For the third year in a row, I attended Amma’s programs in Chicago during the last week in June. Like previous years, I spent part of my time there walking the fields. The first place I visited was the hoop house. This year they were growing tomatoes in that structure.
(Click on any of the galleries to enlarge the photos.)
Next, I headed towards the echinacea field. The MA Center volunteers had done a lot of work in that area since I was there last. The rows were neat and weeded and it was no longer mixed with other plants. When I visited the field in 2017, only three flowers had fully bloomed. This year there were many of the pinkish-purple flowers.
As I investigated the echinacea field this year, I remembered the video I had seen prior to my 2016 visit. That video had been taken much later in the summer so the field was full of flowers. I was inspired by the video and resolved to someday see it in person.
When I returned to Seattle after my 2016 visit, I planted echinacea in my own garden. At some point I want to learn how to harvest the echinacea for medicinal use. Right now, I am just enjoying seeing the flowers in their various stages of development.
As I was writing this post, I remembered the microscopic photos I’ve taken of the echinacea flowers from my garden. Seeing them again heightened my already existing fascination with the plant.
Back to my visit to Amma’s Chicago Center this year. After I left the echinacea field, I walked to the orchard.
Then I headed for the fields where vegetables are grown. I have found it interesting to see how the farmlands change from year to year.
In 2016, an alfalfa farmer rented part of the property.
MA Center: Chicago grew both vegetables and flowers in nearby fields.
The photos below show what some of the MA Center farmlands looked like in 2017:
This year, 2018, even more of the property is being farmed or being prepared for future farming. I was amazed by the size of the fields and by the changes that had been made in irrigation and mulching… or perhaps “mulching substitutes” would be a more accurate way to describe it. Maybe next year I will ask for someone to show me around the fields so I can ask questions about the changes I see. Right now, all I’m doing is guessing.
I feel so grateful to be able to witness the development of these fields. I wonder how they will change between now and the summer of 2019!