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Re: New Beginnings

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  • diebrand
    Katie, Would be nice to have another active member on this group. Activity seems to be at a historical low (wonder if that somehow reflects present interest
    Message 1 of 12 , Jan 24, 2006
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      Katie,

      Would be nice to have another active member on this group. Activity
      seems to be at a historical low (wonder if that somehow reflects
      present interest in Fukuokan methods).

      Me too, I have a heavy clay soil, abused by years of conventional
      agriculture. A lot of it is overgrown by shrubbery and trees.
      After a few years of organic gardening, I have been experimenting
      with natural farming for about a year to cultivate a larger area. I
      shred the shrubs (which need thinning out) and leave the shredded
      parts on the ground as a mulch layer. I leave the roots in the
      ground. Perennials growing again from the roots will supply a mulch
      layer for the future. I found it very easy to grow legumes (green
      peas, lupines, different types of beans and local weeds) as well as
      daikon radish from the mulch. Clover didn't germinate were the
      mulch layer is too thick - the seeds probably need soil contact. I
      tried seedballs without much success so far, but I will try again in
      the spring. You can get most info about seedballs from the
      seedball.com run by Jim Breen. There should be a link somewhere on
      the Fukuoka Farming site. I also tried different types of cereals
      (wheat, barley, rye, etc.). Germination was OK, but right now they
      are not doing too well, started to turn brown except in places were
      I already built a good layer of top soil during previous years. It
      will probably take a few years to get some top soil on a larger area.

      I usually broadcast cereals together with clover. There are many
      different types of clover and it takes some experimenting to find
      the one that works best on your land. I also grow clover in my veg
      garden (a low-growing clover such as sub clover so as not to crowed
      out the vegetables). If you want to plant trees for shade you could
      start with acacias which grow very quickly and some varieties (see
      Morishima acacia or Black Wattle in the One Straw Revolution) are
      good for fixing nitrogen.

      My feeling is that many people get very enthusiastic about Fukuoka
      Farming at first just to give up after a while. Well, I'm still in
      the enthusiastic phase and determined to make it work.

      Cheers, Dieter

      --- In fukuoka_farming@yahoogroups.com, "Katherine T."
      <BeltaineBabe@g...> wrote:
      >
      > Hello list members;
      > I have been surveying literature about the Fukuoka farming methods
      > for several months now. I have little money to begin with but I am
      > ready to begin my first garden using the Fukuoka philosophy. I am
      on
      > nearly ten acres of poorly draining, shallow (less than a meter in
      > most places,)heavy clay soil which sits atop an expansive hard pan
      > and rock sedimentary layer. I live in the northern Sacramento
      > Valley. The area is a part of the tributary flood plains for the
      > Sierra Nevada Mountain range of Northern California.
      >
      > I purchased the first two books, but am a bit confused as to where
      I
      > should begin and what steps to take first. Which seeds complement
      > one another best for mixing and rolling into compost/clay balls.
      If
      > anyone has any suggestions for a newbie on a budget please let me
      > know. I have access to purchasing rice straw and hay from
      > neighboring ag businesses but am selective in that I would like to
      > keep pesticides and petrol residues out of my gardening system.
      >
      > This impoverished and neglected piece of land cries out for
      > attention. There are few trees. I have a mulberry and two old and
      > sickly black walnut trees, but thought to plant some pawlonia
      trees
      > to help restore some of the shade. There must have been extensive
      > harvesting historically here as the name of the township is
      Pleasant
      > Grove!" But there is hardly a copse let alone a grove in sight.
      >
      > Also, how does one handle major rodent issues. I have rice rats
      and
      > field mice galore. I have several good mousers, but the cats won't
      > take on the rats as they are aggressive and large. I did take the
      > snake suggestion to heart but must find a supplier. Most wildlife
      in
      > the local area has long ago been decimated so the natural balance
      is
      > in disequilibrium. There is so much to consider. With costs rising
      > and wages in decline, I need to have a garden which will meet my
      > family's diet requirements as well as perhaps supplement my meager
      > income.
      >
      > Are there any recommendations on books or websites that I can use
      to
      > help me combine seeds for seed balls successfully, or is it hit
      and
      > miss? I have read many wonderful ideas here already and am looking
      > forward to being a more active list member. As a novice, I have so
      > much yet to learn, but...the student is ready!
      >
      > Gratefully yours,
      > Katie
      >
      >
      > +
      >
    • Bill Maxwell
      Just out of interest, some people in the primitivist movement (both on Anthropik.com and Ishcon.org) have begun to pay attention to Fukuoka s work. I believe
      Message 2 of 12 , Jan 24, 2006
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        Just out of interest, some people in the primitivist movement (both on
        Anthropik.com and Ishcon.org) have begun to pay attention to Fukuoka's
        work. I believe several of them will be starting up gardens this or
        next year.

        Best

        Bill Maxwell

        diebrand wrote:

        > Katie,
        >
        > Would be nice to have another active member on this group. Activity
        > seems to be at a historical low (wonder if that somehow reflects
        > present interest in Fukuokan methods).



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • cliff davis
        hi everyone, i have a garden system that mimics or trying to mimic Emilia Hazelips. We have been gardening with this system for a few years now and there is
        Message 3 of 12 , Jan 24, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          hi everyone, i have a garden system that mimics or trying to mimic Emilia Hazelips. We have been gardening with this system for a few years now and there is so much to learn. We are seeing that each gardener probably has their own tricks but it is so important to stick with the Fukuoka philososphy extended into the market garden by Emilia.
          We use a lot of daikons and every bed always has a N fixer. We leave all roots in the ground and feed the young sandy soil with chicken manure and plant manures with lots of mulch. We are currently starting some experiments with EM to compost our food scraps for greenhouse mix. We plant roots directly and carefully pull them out when we want to harvest. We took a soil test not to long ago and the nitrogen was trace. However, I do believe this to be good because our test kit probably test nitrogen in Nitrate form and not ammonium . This has a lot to do with the Ethylene Oxygen cycle. I hope that we are right. The literature on the site will tell about the Ethylene Oxygen Cycle and its importance in no till systems of agriculture. The gardens are still an experiment but we see success with it and we will be expanding into a larger area this summer.
          For those with clay soils it is good to sow a cover crop mixed with daikon alfalfa and other accumulator plants that can bust thru the hardpan and gather the minerals that are needed to establish a feeding system for the topsoil organisms to eat. Leave the roots in the ground allowing them to grow rot grow rot. Undersowing can also be done to stack in time as well as stacking in space.
          Another thing we are working on is NFX trees and shrubs in the garden system. Autumn Olive, Acacia, and locust's. There are more but the idea is to use these trees to mine the soil with their roots and to use the leaves after coppicing on the garden as mulch. There are many good ideas out there. I suggest we all keep an eye on what nature does and always stick to the fundamentals of Fukuoka Farming. To copy Fukuoka exactly might lead to much discouragement as I have heard from those who tried and tried.
          Nature Provides
          Cliff Davis
          Turtle Island Permaculture

          "Katherine T." <BeltaineBabe@...> wrote:
          Hello list members;
          I have been surveying literature about the Fukuoka farming methods
          for several months now. I have little money to begin with but I am
          ready to begin my first garden using the Fukuoka philosophy. I am on
          nearly ten acres of poorly draining, shallow (less than a meter in
          most places,)heavy clay soil which sits atop an expansive hard pan
          and rock sedimentary layer. I live in the northern Sacramento
          Valley. The area is a part of the tributary flood plains for the
          Sierra Nevada Mountain range of Northern California.

          I purchased the first two books, but am a bit confused as to where I
          should begin and what steps to take first. Which seeds complement
          one another best for mixing and rolling into compost/clay balls. If
          anyone has any suggestions for a newbie on a budget please let me
          know. I have access to purchasing rice straw and hay from
          neighboring ag businesses but am selective in that I would like to
          keep pesticides and petrol residues out of my gardening system.

          This impoverished and neglected piece of land cries out for
          attention. There are few trees. I have a mulberry and two old and
          sickly black walnut trees, but thought to plant some pawlonia trees
          to help restore some of the shade. There must have been extensive
          harvesting historically here as the name of the township is Pleasant
          Grove!" But there is hardly a copse let alone a grove in sight.

          Also, how does one handle major rodent issues. I have rice rats and
          field mice galore. I have several good mousers, but the cats won't
          take on the rats as they are aggressive and large. I did take the
          snake suggestion to heart but must find a supplier. Most wildlife in
          the local area has long ago been decimated so the natural balance is
          in disequilibrium. There is so much to consider. With costs rising
          and wages in decline, I need to have a garden which will meet my
          family's diet requirements as well as perhaps supplement my meager
          income.

          Are there any recommendations on books or websites that I can use to
          help me combine seeds for seed balls successfully, or is it hit and
          miss? I have read many wonderful ideas here already and am looking
          forward to being a more active list member. As a novice, I have so
          much yet to learn, but...the student is ready!

          Gratefully yours,
          Katie


          +








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        • Katherine T.
          Thank you, Dieter, Bill, Cliff et al; I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning from yours. I chose fukuoka because I have some physical challenges
          Message 4 of 12 , Jan 25, 2006
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            Thank you, Dieter, Bill, Cliff et al;
            I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning from yours.
            I chose fukuoka because I have some physical challenges and I like
            the spiritual components of the methodology.

            Thank you all for the suggestions and linkages. I know that at least
            one local man has been successful in his practice of this natural
            farming method. His soil is different than mine but that can be
            ammended a bit with time and energy.

            I am fortunate to have available, when I can afford it, some very
            rich compost which a local landfill operator creates out of all of
            the food service industry organic wastes from the San Francisco Bay
            Area restaurants. The large wine producers in Napa and Sonoma use
            this compost for their vineyards. I can purchase it when I can
            arrange for its transportation. We are some 80 miles away from where
            it is composted.

            I will be buying some redworms and creating my own vermiculture
            plant soon. It and a solar composting toilet are two of my proposed
            spring projects for this year. I know that, in my state, humanure
            can only be used on flowers and ornamentals but that is okay with
            me. I am also interested in the Rudolf Steiner Flow forms for grey
            water treatment. I learned of them at a permaculture seminar I took.
            We are fortunate to have a local Rudolf Steiner school locally that
            I can take classes at and visit their gardens too.

            I guess my biggest problem it just getting off the computer and
            getting out there to work. But the ground is soggy and the weather
            cold. We still have a chance to have nighttime freezes so I can only
            work on plans and preparations for things thus far. I thought to
            start buying seed and making seedballs first, but need to decide
            what complements of seeds I want.

            I have been thinking purple vetch, buckwheat and mustard seed would
            help build up the soil. I have milk thistle all over the place and
            want to harvest some of it. I have a few varieties of wild grasses
            as rice, alfalfa and oat are grown commercially out here and the
            wind blows them far afield. Some of these are genetically modified
            species though I cannot know which ones. It is a natural occurrence
            and the land has received them and they have proven fertile. They
            grow so I leave them alone.

            My field has been fallow for many years. I believe the top soil was
            mined at sometime in the past because our field sits 3 feet lower
            than any other in the area. Fortunately my house is on higher
            ground. The field flood and becomes impassable as when one tries to
            cross it one sinks two feet down. I am of Dutch Frisian Ancestry so
            I thought to but some wooden shoes to walk about the field just as
            my ancestors might have in the Groenigen region of the Netherlands.

            I have read that the Frisians were distinguished into two classes
            and my ancestors were the "Clay" Frisians" since they inhabited the
            flood plains and estuaries of the confluence of the Maas, Rhine and
            other rivers flowing out into the North Atlantic. So, maybe,
            learning more about my heritage might have benefits to working the
            clay soils here in California.

            When I read the books by Dr. Fukuoka I wondered how the method might
            translate into an American Fukuoka Methodology. Where I am used to
            be the Rice Producing Capital of the United States, but it is
            heavily reliant upon fossil fuel and irrigation. I don't want to
            deal with that. I have two wells. One for the field which I thought
            to put either a treadle pump into or have a solar pump installed. It
            is offline at the moment.

            I also want to start a pond. We are in the flight path of the
            Canadian snow goose, trumpeter swans, egrets and other avian species
            which have lost much due to expansive suburban development in the
            region. I would like to host them in some small way, if they pose no
            threat to my crops or my family (Avian Flu being the concern)

            I am choosing to get a couple of goat kids to raise for keeping the
            grasses down. This is a hazardous area for grass fires due to the
            long hot summers. The grasses grow thick and deep during the spring
            season and then dry out and thatch. It is another reason I thought
            Fukuoka might work here, but it poses a fire hazard, too.
            Anyone raise goats before? I need a little goatherding advice if you
            can share your experience. Like, which breeds would be best suited
            to my needs.

            I want to free range chickens, too. But am concerned about the
            migratory bird vector issues with the potential for a pandemic of
            the avian flu. So, I am still not decided on chickens yet.
            We also have west nile virus in the area. Two men and many horses
            have died of it last year. Mosquito abatement is a huge concern for
            the area. Even though it is cold, we have mosquitoes already
            breeding in the rain water pools all over the property.

            Well, I posted a couple of photos of the area I live in. As I go I
            will post more pictures of my progress. I will consider the Acacia
            trees, Dieter. I chose the pawlonia because of their fast growth and
            the fact that their leaves can be used as fodder and even food for
            human consumption. I am going to plant some Bamboo, too, for
            sustainable building materials and to help create a microclimate.

            Well, I think that is enough open online brainstorming for now. I am
            tired already just thinking how much work I have planned for myself!!
            LOL But, I know I will be happy with the results once I get started.

            It is just nice to have a place to talk about it all.

            Thanks and fertile blessings,
            Katie
          • michael
            However, the problem of slugs is still not resolved. The ducks, which have a small pond in the middle of the garden, turned out to be inefficient (they re
            Message 5 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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              'However, the problem of slugs is still not resolved. The ducks, which
              have a small pond in the middle of the garden, turned out to be
              inefficient (they're asleep when the slugs are in full swing!). Emilia
              is looking for other predators to intervene in the biological struggle.
              '

              For those of you with slug problems, create a pond near your garden.
              Toads will find it and create hundreds of little toads, as well as
              song. Your slugs will disappear and you will have little toads
              everywhere. You will also notice the fat mama hanging around for
              crickets and other larger snacks. They are all very active at night.
              Mama will avoid your feet. The little ones not always so. Careful on
              your midnight walks.
            • michael
              As a philosophy and not a gardening method, Fukuoka s essence needs to be internalized and placed in your context. Start any which way, seedballs or no, watch
              Message 6 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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                As a philosophy and not a gardening method, Fukuoka's essence needs to
                be internalized and placed in your context. Start any which way,
                seedballs or no, watch things grow, find what they like and where they
                like. In the beginning, I tried too hard. 10 years later, I found less
                effort better than more.

                On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

                > I have been surveying literature about the Fukuoka farming methods
                > for several months now. I have little money to begin with but I am
                > ready to begin my first garden using the Fukuoka philosophy.
              • michael
                Where there are mice, there are snakes. Unless they have been chemically suppressed or eradicated through fear. Start with the amphibians. Create a pond. Frogs
                Message 7 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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                  Where there are mice, there are snakes. Unless they have been
                  chemically suppressed or eradicated through fear. Start with the
                  amphibians. Create a pond. Frogs and salamanders will come. Snakes will
                  come once you have green cover (any) and do not use toxins. If you
                  believe you have toxins in your soil, put water hyacinths in your pond,
                  harvest the hyacinths come Winter, and dispose of at a toxic waste
                  repository. Do not compost the hyacinths; they have accumulated
                  concentrations of heavy metals and complex organics if they were in
                  your soil. Move the pond the next year or the year after that. Plant
                  where the pond was.

                  On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

                  > I did take the
                  > snake suggestion to heart but must find a supplier. Most wildlife in
                  > the local area has long ago been decimated so the natural balance is
                  > in disequilibrium.
                • michael
                  This is easy. Especially where you are. You may be able to let Winter greens grow. Many of the chicories and chards may survive your Winter. We must dry daikon
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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                    This is easy. Especially where you are. You may be able to let Winter
                    greens grow. Many of the chicories and chards may survive your Winter.
                    We must dry daikon tops, ferment leeks, cabbage and beans, dry tomatoes
                    and peppers, and dig roots through the Winter. Parsnips grow wild and
                    are quite sweet in January. Medlars need the weeks of being frozen to
                    turn their insides into custard.

                    On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

                    > I need to have a garden which will meet my
                    > family's diet requirements
                  • michael
                    This is much harder. Identify a high value crop that likes your area and you.
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
                    • 0 Attachment
                      This is much harder. Identify a high value crop that likes your area
                      and you.

                      On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

                      > supplement my meager
                      > income
                    • michael
                      But they do eat baby snakes. Cats are not a remedy as they are not part of the ecosystem. Dogs are much better mousers that cats, and most will kill rats near
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
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                        But they do eat baby snakes.
                        Cats are not a remedy as they are not part of the ecosystem.
                        Dogs are much better mousers that cats, and most will kill rats near
                        your premises. Some dogs were bred to kill rats.

                        On Jan 24, 2006, at 10:17 AM, Katherine T. wrote:

                        > I have several good mousers, but the cats won't
                        > take on the rats as they are aggressive and large.
                      • circlesmc
                        Hi Katie, and All, I ve just joined this group and I m finding the information posted here very interesting and of value. My thanks go out to all of you. Goats
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jan 29, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hi Katie, and All,

                          I've just joined this group and I'm finding the information posted
                          here very interesting and of value. My thanks go out to all of you.

                          Goats prefer bushes, love roses, and they will eat small trees too.
                          They eat grass, but if the bushes, etc. are available to them, those
                          will be eaten first. I love the nubians. Their milk has a higher fat
                          content and the milk makes excellent cheese. Goats can carry TB so
                          make sure that any new additions to your homestead are tested first.

                          I live in CA too and my ground is like yours. I've found that herbs
                          do very well here.... year after year with very little effort on my
                          part. Onions and garlic are growing well in my garden right now,
                          along with new strawberry plants. Cantaloupe, all of the melons, also
                          corn tend to do well when it gets a little warmer, and peas planted
                          while the weather is cool do well too. Mixed greens need the cool
                          weather also. I've just put out some thornless black berry starts
                          that seem to be happy in the ground here. I have trouble with tomato
                          plants, but last year I did get a crop. Figs and some of the nuts
                          like this climate too.

                          GM crops? This whole technology scares me. Rice and oats...I don't
                          think that they have approved GM in those crops yet, but I could be
                          mistaken.

                          Good luck with all of your great plans for the future.

                          Carolyn



                          From: "Katherine T." <BeltaineBabe@...>
                          Date: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:20 pm
                          Subject: Re: New Beginnings

                          Thank you, Dieter, Bill, Cliff et al;
                          I look forward to sharing my experiences and learning from yours.
                          I chose fukuoka because I have some physical challenges and I like
                          the spiritual components of the methodology.

                          Thank you all for the suggestions and linkages. I know that at least
                          one local man has been successful in his practice of this natural
                          farming method. His soil is different than mine but that can be
                          ammended a bit with time and energy.

                          I am fortunate to have available, when I can afford it, some very
                          rich compost which a local landfill operator creates out of all of
                          the food service industry organic wastes from the San Francisco Bay
                          Area restaurants. The large wine producers in Napa and Sonoma use
                          this compost for their vineyards. I can purchase it when I can
                          arrange for its transportation. We are some 80 miles away from where
                          it is composted.

                          I will be buying some redworms and creating my own vermiculture
                          plant soon. It and a solar composting toilet are two of my proposed
                          spring projects for this year. I know that, in my state, humanure
                          can only be used on flowers and ornamentals but that is okay with
                          me. I am also interested in the Rudolf Steiner Flow forms for grey
                          water treatment. I learned of them at a permaculture seminar I took.
                          We are fortunate to have a local Rudolf Steiner school locally that
                          I can take classes at and visit their gardens too.

                          I guess my biggest problem it just getting off the computer and
                          getting out there to work. But the ground is soggy and the weather
                          cold. We still have a chance to have nighttime freezes so I can only
                          work on plans and preparations for things thus far. I thought to
                          start buying seed and making seedballs first, but need to decide
                          what complements of seeds I want.

                          I have been thinking purple vetch, buckwheat and mustard seed would
                          help build up the soil. I have milk thistle all over the place and
                          want to harvest some of it. I have a few varieties of wild grasses
                          as rice, alfalfa and oat are grown commercially out here and the
                          wind blows them far afield. Some of these are genetically modified
                          species though I cannot know which ones. It is a natural occurrence
                          and the land has received them and they have proven fertile. They
                          grow so I leave them alone.

                          My field has been fallow for many years. I believe the top soil was
                          mined at sometime in the past because our field sits 3 feet lower
                          than any other in the area. Fortunately my house is on higher
                          ground. The field flood and becomes impassable as when one tries to
                          cross it one sinks two feet down. I am of Dutch Frisian Ancestry so
                          I thought to but some wooden shoes to walk about the field just as
                          my ancestors might have in the Groenigen region of the Netherlands.

                          I have read that the Frisians were distinguished into two classes
                          and my ancestors were the "Clay" Frisians" since they inhabited the
                          flood plains and estuaries of the confluence of the Maas, Rhine and
                          other rivers flowing out into the North Atlantic. So, maybe,
                          learning more about my heritage might have benefits to working the
                          clay soils here in California.

                          When I read the books by Dr. Fukuoka I wondered how the method might
                          translate into an American Fukuoka Methodology. Where I am used to
                          be the Rice Producing Capital of the United States, but it is
                          heavily reliant upon fossil fuel and irrigation. I don't want to
                          deal with that. I have two wells. One for the field which I thought
                          to put either a treadle pump into or have a solar pump installed. It
                          is offline at the moment.

                          I also want to start a pond. We are in the flight path of the
                          Canadian snow goose, trumpeter swans, egrets and other avian species
                          which have lost much due to expansive suburban development in the
                          region. I would like to host them in some small way, if they pose no
                          threat to my crops or my family (Avian Flu being the concern)

                          I am choosing to get a couple of goat kids to raise for keeping the
                          grasses down. This is a hazardous area for grass fires due to the
                          long hot summers. The grasses grow thick and deep during the spring
                          season and then dry out and thatch. It is another reason I thought
                          Fukuoka might work here, but it poses a fire hazard, too.
                          Anyone raise goats before? I need a little goatherding advice if you
                          can share your experience. Like, which breeds would be best suited
                          to my needs.

                          I want to free range chickens, too. But am concerned about the
                          migratory bird vector issues with the potential for a pandemic of
                          the avian flu. So, I am still not decided on chickens yet.
                          We also have west nile virus in the area. Two men and many horses
                          have died of it last year. Mosquito abatement is a huge concern for
                          the area. Even though it is cold, we have mosquitoes already
                          breeding in the rain water pools all over the property.

                          Well, I posted a couple of photos of the area I live in. As I go I
                          will post more pictures of my progress. I will consider the Acacia
                          trees, Dieter. I chose the pawlonia because of their fast growth and
                          the fact that their leaves can be used as fodder and even food for
                          human consumption. I am going to plant some Bamboo, too, for
                          sustainable building materials and to help create a microclimate.

                          Well, I think that is enough open online brainstorming for now. I am
                          tired already just thinking how much work I have planned for myself!!
                          LOL But, I know I will be happy with the results once I get started.

                          It is just nice to have a place to talk about it all.

                          Thanks and fertile blessings,
                          Katie
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