this month (still working on that one) – but we do have some work for a few of you who are itching to get dirty. We’re looking for about 5 or 6 people to help out Paula of Heirloom Gardens (if you’ve been to Peachtree Road Farmer’s Market, you know who she is) with her lily field on the 20th. I guess this qualifies as our first micro-mob! She’ll be providing some seriously tasty sounding Chicken and Okra Gumbo as well as a few sides — certainly worth a trip to Cumming and some time digging in the lilies. Figure about 9:30 ’til lunch?
More updates soon if a larger mob will come together this month…if so, it’ll be on the 27th, so keep your calender clear! Plus updates on Crop Mob’s involvement in the Georgia Organics Conference; there are some exciting things afoot!
Image credit: mike lowe