Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Recent Journeys

Wow what a busy summer we have had. Above is a photo of a boquet I made out of our garden and backyard flowers. Many of the garden plants are going to seed now which adds some pretty flowers. The Dill plants have very large yellow flowers, the Cilantro has small white ones, the sunflowers have disappointedly pointed away from the house, so I cut one to bring it "inside" so we can enjoy it, and our colorful calalilies are a fun summer addition! The purple is a garlic plant - that doesn't produce edible garlic - which smells like garlic!

On a recent trip to Paso Robles, we drove by some road-side wild turkeys. Going to this part of the country reminds me of what a country bumpkin I really am. I just love driving around the countryside and Paso reminds me of driving through Tuscany. It was a great feeling to be connected to the earth for the weekend and away from all the usual hubbub. These turkeys serve as a reminder of how unnatural our gigantoid Thanksgiving turkeys are. And I made a promise that if we do celebrate Thanksgiving this year, it will be with a genuine wild turkey - no matter what the cost. But secretly, I am considering boycotting the holiday and all of the marketing and "norm" induced buying it stimulates and celebrating our own traditional turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, etc., Thanksgiving at a different time of the year (did you ever stop to think of how "un-natural" it is for 170 million people to eat a turkey on the same exact day - and all the behaviors this drives in the food industry?).

I also had the extreme thrill of riding in a hot air balloon yesterday with my good friend, colleague, and mentor, Robin (this was a belated birthday gift). I have always wanted to go up in a balloon and I really enjoyed it. We had a ride that lasted more than an hour and my only complaint was that the silence was broken with so many other "passengers" along for the ride (I thought it would be more comparable to my paragliding experinece years ago where you were able to enjoy the silent joy of flight...much like a bird). But all in all, I'd do it again and in the very same place. Riding over the vineyards in Temecula was just beautiful.

But again I was reminded of the challenges of "organic" farming. Flying over an agricultural community provided a "birdseye" view of the sizeable nature of providing mass communities with produce. Oranges, avocados, walnuts, grapes, and more - all the different crops, each in their own beauty in such a large scale, provides an enormous challenge in keeping away pests, using our scarce water resources, soil treatment, etc. I now have a very appreciative and realistic view on organic farming, as most of our own backyard crop is now dying away due to the pests and fungi. Not to mention, in our 120 square feet of garden space, we have yet to generate enough food to do much more than supplement our normal food bill, let alone have enough to share with others.
Here you can see the tractor spraying pesticides on the grapes that will someday be on our table in the form of a wine bottle...

1 comment:

  1. The bouquet is beautiful!! I can only imagine the problems in growing an organic garden for consumption but it is scary to think about all the chemicals that go into our mouths in one way or another!


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