Saturday, April 18, 2009


A few days of rain, followed by warm temperatures, and it's officially spring in zomba. Misty leaves outline trees, and all kinds of good eating is coming up in the yard. The spring bulbs bring bright color, as do the pear and redbud trees, and all the pretty weeds: creeping charlie, violets, ground ivy, dead nettle. It's the amazing pushing up feeling surround us, once again.

We were able to get some shiitake mushroom logs. One is ours. This fall we might have some shiitakes.

Kaleigh found another mutant dandelion. I thought it was a freak occurrence when we found them last year, but I guess not. Here's another. And no, we're not downwind of a nuclear power plant.

We've been working on the garden like crazy in this warm not-too-wet weather. The onions and peas are coming up. The starts inside are doing well. We're attempting to get our mailed edible landscaping in the ground as fast as possible. I finally got the three blueberries and seven elderberries in the ground, and now our chestnuts, hazelnuts, and K's pink seedless grapevine are here. No rest for crazy gardeners.

It's earth day week. For some reason, I've never gotten too excited about it. I don't think I've even attended anything earth-day related. I'll probably stay home, listen to birds, and play in the dirt. Again.

I've been thinking a lot about ideas that work. This seems like a good thing to keep in mind. The ideas are out there, and if our culture unbusies itself for a minute to think, I imagine we could come up with broadscale workable solutions with immediate applications. Yep. This idea has intrigued me, along with the idea that sustainability is the least we can do. I know it's trendy and all that, but really, breaking even? It's an honorable goal for addicts, er, adherents to American culture, but I have a kid to think about, and I want a lot more for her than breaking even. I like the idea of leaving a legacy of good soil with active microbial life, forest gardens, community, and basically, systems that function with minimal inputs, but that are easily tweaked by those who are living with them. This seems like a good idea too.

Interesting stuff:
5 Things You Think Will Make You Happy (but won't)
This book: Edens Lost and Found It's full of ideas that work, in all kinds of scales with all kinds of practical value.
Another idea that works: The Amazing Benefits of Grass-Fed Meat. Even if you're a vegetarian, it's relevant, as an idea that works much better than what our market determines as having value.
Crazy Somali pirate story--very interesting!
Growing Power is a Milwaukee-based organization, and they have these great From the Ground Up! Workshops. Although too expensive and too far away, I hope to find out if they have any literature I can peruse here, especially about community organizing. This seems like an excellent project.

I recently reread the city of Springfield's paid study of the east side (warning, pdf). It's an area north of where I live, and the study is from 2001. It's amusing to read of the study's stern warnings for the need of aggressive action, since I highly doubt Springfield's city government had any intentions of doing squat. They also made a note of how the designated area had no parks or playgrounds outside of public schools (which are always posted no trespassing (and so ignored)); installation of parks and green spaces was a recommendation as well.

I'm sure there's no money for east-side parks, especially because all the new suburban parks paid for by Springfield taxpayers are using up any available money. The newest one, Southwind Park, is touted as being accessible for everyone, with the awful irony that it is so way out of town (built in what was a cornfield), and yes, you guessed it, there is no public transportation there. It is accessible only to those with vehicles as it is far away from all but one subdivision neighborhood. No one likes a complainer though, and life isn't fair.

I've gotten the basic comprehensive gardening zine done, and hope to get the printer working long enough to make some copies of it.

Until then, breathe deeply, and enjoy ourselves.



mrb said...

beautiful pictures you've got there! It's just priming up to get to that point here. Peaches and apples are blossoming and soon the blueberries.

I've been contemplating much the same things, trying to figure out how to neoprimitively retain some creature comforts.

I also hopped on to pass along a link for those who don't like seas of corn or soy:

10,000 acres in one county in georgia abandonded.

Caeseria said...

Hi Carey,
FYI I tagged you in a meme. I have no idea what that means. But I did - whatever that is.
BEAUTIFUL pictures!