Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Legacy Grapes

(busybusybusy. Working off the farm certainly changes the rhythm and I’m still dancing a bit out of time with it. Still, tain’t bad. We’ll see. Interesting to be able to see more close up the effects of what Eleu would call Babylon. It is like a siren song that glazes peoples eyes and leads them around unseeing. And pretentious. Ah, but I did make the horse sale -- photos when I get them downloaded. As I do some home & farm catch-up, here is something I wrote last month and never got around to posting.)

The dog house neighbor has this magnificent legacy grape arbor. Legacy because it goes at least three owners and a couple decades back. Concords. He doesn’t use them so most years we get them. One year we made gallons of wine but this year it is jelly.

Jelly that is rich and thick and not at all clear because in making the juice, I don’t carefully use a jelly bag and filter every little solid out. Like unfiltered apple juice, the solids make it better, more flavorful, more healthful. Good thing I don’t depend on the county fair for validation for it is the clearest of jelly that gets the blue ribbon, not the best jelly.

The hours spent over the stove had me thinking about the nature of unnatural competition. Perhaps most competition is unnatural. Alfie Kohn has a great book called The Case Against Competition. If you take something supremely good and useful, like jelly, and compete with it, the attempt to judge and evaluate and place order it does something to it akin to sending meat through a grinder. It messes it up. Jelly gets to be good because it is clear: Dogs get the brains bred out of them: Children get standardized, homogenized: People forget that they are actually useful and esteem themselves only for fakery.

If you get into Alfie Kohn books, don’t forget The Punishment of Rewards. Token reward systems are always about taking power and control and motivation and initiative away from the individual.


Joe Tornatore said...

a post that just jelled.

the Contrary Goddess said...

oh STOP! My eyes are going to roll out of my head! LOL!

madcapmum said...

Alfie is speaking in our city next week, and I won't be able to go. (*%*% allergies.) I surely do like what he's got to say.