Urban Harvest

8 10 2012

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving. It was a gorgeous day, although I spent mine with a cold, boo. I skipped Sunday dinner and made Soska Soup instead, yum. T did most of the work to harvest the garden yesterday. Compared to last year and the year before, things are improving. I did a better job of thinning stuff and the lay out worked a bit better. A few things to move next year and we have to ‘rehabilitate’ the heavy clay soil, which I am learning will take worm casting tea, mulch and compost among other things. And I still couldn’t get the radishes I desire. I’ve jotted down the lessons learned and I’m already prepping next year. I am going to plant spinach and parsley in the next few weeks, just before the frost so these will come up first in the spring. A friend of mine gave me terrific ideas to incorporate some permaculture techniques which is exciting. Oh the anticipation.

I watched the documentary Surviving Progress the other day. Highly recommend it, it’s available on iTunes. If you’re into healthy eating you’re usually into a healthy planet. This film looks into the causal architectures or systemic and deeply rooted causes of how we arrived at our current destination, as Jane Goodall says, ‘destroying the only home we have, our planet’. Consider the deeply rooted and systemic issues debt based economies and a consumption mindset have made on our world? The idea that ‘progress’ has meant ‘more’ instead of ‘better’. There is a lot more to it than that, and I especially appreciated David Suzuki’s quote in the film, “conventional economics is a form of brain damage” and that calling life systems like water and top soil externalities is “just nuts“. Agreed.

While harvesting the garden I was thinking about how there is so much hype about ‘living off the land’ now a days. Easy for me to attempt half the year in my own back yard and the rest of the year from locally sourced foods from the nearby market. I do my best but I still buy bananas. What about folks who live in densely populated cities, what do they do? I think we can get a bit snobbish and elitist about this whole movement and Colin Beavan of the No Impact Project said something in Surviving Progress that seeded these thoughts: “This No Impact experiment we did, we live in New York City, which made it unusual because most people can think of environmental living as some sort of a back to the land thing. But of course, back to the land is not the right idea when it comes to saving our habitat. If all of us in New York were to go back to the land, we would very much destroy the land.” He’s got a point, a very good point. I am usually a bit wary of ‘make small changes’ messaging, but you know what, we do need to think of these things in a way that will result in long-term sustainment and starting with how and what we consume is a good start. Our civilizations failing economy and environment are big ships to turn around, but if more people lean to one side, we (meaning generations to come) might just do okay.

Hopefully some of you are enjoying the fruits of your own labour this weekend, or that of others who work hard to bring you locally sourced foods. If not, while considering what you are thankful for this holiday weekend, give some thought to how you might help steer our collective ship better.

Eat well, Be well,

Nat

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