September 15, 2017

Nature Is My True Business

Like Henry David Thoreau turning his “face more exclusively to the woods”, I am better known amongst the trees around my home than among the folk of our nearest town.

To me, the woods are a locale of self-salvation. Here, surrounded by Nature, I find respite from the brutality of the human world. The woods are full of beauty and interest and mystery, and draw me in to the comforting embrace of friendly boughs and limbs.

Within the mystery of the woods, I am never afraid. I am where I belong, and I can feel it in every cell of my body.

Here, I am carrying out my true business - living without the silly self-imposed separations inherent in the human world. Buckminster Fuller called it “categoryitis”, and it is the great separator that prevents collective action toward our common challenges.

Fuller warned that our illogical obsession with questions like “What is your race”, or ”nationality”, or “religion”, or anything else that artificially separates us, will be our doom. “By the twenty-first century,” he said, “it either will have become evident to humanity that these questions are absurd and anti-evolutionary, or humans will no longer be living on Earth.”

No such separations exist in nature. Naturalist Hal Borland described perfectly when he said, “You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion, or challenge the ideology of a violet.”

I love the simplicity of that state of being. In Nature, things just ARE. Why can't we be that way?

One day we will join together as One with, and in support of, Nature. When that happens, we will see Earth for what it was meant to be - our collective peaceful paradise.

September 11, 2017

Garlic Harvest

It's the last two weeks of summer, but the signs of fall are everywhere.

Our grassy field is turning brown, temperatures are cooling, and the hummingbirds are almost all gone. It can only mean one thing - harvest time. 

Freshly harvested garlic. We cured it outside and in the garage for two weeks.

One of the joys of this year's harvest has been our first ever crop of garlic. Our experiment was a success. The challenge now? Could I learn to braid it?

Hey, this isn't what the nice lady's braid looked like.

Linda and I watched a video posted by a woman that had been working on a garlic farm for decades and had probably done hundreds of braids in her day. She had prepared the scapes (stems) beforehand by soaking them in water to make them more pliable, and put together a beautiful braid in no time. It was hard work, even for her.

My messy twist of cured garlic.

Having watched one video once, I gathered together our cured garlic to try my hand at a new skill. It was fun to work with, but I did not soak the scapes first and it was amazing how tough they were to manipulate. But I persevered bravely, and attempted to organize the uncooperative stems into something both functional and beautiful.

I got functional, although garlic plants are inherently beautiful, so you can't really go wrong, even if they aren't perfectly put together.

Our first homegrown garlic, ready for eating.

After I was done I downgraded my description from "braid" to "weave".  Then maybe to "twisted"? Or "mangled"? But I did end up with a structure that had a handle on top, and all the garlic together so it can be hung.

Just a few more weeks and we will be planting next year's garlic plot. It will be the first using our own cloves. It will be another opportunity to perfect my braiding technique.

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