Summer              Waxing Summer Moon

The six cubic yard of mulch pile has become several piles of mulch at strategic locations along the paths and beds of last year’s orchard installation.  Now it awaits distribution, looking like debris fields from some recent wooden mountain slide.  Mulch serves many purposes in the garden.  Winter mulch keeps the ground cold during spring’s heaves as the earth thaws and refreezes.  Summer mulch helps in weed suppression, keeps the ground cool to avoid plants getting overheated and helps hold moisture in the soil during hot weather.

Mulch in the orchard serves mainly to suppress weeds and to give a uniform look to the beds and paths, but it has one important purpose that Paula Westmoreland of Ecological Gardens taught me.  She says the breakdown of wood chips gives a different boost to soil chemistry, one more favorable to perennial plants while straw works better for annual plants like vegetables.  I don’t understand it, but she seemed very confident.

I drove into Panera’s in Northeast for a meeting with Dan Endreson, outgoing legislative committee chair of the Sierra Club and Margaret Levin, its executive director.  We went over the past patterns of developing agendas for the upcoming legislative session.  Dan made me a disc of all the documents that had been useful for him and the committee over the last four sessions while he’s been active.

It’s fun to get into a responsible role in an issue area I feel is important and in an aspect of the work that involves politics.  The future looks like lots of meetings, phone calls and work in or around the capitol.

The kids are on their way back here from a 4th of July spent in Chicago with Jen’s family.  Herschel will be happy to see his family again.