“Maybe life doesn’t get any better than this, or any worse, and what we get is just what we’re willing to find: small wonders, where they grow.” – Barbara Kingsolver, Small Wonder
Mornings have always held a quiet purpose for me in the garden. I take in the garden with a sense of wonder, finding delight in each awakening blossom. This is the time I most enjoy walking the grounds, taking note of the soil moisture, checking on the greenhouse, refilling the bees’ water, and collecting eggs from the chickens. In the morning I get to take a moment with myself, reconnecting to the bird calls, the undercurrent of humming bees, and the expectancy of a day tending the land. These moments are fleeting, but they hold an infinite number of small wonders.
On this quiet July morning, I sit near the new chicken coop and watch the chickens. Chris, the rooster, stands on a log singing his own wonder on this summer morning. One hen nestles deeper into the soil, taking a dust bath, preening with ample delight at the feel of the warm soil that envelopes her. Meanwhile, the other hens keep their eyes focused on the earth, walking the space of their pasture much as I walk the garden in the morning. They peck at the simple delights that unfold from the grass, chasing after each other when a particular larger insect is captured by one. I can hear the few remaining hens in the coop, rustling around as they jostle for the favorite space to lay their eggs.
This coop was picked out years ago by Pascal and was built in June as we anticipated the flocks’ expansion with new chicks. The coop is now tucked below the rain garden with a larger chicken run, as well as a larger pasture. Our chickens are free-range, having the opportunity to be outdoors at any time of the day. The benefits of this are manifold for the chickens who can find nourishment from the soil from grass and insects. Eventually, when the vineyard goes dormant, the chickens will also be able to more readily graze in the vineyard, scratching amongst the soil of the old-growth vines that lie just out of reach of the chickens’ pasture.
In the quiet of the morning, I’m still reminded that I am in fact not alone. There is a community of life in this garden, singing a chorus of joy that gradually rises within me. Standing on the deck I take it all in, hens happily clucking contentment, honeybee hives afloat in the distance, and bird calls all around. Flowers accompany me as well, chamomile, lavender, and yarrow spill over paths, gently greeting me in the sway and tangle of their blooms. Soon I will hear the sound of a Corgi puppy running through the garden paths, part of this ecosystem as well. This moment, here, coffee in hand, journal splayed in the sunlight, and the promise of a day filled with caring for the land, this is a small wonder.
Farm to Table
This month, our tasting room menu features the following items from the Brooks Estate Garden: basil, snap peas, cilantro, jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, chives, strawberries, red beets, radishes, leafy greens, and mint.
With love from the Garden