Let It Grow Organic Gardens

And I resumed the struggle. -Vladimir

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Loose Ends (?)

So I get all excited today because it's pouring down rain and I get to do all these indoor things that don't usually get done.
Rest assured, the books are balanced, with the purchase of each bag of feed and each nail and each quart of motor oil entered into its appropriate column on the ledger.
The design for a, well, thing, that I've been meaning to draw and send to my boss in Texas is taken care of, all neatly plotted out and explained. Cover letter with sales pitch. etc.
And the kitchen is clean.
A number of things I've been meaning to get to for, well, months have been successfully though proverbally checked off the list.
So why do I feel no more ahead of the game than I did this morning? Why are there still dozens of unfinished projects staring me in the face, mocking me in their incompleteness? Why do I feel as though I could spend all day tomorrow catching up on things, and still feel the same as I do now.
Is there no end?
Perhaps a month straight of hurricane detritus blowing this way would keep me indoors and let me get to all these things, but I'm left feeling that even if we were lucky enough to get a month's worth of hurricanes, I'd fret about all the things outdoors left undone ....
Everything's process, a monk said to me once. It's a journey, not a destination, he said.
But he didn't have a truck to repair and crops to sow and tomatoes to can and papers to file and a laundry room that looks like, well, nevermind. All he had to do was penetrate through to ultimate truth. Easy.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Slowly It Happens, Like Termites in the Floor Joists, Or Fading Vision in Middle Age, or Recyclables Stacking Up in the Corner.

Only you never thought it would happen to you.
We've entered the world of on-line commerce, only we didn't do it on purpose, and before five minutes ago, if you'd asked me, I'd've said, No, we don't do that high tech stuff.
We're not counted in that percentage of people/businesses/organic farms that does business over the Internet. Then it hit me.
As of two weeks ago, the good people of Hot Springs have recieved from me an email listing the fish we've brought back from the Outer Banks. Anyone interested in a pound or two merely responds to the email, telling me how much of what.
It seemed like a logical replacement to my former method, which was to call a dozen people on Wednesday morning, leave messages for some, chit chat with others, and try to get some work done at the same time.
The email system is a lot more efficient. And indicates, it occurs to me, that everyone I know has email.
I know not what to make of this, and perhaps should make nothing at all, but then, it is something of a milestone - if not the actual act, then the realization that the act has occurred.
I neither approve nor disapprove of this turn of things; it comes with no emotions at all, in fact. Perhaps that's what I'm getting at: the uneventfulness of it, the gradual if not unnoticed quality of slipping into the futuristic mainstream.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Foiled Again

I offer here for your consideration an image of a red-cockaded woodpecker, enjoying a tasty morsel gleaned from the bark of a pine tree.
I had intended to post a much different image, but couldn't get the computer to work right.

A Backpack, A Briefcase, and a Watermelon

The gremlins have returned.
From where, I know not, and, perhaps more significantly, for why, I know not.
I know only that they have returned, sniggering, chuckling, sometimes even giggling, wreaking havoc upon every last damn bit of machinery that is supposed to keep this farm the green and verdent utopia I know it can be.
If not for the god damn gremlins.
They make metal rust, they make rubber crack, they make gasoline not combust and they make electricity not flow. They make weedeaters not eat weeds, lawn mowers not mow lawns, chain saws not saw, they even 'cause Stratocruisers to plummet from the heavens. They knocked the van out of commission last week, when all I wanted to do was drive home from market. Sniggering somewhere in the steel frame of our sad little vehicle, they made the engine sputter when we turned on the headlights, made the warning lights go on when we turned off the headlights, made the van creak and groan when it had to go uphill, and left us, lost, cold and destitute in the parking lot of our local coffee house, just before midnight.
We thought about hitching, we thought about just walking, we thought about trying to find a phone somewhere. We brought with us all that we deemed necessary, reflecting that our choice of belongings would initiate conversation with any potential saviour.
But we made it home, we did, home to a collection of broken machinery and a gremlin's playground.
They don't bother me.
I laugh right back at them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I Even Cleaned the Refrigerator

Rain. All day.
Oh, it would stop for a while, and I'd venture outside and start some project, but soon enough the western sky would start to rumble and the next thing you knew: rain.
We took advantage of the soaking and pulled all the ragweed out of the raspberry fields. Ah, the satisfaction in tugging a six foot ragweed stalk out with one arm.
We inventoried the dahlias - the look happy enough, but they're not exactly blooming. We decided to let them express themselves in whatever way they wanted.
I graded the road up to J* & M*'s place last night. Just in time, too, 'cause it probably couldn't have withstood another downpour.
J* & M*'s road had weighed heavily upon me this year. I grade it for them, oh, once a month or so, and keep the cars rolling smoothly. Not this year. This year, well, I remember having down it in May, sometime, and not since then. We've been way behind on everything since the start, and I've been trying to avoid the tractor as much as possible, and, the next thing you know, it's the end of August.
Making a mess of things here is not so bad. I can deal with that. Not fulfilling my obligations to my neighbors really sucks. I hereby vow: no more broken bones. Not for the rest of my life.
Speaking of screwing things up, I can't say enough about my intern this year. Here's an individual who has worked tirelessly this year and kept a positive attitude at every turn. I'm blessed, I'm grateful, I'm spoiled. And a bit miffed at myself at not being able to provide a better experience to such a wonderful helper.
"I may not have taught you how to farm," I'll say, "but I've taught you how to farm with a busted collarbone."
Her response is positive and optomistic, betraying her inner light. "It's always something," she'll say, and keep right on pulling ragweed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

I Don't Remember That From the Job Fair

It all started when I was looking for a pirate flag, but more on that later.
I went to Walgreen's looking for a pirate flag, and, of course, found one.
So I'm at the checkout counter at Walgreen's paying for my pirate flag and I'm looking at the name tag of the cashier.
Only it's not the cashier who's ringing up my pirate flag, it's someone else with-in the Walgreen's organization.
Her title?
Beauty Advisor.
And it made me feel good, deep down inside, to know that there is such a person in the world, and just such a person, now, just a little closer to my life.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bailing Out the Ark

Building a new chicken coop. This one on wheels. With a thatched roof.
Planted squash right next to a field of buckwheat. The buzz in the morning is cocophonous.
Driving down to the Outer Banks to buy fish. Lots of fish.
Tried to steal some honey from the bees. They stole it back.
Saving red-cockaded woodpeckers. Someone has to.
August. The kitchen is full of flies.
Would life be easier without animals?

Thursday, August 03, 2006


I've been away, looking for five gallon buckets for which to make suarkraut. They can be had, relatively inexpensively, at various outlets, but they can also be had for free. Thus, paying money became out of the question. And the quest became to find a free fve gallon bucket.
We found a grocery store that sold them for a dollar, but they were out, and then we found one that gave them away for free, but they wee out. We found another grocery store that sold them for a dollar each, and broke down and bought two, and then found a grocery store that gave them away, and got two more.
Then we shredded a lot of cabbage.
In the course of all this searching, we learned of a house that burned down near here. The house was on the future site of fire station.
Its the kind of thing you'd encounter in a Greek drama.
My query: What is the appropriate term for such a happenstance?
Irony doesn't do it for us.
Paradox and twist were suggested and quickly rejected.
Someone mentioned pastiche, and though we don't know what it means, we kinda like it.
Improbably has a ring to it, but doesn't quite say what we want it to.
All suggestions are welcome.

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