Thursday, May 10, 2007

Real Gardening

There's a fine new reality-check blog post about gardening over at the Free Man's Garden. If you haven't met Eleutheros yet, oh, you should. Check out his advice on eating, too, at the Free Man's Table, and if you get to wondering how far removed he is from the dominant society, the archives of his original blog will tell you just How Many Miles from Babylon. A few hours at his place might shake you up. They might give you some real hope, too: not a vague hope for greater equity and unity and efficiency and all that, but a clear path to actually reverse your own share of the worrisome world trends. No more hand-wringing, friends; let's roll!


Yes, I'll admit I'm a fan. And I'll admit that I've been spending too much money on garden gadgets and supplies. And as I ate my packaged breakfast cereal this morning, I thought about how I've backslid from eating mostly bulk-purchased whole foods. Right now, though, my focus is getting the garden in so we don't backslide too much in that endeavour. Next comes the renovation for a greenhouse area and passive solar heat - a step forward. "When the work's all done this fall," as they say, there will be time for more conscious cooking and eating.

One small triumph: today I am slow-cooking the last buttercup squash of our crop from last year. All I did with the squashes was to bring them into the porch, which gradually cooled through the fall to about 5-10 degrees C. All winter they decorated the steps in there, and most of them kept beautifully. And now we will be losing the porch to make way for our sunroom. I hope the new cold room that we tucked into the design will work as well.


Deb said...

Whenever I get down about the time and effort it takes to garden, I look at all the foods we are still buying from the grocery store and think "How can I afford not to?" Every little bit helps. I'll admit I'm one of those whom Eleutheros says spends way too much on seeds (I did get some squash seeds from him last year), but I'm chalking it up to being in an experimental phase right now.

arcolaura said...

I think I'll always be experimenting. All too often I'm experimenting with how late I can get away with planting stuff! This spring I could clearly see the difference between soil that was mulched last year and soil that was exposed all season around the tomatoes and peppers. So I've planted carrots and parsnips all around where I'm planning to put the tomatoes and peppers, to shelter the soil some. I have three varieties of carrots, partly for diversity but partly because we didn't figure out which worked best last year - we got them mixed up after digging them. More experimenting!