Was working on a roof today without a cloud in the sky which is always kind of special when it’s the middle of summer and you get to bake and was thinking about the previous blog that carried a little heat of it’s own.
So maybe it’s appropriate to blog about peppers.
I’ ve never met a pepper I didn’t like whether sweet like the ones pictured above or jalapeños and habaneros.
Especially when they are the product of a garden.
I think it’s a special thing to take your shoes and shirt off and walk through the woods – to feel the land beneath your feet and the breeze and leaves brushing against you.
Special also to put your hands in the earth to plant or harvest – an understanding comes of these things, an understanding that as a human being we aren’t necessarily all we imagine ourselves to be, that there is more to our existence than our personal understanding or belief in who we think we are as an individual.
I read an article recently about Israeli Kibbutzes, crime and discord are essentially unheard of and I wonder if this is due to being agricultural communities where all are involved in the planting and harvesting?
It made me think of another agrarian people, the Hopi, who I think of as the spiritual gatekeepers of the nations and whose history is one of being peaceful and community oriented in their agricultural endeavors.
I have always believed that as the disconnect between the land and people increases so too the problems and discord – perhaps even a genetic mutation over time that lessens the bond causing many to only hear a faint echo of the call that once was when they visit a national park or out hiking.
I believe the land is our mother, a mother always pregnant and in the process of giving birth to new life.
A mother in distress as the numbers of those who hear her voice and respond dwindles.
We’ve been experiencing problems in the garden, nothing major just a missing ear of corn here or there, evidence of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and other edibles having been plucked or half eaten and left on the vine.
A little confusing until we remembered this is the time of year when gnomes begin laying in winter stores – so we began keeping an eye out for their activities and finally caught this one which we took inside for a few moments in the hopes of establishing a mutually beneficial rapport.
Don’t be fooled by the rigid appearance, they often do this as a subterfuge, kind of the gnome version of playing opossum.
A subterfuge they will maintain for extended periods of time when being observed.
You’ve probably seen them in gardens or flower beds after having assumed this posture and thought they were statues, but turn your back for a moment and they’re gone just as this one was – fortunately we were able to take a photo or two.
We’ve elected not to reveal the location to avoid an army of gnome hunters with nets descending on the area.
Ran across these last night and it set me to thinking, been about six and half years since my first blog and this was my initial header.
Made some friends long the way and made a few people mad as hell – learned some things and chose to forget others, which is kind of the way of it as you pass through life.
Had some good discussions and some heated ones as the result of topics I chose to address and have no regrets.
Informed readers if they had a comment to make and didn’t want it made public say so and I would honor that – said the same about emails – I considered them private and would keep it that way, and I’ve done exactly that.
People posted likes and followed when we were in agreement and then withdrew when we weren’t, usually predicated on religion or politics.
I never expected universal agreement or acceptance due in part to perspectives – mine is born of a life experience and culture that has been disenfranchised and oppressed for over five hundred years in our own land.
The “American Dream” has been a nightmare for us and that’s bound to influence anyone’s outlook.
If it hasn’t been for you well and good because everyone deserves a fair shake as a result of that “American Exceptionalism” in “the land of the free”.
Just as things began to look a little better Conservatives take control and gains we’ve made as nations are on the chopping block – so if at times the perception is that I’m not happy about all this and won’t hesitate to say so then that perception would be correct.
Askimet has identified close to a hundred thousand spams directed at this blog, I don’t know if that’s a disproportionate number or something of the norm – but I’m not interested in RSS feeds to increase viewership or having hundreds of viewers driven to my site if I pony up a few bucks for some “service”.
I’m not interested in Facebook, twitter, or their social media kindred, and I don’t consider blogging a numbers or awards competition.
If you have an award or two hanging from your lodge pole then congratulations and well done, I’m sure you deserve it.
Nor am I interested in “guest contributors” when comments amount to basically the same thing, sales coupons, porn, or those breathless recitations that after hours of scouring the internet a person landed on my site and found exactly what they were looking for.
The big fights with the American Indian Movement and the Peltierites have waned, they lost.
Not because of this blog but due to the solidarity of many who have sought justice for those they murdered like Annie Mae Pictou Aquash, Perry Ray Robinson jr., multiple other victims, and those who persevered in exposing the scams, lies, and cultural corruption that have been the AIM leaderships stock in trade.
But a part of life is there will always be battles to be fought, things to protect, issues to address – you either rise up or lay down, kneel or stand, my people have been forced to their knees for too long, I as well as others choose to stand.
There is a commonality of language in photography – a language that transcends much of what separates people whether it’s language, culture, geographic location, even religion and politics, and that’s a good thing when inspite of their differences people can find a common ground, something they can share.
The same can be said of shared interests like gardening, art, literature, or any number of other things.
There are a lot of roses mixed in among the weeds as we make our way through life, it’s important not to overlook them, to stop, smell, and admire them along the way.
Likes received on this blog by photographers, artists, authors, and gardeners that lead to checking out their site have been roses to admire – in some ways a virtual vacation, an opportunity to learn or be inspired, entertained, a window of sorts to visit other countries, other locations – an opportunity I’ve appreciated.
Won’t be long now before the first crop of tomatoes are table ready.
Planting is staggered so they’ll be another crop in two or three weeks and one more in a comparable time period after that – an approach we take with nearly everything we plant.
Tomatoes are indigenous to this hemisphere, originally cultivated by the Inca and Aztecs.
Following the importation to Europe myths and suspicions became part of the tomato mythology where they became known as poison or wolf apples which may have been attributable to the fact that tomatoes are a member of the same family as Nightshade which is poisonous.
What may not be commonly known is that if you make a spray of the leaves or stems it serves as an effective pesticide as does Cayenne and several other organic approaches.
A benefit of harvesting your own seeds is the ability to go with the best among what you’re grown.
Sort of a cultivated natural evolution one might say as each succeeding crop seems get to better – the plants are stronger, produce more, and adapt to the climate to a noticeable degree.
As can be seen what is occurring is a virtual maze, some will easily reach four feet or more in height without sacrificing taste or quality.
An added bonus is there are always more than enough to make it through from the final harvest till the first the following season – that and plenty to share with friends and even barter for eggs, fruit, or even milk.
I encourage people when gardening to either use only heritage/heirloom seeds they can verify and also to harvest seeds from what they grow.
The board you see is an eight footer with a two foot set leaving six feet above ground – that should give you an idea how robust theses plants are.
These are entirely chemical free plants – no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers – the garden is mulched and spaded over following the last harvest and then again a couple of weeks prior to planting in the spring.
Starting your own personal seed bank is not only a good idea but pays multiple dividends.
Variations on a theme.