Saturday, May 17, 2008

Rambling on the Road to Summer Planting, Reading and Ranting

Sorry about the huge lapse in time between posts. I have really been enjoying having some down time from classes, doctors, etc.

I finally got seeds planted for my tomato and pepper seedlings. I'm also trying leeks for the first time ever, and onions from seed instead of from sets. I got the seeds planted pretty late, but my brandywine tomatoes do have their first set of real leaves, and the roots on my peppers are as big as the above ground parts.

I planted some lettuce and spinach in a containter on top of the deck. They are an inch or so high. I can't wait to have them go from dirt to salad bowl in moments, once they are bigger.

I planted the first round of carrots and beets out in the garden a couple of days ago, so they haven't had a chance to sprout yet. The trick with the carrots will be, how to keep the wild terrior carrot their out of them.

Did I mention over the winter, that Deb and I had left some carrots in the ground to see how well they would overwinter. However, right after the first big snowstorm, I was sitting in the living room and heard a crunch crunch crunch from my right and I smelled a fresh carrot. Little Bit had dug out under almost a foot of snow and stolen the carrots right out of the ground!!. I have to wonder if maybe she has that strawberry blond fur from eating so many orange colored carrots in her lifetime. Needless to say that my experiment in over wintering carrots in Michigan failed miserably. The stupid things got themselves et.

I got my grades back from my winter classes. I'm pleased with them. I got an A in English and an A+ in the history class. I was bummed that the history class had to end. I learned so much, and it was very thought provoking. I feel grateful that I was able to take a class that challenged my limited perceptions so strongly.

I'm looking forward to my summer class on Jazz in American Culture.

Deb and I are going camping with a bunch of other friends over Memorial Day weekend. I am so excited that I have already started gathering stuff together to take along: towels, sheets, ziplock baggies, marshmallows, biodegradable toilet paper and frozen spaghetti sauce.

Summer is going to break through any minute. I can feel it. I think. Anytime now. Okay, soon. Here it comes.

Did I mention that a bunh of the clear panels in my greenhouse flew all over the neighborhood this winter with all of the high winds? We collected them, and they are sitting inside the aluminum frame, waiting to be put back in place. Some of them are missing bites out of them where they hit the ground and broke off. We are planning on securing them better, using silicone instead of just the paper-clip like clips that came with the kit. So, I had to disinfect, once again, all of the pots that I had stored in there, pull out trash and debris that had been in a trash can which had since filled with snow and melted and created a beautiful green algae to coat it. Still, all in all, it has been fun getting ready for the green once again to pop into my life.

By the way, that Barbara Kingsolver book that I reviewed a while back, has just been released in paperback!!!! I recommend it to everyone. I may even buy a couple of paper copies, so I can lend them out withoug risking losing my hardcover copy.

Another book along the lines of food awareness is "Fast Food Nation". I recommend this one as well. This one is so packed full of information, that my brain was stuffed full of hamburgers, fried chicken, french fries and pop (soda for you Easterners, coke for you Southerners). My heart was also newly aware of the people who are intrinsic to the whole fast food and large agricorporations industry. Now, I am even more concientious of my food. I am even more committed to eating ethically. I don't mean vegetarian, I just mean that I am trying to be more aware of where my food originates, and whose lives that food has touched before reaching my table, how much petroleum went into the production (fertilizer) and transportation of the food. I do still eat orages and pineapples, chocolate and I drink coffee. None of these things grow anywhere near Michigan, so I know that in that way, I am not fully living my desire to walk gently on this good Earth, but I am trying in other ways to walk gently. Growing at least some of my own food, joining a CSA for the other veggies and poultry that I don't raise myself, minimizing the amount of fast food that I eat, stopping eating when I am full, drinking fair trade, organic and shade grown coffee. These are some of the things I am doing. I am trying to change my corner of the world in my incremental steps of awareness. There is so much more I could be doing, but I, in some measure do still possess that typical American sense of entitlement that is ingrained into us through the media, our peers, the Joneses, and our own biological drive for excess to save for times of favine. Feast or famine biology has become feast or gluttony. I am eating slower. I am not eating things that I don't like the taste of at that moment, Iam stopping eating when I begin to feel full. These are all new for me. I would rather say no to a piece of chocolate, than eat a pice of chocolate that may have been harvested by slave labor, or that is so sweet that the sugar taste overpowers the cocoa flavor.

Some people that I know think that I am losing my mind because these things are on it for much of the time now. One of my friends at work said to me on a couple of occasions lately, "you need therapy dude" because I was contemplating what I felt were ethical, moral questions, that she thought were just not worth pondering because things just are the way they are and as sane human beings, we shouldn't trouble ourselves with things that we cannot control. I don't think I agree with that. I think, that as sane people, we need to contemplate things so that we can honestly assess our role and complacency in the injustices that occur every day around us. Granted, our ability to transform things is limited as individuals. But still, if there is something small that is within our personal control, we would be insane to not at least consider doing it. Whether it be someting to further social justice, economic justice, education, compassion or true joy in the world.

Wouldn't insanity mean to blindly go along with insane social expectations, and sanity mean that we take responsibility for the positive and not so positive choices that we make in our lives? Insanity meaning that there seem to be no choices, therefore no hope, while sanity means that we have at least the illusion of choice and participation in our own destity?