August 27th, 2012
We are having morning coffee in the back garden yesterday when the next door neighbour to the East came out with some offerings for her wonderful large compost box cum worm farm - red wrigglers, which she says are much superior to common earthworms for producing castings and making deep rich friable earth.
Over the last few months we have watched a full box of leaves and yard waste morph into a half a box of gorgeous black soil, worth its weight in gold here in town where the soil seems so thin and scanty.......highly favoured for fishing, too on account of their wiggly actions and the fact that they stay alive longer in the water.
These neighbours are the age of our middle children, and very busy. They are First Nation's people, and she is deeply involved with the administration of Band business on the Merritt Reserve, while her husband has classes in the local school, teaching and promoting education in the Native Okanagan language and culture.
He is also an accomplished and inspired flutist with a CD entitled 'It's About Time' released in 2010, - really enchanting sounds which are accompanied by piano, guitar, harp, hand drums and bird songs. Herman plays for documentaries, short films, community events, weddings, healing gatherings and has been nominated for the Aboriginal People's Choice Music Awards.
We lingered talking to both he and Joanna for an hour, leaning on the side fence, discussing Native issues, ranching and farming and weaving and compost and canning salmon - life in the Similkameen and education problems. The children from the local Reserves have been integrated in the local school for over a hundred years, and during that time, at least in our family, close friendships have developed, and easy and familiar relationships exist.
Extracts from Herman's haunting CD can be found here.
Some of Joanna's Red Wrigglers can be found making themselves at home in our compost bin!!