As I have previously posted, we have been busy building Rain Gardens under a pilot program of Nashville A Rocha. Last week we helped our friends build their gardens. Today we installed our own plants!
The girls took Kiwi outside. He did not help, but he did look pretty cute.
The girls were in charge of planting the Tennessee Coneflowers, which are part of the Ecinacea family. The best part, is that they are native to Tennessee, which means they are drought and flood tolerant, and with their long roots, will really help the soil soak up and clean all that rain water that runs off of our roof.
We used the deer compost Josh had collected a few weeks ago to amend our soil. The compost is FULL of deer bones, so it lends a “unique” aesthetic to the garden. Actually, as Wendell Berry said to a full crowd just this morning (he spoke here in Nashville!), it is impossible to garden, farm, or eat (even only vegetables) without death. “Gardening,” says Berry, “is violent.”
Berry (a conservationist and activist) talked about how many of our forests have been overrun with deer because of overpopulation. We stop hunting deer, and the deer overrun the forest, and the forest offers nothing for them to eat, and they die anyway. Berry asked, “Is it better to have a hunted deer, or a hungry deer?”
So, when I see these remnants of deer (hunted and processed) on top of our soil and underneath the beautiful plants that will help clean our water and offer food for bees and butterflies, I am amazed at this perfect ecosystem. I am thankful for the deer. For its meat and its bones, and for the life it gave.
And speaking of hunting…I turned around at one point to see this. When I inquired about it, Sera said, “I’m a wolf-bear. I caught this rabbit and I’m hanging it up to dry.”
We are seriously considering raising meat rabbits one day. And although I’m sure Wendell Berry would whole heartedly approve, even the sight of this stuffed bunny makes me a little queasy.