Almost six years since moving to the farm in November 2003 we had driven by an RV sitting on a pretty plot of land on Meridian Road that had a sign reading "Green & White Acres." (This would be a reference to the TV show "Green Acres," which entertained my father-in-law to no end.) We passed it every day - winter, spring, summer and fall - going to work "in town" - about a 30-minute ride. I could see that people lived in the RV, and I admired their houselessness in some ambiguous environmentally conscious part of my brain. They had a little rectangular garden bed of tomatoes next to the road, and even a clothesline near the RV. Suddenly last summer a house started going up on that land, and then there were straw bales piled up for the insulation. How exciting!
The first little pig built his house out of straw because it was the easiest thing to do.
While chicory appeared like blue stars along the green firmament of farm fields, the straw house grew. The owners must be building it themselves. It doesn't look easy to me, and it certainly isn't quick. That "Green & White Acres" sign makes me think the owners work at my university or are alums, because MSUs colors are green and white. Our school tries to be green in more than just school spirit, with a good recycling program, and energy conserving incentives, but a lot could still be improved. Sadly, Monsanto develops seeds at my agricultural university, including genetically modified ones, like insect-resistant potatoes. (Here and here are brief articles listing some pros and cons of Genetically Modified Organisms - GMOs.)
One night the big bad wolf, who dearly loved to eat fat little piggies, came along and saw the first little pig in his house of straw. He said "Let me in, Let me in, little pig or I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!"
"Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin", said the little pig.
But of course the wolf did blow the house in and ate the first little pig.
I took the pictures above one year ago. Here is the straw house this week, still not done, but the straw has been covered with stucco. I waited until the blue chicory bloomed again to take new photos. One of the color blue's characteristics in color therapy is that it is calming. It certainly does soothe me on my drive coming and going. Another trait of blue is that it promotes growth. Who knew? Slowly, slowly, country blue chicory is helping a little green house grow.
House of Straw
It's a blue star bi-way,
a green house bouquet,
hay rolls, straw bales,
wolves fly, pigs prevail.
When the Big Bad Wolf comes to huff and puff and blow this house down, the owners can relax, because the bales make good load bearing walls and are extra sturdy - besides being three [little pig] times more efficient than conventionally built houses, for insulating against the cold and heat. Who needs expensive bricks? And will the owners of Green & White Acres be afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?
Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin!