27 June 2010

We seem to be having one of those wet summers. Hmm. I have high hopes that it will rain less in July and August. Of course all this rain means that the seasonal jungle which is Vermont in the summer is in full growing madness. It's not even July and there are squash on the plants in the garden I planted in Northfield. There are no-see-ems out already.

I am fully engaged in the preparations for EAT. Yesterday my friend from Jamaica and I picked up our first truckload of compost from the incredibly beautiful organic dairy farm of some friends in Barre. This farm is so gorgeous and so well kept, it should be a heritage farm or something. The cows are so healthy and happy, the barn clean and organized, the fields lush, the views extraordinary. Blew me away. Today we will sheet mulch with that compost and get the EAT kitchen garden started finally!

17 June 2010

I'm in the next step of the transition to living outside this summer. The last two nights I've slept in my tent up by the beaver pond on the land in Marshfield. My friend from Jamaica is here, and we're making out campsite. We have the start of a kitchen. Another friend loaned me a blowtorch and I tell you, you can make a cup of coffee really fast with a blowtorch. I wish I'd known about blowtorch cooking years ago!

It rained yesterday and last night so it has been a soppy campsite. I'm very happy to say that I can go up the hill to the campsite with no leg pain! I was in agonizing pain doing that walk a few weeks ago but I've been riding my bike and stretching and getting stronger.

Living outside changes everything. It reorders my psyche. There is no urgency at all, no electrical hum vibrating through me, no feeling of schedule or time. There is just...the lilies, the mountain, the pond, the wild strawberries, the symphony of birdsong, and on and on. I love it. It is such a gift and a privilege to be able to be surrounded by such beauty.

Now, though, I am back in Northfield. I have three days of stuff to do that require me to shower and wear clean dry nice clothes. I am performing a wedding on Saturday for a dear friend, so tomorrow is the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, then the ceremony Saturday, then Sunday I have the radio show. My friend from Jamaica is also doing other stuff for the weekend, visiting her kids and friends etc. Monday we'll go back and resume. Next week's task is to get some vegetables planted and keep working on the campsite, and probably other stuff as well because we are preparing to host EAT in July!

The Earth Activist Training is a great permaculture course and we are hosting it for 2 weeks July - August. People are coming from as far as Australia and Brazil. It's very exciting and fun, and of course the EAT family grows and people go off and do amazing things in far flung places, so it's all about offering and helping and service. There is a lot to do in preparation, so that is happening.

The more time I spend in Marshfield the more I like being there. The folks who own the land are pretty amazing; smart, kind, ethical, generous, etc. They have invited people to form community with them in this place, and really opened their lives to people, and they do it with so much grace, showing a kind of commitment and communion with life that I find inspiring.

Another aspect of this living is that I have no idea what the most recent catastrophes are, or about whatever is the latest corruption scandal. That's very nice.



11 June 2010

I love the little garden I planted on the lawn. Last year I sheetmulched a roughly 6 x 15 piece of the front lawn and grew my summer veggies there. This spring the garden came back with a volunteer bumper crop of mustard greens. It's been such a warm spring that I planted my regular stuff in mid May and it all survived; potatoes, garlic, 2 summer squashes, red kale, green chard, more mustard, 3 kinds of bush beans, arugula, dill, sage, basil. I've been eating mustard greens for weeks and just started on the arugula.

I was outside weeding today. In fact I can't keep myself from it. I go out and weed many times a day. I've never been into weeding but I am really enjoying pulling out the grass sprouts and making room for the kale babies and the chard.

This morning started with an email from my Aunt telling me that my Uncle had died yesterday. He was in his late 80's. He had a peaceful passing. He was the last of the 5 Zeichner brothers of which my father was the eldest. This uncle was the middle son, the one who would have been a pro baseball player in New York where they lived but his mother wouldn't allow him to practice or play on the sabbath. They were orthodox Jews from Austro-Hungary and Romania.

I haven't spoken with my Uncle in a while, maybe a year or two? My Aunt had emailed just a week or two ago to say that he was in a convalescent home and that his lucidity was starting to fade.

me today
in the garden
a middle aged man with a paunch
talking to the plants
eating them
enjoying the aliveness of the garden
the magic of seeds
that grow
bear fruit
and grow again.

Blessings on your journey Uncle, until next time if there is one.