Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Intentional Illusions

I have hilled a lot of potatoes this year. Wielded the wonderful hoe (not the heavy common kind but one angled just right, and sharpened) at the weeds in the corn while also hilling it. I’ve planted squash seeds in the older corn and marveled at the bean plants sprouting therein to climb the heavy stalks in a race to the sky. All this is winter food.

I’m thinking, for many reasons, that this winter will be a good winter to have food laid by.

We have plenty of spring snap peas too. But what I’m remembering are the years we planted for sale and for the larder. Those years we planted a lot of snap peas because they bring $4 a pound, minimum. Good lettuce mix can bring $8 a pound but you have to wash that, try to get the baby slugs off, and get it delivered in a real short amount of time. Potatoes only bring $1 a pound, and that’s high for them. Nobody even knows what to do with hard corn -- corn bread is just about a lost art. And making hominy or masa? What? Mortals can do that? Without a factory?

When we planted with thoughts of sale, we lavished time on what we might get the most cash for and the staple crops got only leftover time. That’s how intention changes action. It isn’t that you mean for it too. You know having food is more important than having a few dollar bills. But the cash economy is seductive. It is the reason more people don’t chuck it. If they aren’t afraid of the hard work, they are afraid of not being able to pay the taxes. The grocery store with its three days (maybe) of food seems more secure than a field with a whole winter of food that might get decimated by chewing worms and high winds and coons.

Intention. Deepak Chopra calls it the Law of Intention and Desire. And be sure, your desires will find you out.


patsy said...

lordy, lordy, miss cloudy. i make corn bread 3 times a week and have made hominy. don't make it any more but did when the kids were young.
i soppose you know how but just in case. take white or yellow corn, i always used what i bought for the hogs.
build a fire out side , put 3 rocks close together but leave room to build a fire in center.
you need a kittle. i always used my enamale dish pan. put the corn in the kittle, with water dump in some ashed from the heating stove. boil, boil boil. when the end of the grain will break off . cool and wash, wash and wash!
do you know how to make lye? take stove ashes in a cloth and pour water thro' catching the water. it is best to find a way to hang your ashes in a cloth over the catch bucket. then pour the water back thro' keep this up for several pouring and by golly you have lye in a water form. be careful this stuff will eat you alive.

patsy said...

a mexican here in town showed me how they made masa corn . he did it just like i did the homony but he boiled the corn in lime instead of lye.

the Contrary Goddess said...

I'm glad somebody else knows how patsy. Masa is just ground hominy, and boy can you make some terrific tamales with it and an old goat or "fine old hen" as we say. I know how to make lye but prefer using lime or baking soda for food stuffs (any alkali will do it -- you can also boil it less and give it more time for the alkali to work its magic).

Wendy said...

Very timely post, especially for me. We've lost three of our six chickens to a raccoon over the past month, and it's so frustrating, because I know raccoons are omnivorous, and will eat the garden as likely as the livestock. We don't have the space for a large garden, and everything we grow is for our larder. In a moment of anger, frustration and defeat, I thought that I just wanted to throw in the towel and just go to the grocery like everyone else I know. I got over it, but it's still disheartening.

Thanks for the reminder of why I bother :).

the Contrary Goddess said...

It is the worst, I think, when things that depend on you, things with faces, die. I remember coming home after the neighbor's dogs had attacked our geese. I felt like I should never leave again. Or maybe that I should move to town.

For the coon, I'd get a live trap and then shoot the coons you trap. If you make a hat, I'll buy it!

And as commiseration in frustration, the crows (of all things) dug up EVERY SINGLE SQUASH we planted -- AND WATERED. And we don't water with a hose. There ya go. Plant some more. Put thread over them just like we did the corn until they sprout. Damn crows.

Madcap said...

I did my eight things, CG!

You often mention Chopra, so I picked up a couple of his books at the thrift store a while back. I just can't connect with him, though. Not quite what I was expecting. Oh well. Maybe Tom Robbins will be a better match.

the Contrary Goddess said...

ok, coming to read your 8 things. Chopra speaks in words I connect with for some reason. I've got the Wendell Berry thing on the sidebar now and, sorry, BORING. Who told him he could write? (laughing) (I'm not any more taken with McKibben, who seems to me to have not an idea in his head)

Sia Vogel said...

Lov-er-ly. Thank you :-) I got lost reading the blog this morning. Next time I go in I'll bring a sandwich.

I've passed this along to some of my friends over at Gaia's Guardians.

Sia Vogel