Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back to the Garden

I went to the garden, by myself, and picked two buckets of snap peas. It was very quiet. My dog, loosed for this trip, chased a deer first, then a rabbit, and left chunks of still shedding hair in various places all of which I hope will help give other animals who might eat our garden pause. I could hear two men’s voices but not what they were saying as they finished mowing a neighbor's field. Although why they were mowing it was beyond me -- no real hay value at all there, stemmy weeds -- but I guess it is better than a snowball.

After my two buckets of peas (which was not all of them, just what I figured we could process that evening), I checked my strawberries. Sure enough I had almost a quart, and only about a quarter of them blemished. So we made a sort of daiquiri out of the blemished ones. But the blueberries this year are just not there. Ooops. There's supposed to be a blueberry farm over the hill so I'll be checking in to that. A check of the wineberries revealed only enough ripe to make an on the go snack out of.

I was realizing how much more contemptuous I am of people who see there is a problem and do something totally ass backwards about addressing the problem (like here and here) than I am of people who totally don’t see any problems. What I am totally supportive of is anyone who in any way attempts to get out of it, make another way, in my way of thinking, get back to the garden (of Eden). But what is the level of hypocrisy when someone sees there’s an oil crisis yet builds a house with air conditioning? What is the level of hypocrisy when a forestry activist finds it easier to turn up the propane than to build a fire in her wood stove, finds it easier to buy GP lumber than to saw from her own 50 acres? What is the level of hypocrisy when someone who decries the war for oil travels across the country, or across the state? What is the level of hypocrisy when one seeks natural health but is morbidly obese and a habitual drug user?

And what is an observer of this hypocrisy supposed to do? (rhetorical)

So I just go back to milking my cow, picking my peas, washing my dishes, sweeping my floor, hanging out the wash. We had rabbits and kittens born this week. But the eggs in the incubator didn’t hatch. I perhaps didn’t keep a close enough eye on them. We’ll fill it up again and try again. We got a call that our pigs will be ready to pick up in about a week. The sourwood is blooming and the bees need tending. A neighbor scraped the road but we still need to put in a few more water bars, with logs is what I’m thinking. We have a new charger for the fence but haven’t gotten it in yet. We’re sure to actually do that when the cow starts getting out again. A neighbor who just moved in, so gung ho on the place, now has his place up for sale. We loved the old man who’d lived there for the longest, miss him. This new guy, we’ve only seen him once when he wheeled up on his 4 wheeler saying he was looking for his property line. All I said to him was, “Well, you are past it. It is on the other side of a fence that is about 700 feet that way.” That might have been a better impression than the temporary landowner who met me just as I was chopping a chicken’s head off, but just barely.

See, it is possible, this life. My family is an example that it is. Not the way but a way. But it isn’t for the faint of heart. Or for the comfortable. Or the lazy. I cheer so heartily when I see people going for it, even the smallest of steps. Making their own bread. Milking their own goats. Putting in a garden. Paying down their debts. One foot in front of the other, getting back to the garden.


As the Garden Grows said...

Great post. I get frustrated sometimes at the small steps that I am able to take right now. I do make my own bread, cook most of our food from scratch, have a rather large garden, hang out my clothes and heat with wood. There is so much more I want to do. I want to raise chickens and goats, maybe even a cow. I do have a plan and we are taking small steps towards our goal...I just get impatient sometimes, wanting to do more. Most people I know do think I am a little insane, wanting to go backwards (their words not mine). I know though in my heart this is my peace. Thank you for the inspiration.

the Contrary Goddess said...

So happy to serve. I am always heartened myself to find others doing anything and learning from it and going on to do more. Or DO less as it were. And truly, I don't think we are going backwards, here we are blips on the internet after all, but we are creating new gardens after Eden.

madcapmum said...

I hope you get another good neighbour, a long-term good neighbour. They're a rare treasure.

Working at being one myself someday.

the Contrary Goddess said...

Well MadCap, if you could stand the excentric American hillbilly neighbors . . . . I'll be glad to send you the specifics on it! I'd welcome you as a neighbor too, and show you exactly where your property line was too.

patsy said...

you know i am ashamed to say we have air condition. we live in a trailer and worked at tyson foods where they keep the tempture about 50 degrees. so when we come out we nearly die from heat but it really grips me. the bills are so high in the summer and then come winter and we heat with propane. for years we got along fine with out air conditioning but now it ever where and when electric goes off people die because they can't stand the heat. it has been over 100 degrees here for a week and i have put my theromstate on 85 but it disgustes me to know end. when i was young we had the doors open and fans in the windows but don't dare do that now. besides i don't think it is healthy to live all closed up in a house.

madcapmum said...

Well, I do thank you kindly for the offer, but Chive told me a while back that he wants to stay in Alberta. He's a pretty good husband, and I don't think I'd find a better, even in Appalachia, so if he's staying, I'm staying.

I'm travelling out to look at a couple properties in Hutterite country tomorrow, though. Not quite like living side by each with a goddess, but they do know a thing or two about chickens. Actually, I've been buying my chickens from them for the past six months.

I'll betcha you'd show me where that property line is!!! HA!

the Contrary Goddess said...

Good fences make good neighbors, donchaknow! Besides, we have a lot of wheat around our house. And dander. Not to mention dust. Still, I think it could be fun. He's got a house and, let me think, probably about 30+ acres total, with, hmmm, two barns, plus a few more outbuildings, running creeks, woods and pastures, fences in decent shape but barb wire. He paid around a quarter million for it I think, but I don't know what he's asking. Whatever he's asking, he isn't likely to get it. I think the market has turned, and no one but an outsider would have paid what he paid for it then.

And now Patsy, well, I don't know what to say. We all deal with where we are now. I think shame doesn't do much good, but a plan does. I'm going to check out your blog now as I don't think I know you! Welcome here anyway!