Friday, May 06, 2005

No Beginnings, No Endings

Husband said, "Let's not just do a drainer full of dishes and let them dry. I'll wash and you dry and put up until we get absolutely every single dirty dish clean."

Ok. We did. And they were all clean until 15 more minutes had passed and more dirty dishes appeared on the counter waiting to be washed. "What? Don't we count?" they seemed to say. "We passed the dirty dish achievement test. We were inspected and certified by the USDDA."

There is no beginning and no end to dirty dishes. There is only the next drainer full and the next meal. There is stacked neatly vs. haphazardly arranged. There is pre-soaked vs. dried on.

There is no beginning and no end to so many things. I am thinking that to believe that there is, or that there should be, a beginning and an end to things is a mistaken perception, counterproductive to living a meaningful life. There is no beginning or end to love, it just flows, Saraswati-like. There is no beginning or end to housework, to growing food, or cooking food, or friendships, or anything real that I can think of right now. Nothing real is measured and compensated by the hour.

Ok, so today there was an end to planting the hard corn. Hard corn is that stuff you make corn meal and hominy and masa and grits with, corn bread and corn cakes and tamales and tortillas and hush puppies. It is a big thing for us, for we try to provide for ourselves all of our hard corn needs for the year, with extra to spare for the storehouse. If we have corn, we can never be hungry.

We grow four colors of hard corn; white (hickory king), red (bloody butcher), blue (which we got seed for some years ago from Native Seeds/SEARCH), and green. Today, all the corn patches got finished planting. All are planted in hills (because corn grows best in hills and is grown in rows only to facilitate industrial agriculture’s mechanization) and all the hills have a bucket of aged horse manure on them. More than half also have grass clippings for the top mulch. Mowing the entire front bottom fields mulched only that far. But husband says, “Ah, but they are righteously mulched.” When we finish with the grass, we’ll probably try to put some sawdust in between the hills to suppress weeds for this year, rot for next year‘s dirt.

Then we’ll string thread like a spider web over the beds. This is to discourage the crows. Crows love just sprouted corn seed. In the past we’ve used the technique of planting it VERY deep which has worked fairly well but we had a real problem with last year’s white corn still. After the corn plants have broken the ground and are maybe a foot tall, the thread will all be taken back down, and then beans and squash planted with the corn. This is called The Three Sisters. The Three Sisters discourages groundhogs and ‘coons later. The beans also replace some of the nitrogen the heavy feeding corn takes up.

Each hill of corn is planted with from 3 to 5 seeds. Each stalk of corn that matures will produce two ears. Each ear provides about 5-6 oz. of dried corn. It takes about 2 ½ ears for a meal for the six of us. There are 75 to 180 hills of each color.

So, the corn is planted but that is not the end. And when the corn is harvested, that is not the end. Or the beginning.


Jim said...

Thanks so much for your helpful comments on our blog today about my pinched nerve problem.
I've made an appointment for tomorrow with a holistic accupressure practitioner here who comes highly recommended by friends who've experienced great results from his treatments which include massage therapy, accupressure and chiropracty.
He specializes in sports injuries.
I'll let you know how it goes.
By the way I've added a link to you from our blog.

the Contrary Goddess said...

I just hope you are soon feeling better.

Sky Niangua said...

Change is inevitable. Change is constant.
Benjamin Disraeli