Just Keep on Gardening

April 26, 2014   281039

Having decided the Empire has pretty much won the propaganda war over Russia concerning the Ukraine and that, whatever is going to happen will happen despite anything most of us can do about it, I’m doubling down in the gardening department and catching up on things around here as quickly as I can.

All of the starts I planted a couple of weeks ago are up, now, except for those tardy peppers. Even they are straggling upward to break through the soil, one by one. So, rather than throwing out the extra starts, I’ve been busy giving them little, cut-off soda bottle homes of their own.

Assuming they all survive to be transplanted, somewhere, and assuming they all take root wherever I plant them, and if they all grow to produce their fruits, (we’re already six inches behind in rain so far this year,) I should have enough to plant two gardens – “one for me and one for thee.” (The thee being anyone who can’t plant their own garden or pay supermarket prices for fresh veggies which, due to the ongoing droughts in the western US, may be pretty steep this year.) I might even be able to give away some transplants to neighbors if they want them.

While tending those things that have begun to grow in the early garden out back, in spite of our “can’t make up its mind” weather – mainly peas, lettuce, broccoli and cabbage and asparagus, so far – I’ve also been adding food scraps and other dried mass to the compost barrel, picked up most of the trash that blew into the yard this winter and have made arrangements for someone to mow the lawn through next fall and someone else to get started on repairs, a few at a time, and do upkeep that I can no longer do.  And I’ve been thinking a lot about the predicaments we’re facing.

Although I have friends who have offered to help me do these things for free, I pay for these services.  But, there’s a method to that madness. The people I pay are local to my neighborhood. Most of them have day jobs – some of which no longer pay what they used to – and, using skills they’ve acquired over the years, they pick up extra money, doing these chores I and others can no longer do, around their day jobs.

I can’t get out and walk the neighborhood like I used to; I can’t organize protests or community gatherings; I can’t even make phone calls or run errands for the neighborhood association since I don’t drive and my phone is now one of those “limited minutes,” government program phones (having quit trying to keep up with rising rates for even local service from the phone company).

But I can make friends of neighbors and build community by paying them the small amounts they charge me for their work. I can work to build community by sharing what I can with neighbors and friends.

I gave away the large bag of dog food I no longer had use for to a lady with a big dog who I’d never met until then – even though she had lived just down the street for twenty years. I’m building a “trash” pile of odds and ends I no longer need, the remnants of which the trash collector will haul away once I get it outside. I say, “remnants of which,” because this is a neighborhood where people who can use something you put out for trash  feel free to take it from the pile (or knock on the door and ask if they can take it,) because they can fix it, sell it to someone who can fix it, or make something else useful out of it that I couldn’t even imagine. And, in this grossly wasteful society, those are good things.

These actions to support local economy and get to know my neighbors seem so miniscule compared to the overall struggle to change the way we live, such small potatoes in comparison to the massive corporate economy we struggle against, I sometimes feel foolish even writing about them. But they are a gardening of  sorts, too, maybe as important to the struggle we’re in as what I plant in my yard.

We won’t all be a McKibben, or Heinburg, or Hopkins, or Greer. We can’t all do the big things. But we can all take those small steps  (as many of them as we can find, as fast as we can) away from the corporatism, consumerism and waste which threatens our world; we can all do those small acts that add real value to our neighborhoods. We can all seek those small ways, whether literal or metaphorical, to just keep on gardening.

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10 Responses to Just Keep on Gardening

  1. hodgepoger says:

    An opinion on Ukraine & war thought you might find it worth a read, thanks for the blogs.

    • theozarker says:

      Hi, hodgepoger, welcome to the blog. And thanks for the article link. I read a lot of his articles. My guess is, that having been an insider in the Empire, Roberts probably knows whereof he speaks as well as anyone. 😀

  2. Nadia says:

    I relate to you so so much it’s very comforting.

    I try to redirect my thoughts and actions locally so that I don’t ignite in flames as it pertains to the so mouth-dropping actions of our “elites” and the laziness and obsessions of our seemingly corrupted government.

    My own garden is one of trees. As we live on a raw 4 acre place in central Missouri, I’ve discovered our groundcovers and trees and I am fascinated in finding out about all of these – as well as the birds and other creatures that grace our chosen place to live. We have a very small footprint in the 12 x 24 foot shed/cabin that we live in and the long road down from the main road.

    I’m now investigating all the nut casings and leftovers from last fall to determine what trees we have. We also have a lone large male red fox that trots along the fence every morning at dawn and we always look for him. His tail is huge and bushy – almost as big as he is.

    When I find my thoughts going to places where I feel my mind getting fried and my pulse racing – I am training myself to refocus to enjoying what is within my view and my grasp. This focus, along with my husband and pets is life saving.

    You take care of yourself. I’m glad I found your blog and have your words/thoughts to look forward to.

    • theozarker says:

      Hi, Nadia, is spring finally there at your place? This sure is the time of year to live in the Ozarks, isn’t it. Red bud, Dogwood and, in the fall, Hickory and black Walnuts. Something to keep you fed almost year round if you know where to look. We had a little fox out on our place, too. Do you have any morels this year? I’ve heard it’s a good year for them. I never cared for the taste, but my ex sure did love them.
      I know what you mean about wandering through the woods when your mind needs a good clearing out. It really does let you refocus on those people and things that are important.
      Hope your year is rich in those things that really matter. Hugs.

  3. graveday says:

    Nice, Linda. No commons much any more so make your own small one. Maybe a new name for it, cummins…..think big diesel engine getting it done.

    • theozarker says:

      Hey Grave. I like that, making our own small commons. When my son and the tenant both were getting ready to move, there was huge pile of odds and ends out in the yard. That first morning, it looked like black Friday at the mall. 😀 Sure did cut down that pile in a hurry.
      I think John Michael Greer is right about our having to become a scavenger society. And I think it’s wonderful!

  4. graveday says:

    I wonder what he says about cannibal society? I know there is line there somewhere….in the sand.

    • theozarker says:

      Well, I suppose a scavenger society is a “cannibal” society of sorts – in that one cannibalizes the old to keep a new society going. As for literal cannibalizing, I hear we taste like chicken. 🙂

  5. expedeherculem says:

    Sous les paves la plage!

    • theozarker says:

      LOL, herc, I’m old enough that I should have remembered that little revolution, but I confess I had to go look it up, again. “Under the pavement, the sand.” I like it.

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