Kitchen Garden Living in Society

Garden is In

Friday Harvest

It may seem late yet I declared the garden planted on Friday.

We’ve already had a bumper crop of vegetables and we’re not even started with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, green beans and more. There will always be garden work to do but for now it’s planted.

Time to turn to other things.

What I mean is between now and Aug 4, when orchard work begins, there is writing, household repairs and cleaning, and loads of work to improve our home life. At some point I switched from being a consumer to a doer and that makes the difference in my mid-sixties. I just stay home and do.

Water Bottles

Politics plays a role in current affairs and it’s much different than it was. My focus is to understand the complex world in which we live and work to make a positive impact. My themes haven’t changed (environment, social justice, economic survival, good governance) although my understanding of what needs doing has. During the re-election of George W. Bush I re-activated in politics. Each succeeding campaign was both learning and engagement. After seven campaigns, I enter my eighth with a deeper understanding of the role social networks play in determining winners and losers. I’m not referring to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter here, but broader social movements and the momentum they bring to an election.

The first Obama campaign, with its demographics analysis and targeted voter lists seems like ancient history. What Obama did can’t be replicated, even if we wanted. To better understand the electorate, we must knock on every door, hear every voter, and determine how to fix the broken politics endemic to our lives. Creativity and networking are important. We don’t know if what’s broken can be fixed in a generation. If we don’t start now, it may never be fixed.

Flower at the Farm

Politics is not everything. After only three hours at yesterday’s garlic harvest at the farm I felt a bit dizzy, presumably because of hard work in the sun. It was a temperate day, nonetheless, I played it safe and called it early. My point is I’m not getting any younger. Working a six or eight hour shift in the sun doesn’t work as well as it did a few years ago. Working smart is replacing working harder.

The rest of the year goes something like this. July is a month to work at home: advance my writing projects, get space at home to be more livable, and work to get the yard into better shape. August through October is work at the orchard. This year I may be taking on additional responsibilities, but for sure I’ll be there weekends and on Friday Family nights. November and December will be focused on writing. While this is going on, I’ll continue to work at the home, farm and auto supply store two days a week. Every dime of income has a place to be used at this point.

Declarations like mine about the garden are ephemeral. What matters more is a process of continual improvement in which life goes on as best we can make it until the final curtain falls. In the meanwhile, we expect there will be garden vegetables to eat.