Hello Internet Land. Once again, been a long time since we added to our blog. I write many posts in my mind but they seldom make it to the keyboard these days. This past year has flown by in a blur and I realize more each day how much deliberate, intentional focus it takes to steer modern life in a meaningful direction.
Our urban farm in progress has taught us so many lessons and I hope to start sharing them more regularly. Nature provides so much wisdom for life, and for me, it also imparts hope that I don’t often find in other places. I recently had the privilege of hearing Dr. Jane Goodall speak in person, sharing her message of hope for the future. While resisting the temptation to gush for paragraphs about how inspirational she is to my whole family, I will offer some illustrations of one of her points, from our own garden. She shared that one of her reasons for hope was the resilience she had observed in nature. We also have seen its incredible tenacity and ability to come back from what appeared to be fatal weather and insect events.
This year we enjoyed warm weather very early in the season. We set out tomatoes, peppers and new grapevines in faith that we had seen the last of freezing weather. But Mr. Frosty had one last appearance to make and even though we had covered the plants, many looked to be a total loss. All the leaves died but I left the stems in the ground. Nearly every plant, including the vulnerable new grapevine transplants, recovered fully and are now thriving and fruiting.
This week, as I was trimming the overgrowth of immortal Texas wild shrubs and vines (speaking of tenacity!), I noticed a beautiful orange butterfly circling around the passion flower vine. Last summer, just as the vine was finally getting established after a slow start, orange caterpillars appeared and ate every single leaf down to nothing. I looked them up and discovered they were from the Gulf fritillary butterfly. They are known to migrate over the gulf of Mexico and this vine is their preferred food source. Considering I have not seen another vine like this growing anywhere near me, the fact that they can find it at all is amazing. I also left my naked vine in the ground and this spring it exploded with growth and bloomed for the first time, even producing some passionfruit as well.
I snapped a photo of this beautiful creature seeking to deposit her eggs, knowing that her offspring and my plant can coexist. Losing its leaves may force the roots deeper? I don’t know. But it certainly grew better after the attack. When all seems lost, the spark of life is not defeated. That’s a cause for hope, and not just for green things in the ground.