I’m noticing a red theme on my blog this week. Strawberries. Red huckleberries. And now, red ladybugs. Bracken loves bugs of all kinds (you’d be amazed how much entertainment a single roly poly can provide in the garden), but especially loves ladybugs these days. We were calling him ‘The ladybug whisperer’ because of his amazing ability to not only find ladybugs in our garden, but to find them at the market, in the middle of town. Bracken kept showing his ladybugs to our farmer’s market friend and she surprised him and knit him a little ladybug house, a pouch for him to wear around his neck.
Jeff surprised Bracken this week too, with a container of ladybugs from The Backyard Farmer. I can’t imagine any gift Bracken would have enjoyed more. He carried the container around town that day and showed his ladybugs to everyone we encountered. That evening Jeff and Bracken released them into our garden, the recommended time of day to do so. They put some ladybugs on our oregano plant and some on a kale plant we are letting go to seed. Jeff saves a lot of our own kale seeds each year, but if the aphids get too bad, we have to pull up the plants before the seeds are ready. I’ve been watching those ladybugs take care of the aphid situation on the kale plant. Ladybugs are great for natural pest control in the garden, but our main reason for getting them was because of the joy it would bring to Bracken.
And speaking of red. We’ve been eating our very first red currants in the garden. It’s my first time tasting them and I like them. Do they remind anyone else of a tomato? A very subtle tomato flavor, that’s what I’m detecting. Yesterday we also found our very first ripe raspberry in the garden. A bit of the berry was missing, probably from a bird. We broke the rest of the berry into three pieces and enjoyed it. It’s tradition to split the first berry or fruit of any sort in the garden, into three pieces. It gets quite comical with tiny berries. In Bracken’s words, we each get a “little baby gnomey bite.”
Ladybugs are the most exciting thing in Bracken’s world this week, but the really exciting news for Jeff and I is the fact that we are going to have a booth this weekend at the Mother Earth News Fair in Albany, Oregon! We’re calling it a last-minute miracle, because that’s exactly what it feels like to us. I found out about the fair on Tuesday night. We had been gone all day and I checked my e-mail quickly that evening, learning about it for the first time. Wednesday (yesterday) morning I looked at the list of exhibitors, with so many we know, and said to Jeff “oh, I wish we would have known about this sooner so we could have applied to have a booth there!” And then I got a strong feeling to give them a call because it never hurts to ask, even though my brain said there was no possible way we would get in since the show was in a few days. Jeff said it was still really early and suggested waiting a bit before calling. I waited for as long as I could (maybe ten minutes), but couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to contact them right away. I couldn’t find a number to call, but saw a place to apply online. Within minutes of applying, I received a phone call from a sweet lady named Charlotte. By some amazing turn of events, they had one last booth available and at a discount to boot! If I could have jumped through the phone and given her a huge hug, I would have! She told us she loved what we made and thought we’d be a great fit. We were elated.
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind around here as we get everything ready for this weekend. We changed our weekend plans around and have been busy preparing. (We’ll have wood garden signs, sustainable wood jewelry, buttons, magnets, and more.) Jeff has all the early issues of Mother Earth News magazine. I still smile thinking about all the nights he read aloud to us from them. They’ve been a source of so much inspiration for us. We feel excited to be a part of the Mother Earth News Fair, this event has so many amazing things happening. More than 150 workshops. Inspiring speakers, inspiring exhibitors. You can tell we are really looking forward to this.
From the program guide: “This weekend promises to be inspiring, stimulating and fun. People all over the world are looking for solutions to the sustainability puzzle and the participants in our Mother Earth News Fairs are the sorts of people who help, in myriad ways, to make our existence on this miraculous planet not only ecologically sound but prosperous and enjoyable.”
You can find us at the Mother Earth News Fair in Albany, Oregon this weekend, the 6th and 7th. We’ll be in booth 1203, located outside. The fair is on Saturday, from 9-7 and on Sunday, from 9-5 at the Linn Connty Expo Center. If you will be attending, we invite you to come and say hello!
Here’s to a weekend adventure!