Balance & Bunnies
GAH! It is SO HOT!!! We've got forecasts of up to 38 degrees out here in the Valley by the weekend. Cue a mad dash to set up the backyard pool.
For my gardening friends I have a tip for gardening in the hot weather - put the sprinkler on, while you are in the garden! I don't weed directly in the sprinkler (most of the time) but follow along behind it in the cool mist. Weeds lift out effortlessly in the wet soil and Mama avoids a heat-induced panic attack. Winning all round.
So . . . the garden isn't quite as overflowing with goodness as it should be at this time of year for one reason and one reason only - BUNNIES!!
We've talked a lot in The Holistic Harvest gardening course about pest management and my rather unconventional approach which is - I do nothing.
It's kinda Zen, a little bit radical, and totally glorious in its elegant efficiency.
This year the bunnies have been the ultimate test of my resolve in the face of challenges to my Do Nothing mantra. They have mowed down my peas, plucked my beans of every succulent leaf and left my parsley a bed of bare stems.
But here's the thing - I'm kinda thrilled.
Yes, the bunny population is totally out of control and completely out of balance. BUT. Bunnies are way up the food chain from the pests that were out of balance when I first started loving this bit of land back to life.
In year three, the aphids settled into a comfortable equilibrium with the lady bugs. By year six, the song birds were riotous in their abundance. Year seven, the larger birds of prey and raptors became regular visitors on our evening chores - everything from Ravens to Red Tail Hawks to Bald Eagles to Barred Owls and even the odd Turkey Vulture.
Now, closing in on year nine, the small mammals are having their day. The fact that they are chowing down on my garden veg (when there is an abundance of green things elsewhere) tells me two things - 1) My garden is vital, alive and the healthiest thing on the farm. 2) The ecosystem is healing itself.
And I know that just like the aphids and the song birds, the next step in that healing will find a balance for the bunnies so that they won't be a problem anymore, either.
And just like that, as I sat down with the sunrise for my morning coffee, there it was. Signs that a bunny had become someone else's dinner. It has already begun.
When we remove our own immediate, narrow needs and desires from the picture - something magical happens. That delicate system we are a part of, not apart from, heals itself and in the end, heals us too.