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The Big Sweat is upon us

June 20, 2017

Dripping after moments in the heat and humidity, and salty at the end of the day, with stinging eyes when one rinses the face in the garden hose. Good for tomatoes and peppers, kinda hard on humans. My peppers really are not that well, as the slugs have eaten them off as fast as I can set them out. Hmmmm. Hotsauce futures not looking good, but I take heart in that the more slugs there are, the better the box turtles will get their protein. Balance.

The second crop of sunflowers and first crop of peanuts and field peas are doing well. Lotta rain this Spring, and kinda coolish. A friend who grows commercial garlic has suffered (rot, green sprouting, hard to get in the field), and I empathize with every commercial grower who has difficulties. What is a pastime for me is deadly serious for others, and I am so glad I am not a farmer/gambler. Would love to have a bigger patch to work, and be able to have a diversity of crops, including an orchard—but then I would have thousands of flowers and millions of weeds (instead of my current hundreds and thousands).

Reading some Barbara Kingsolver non-fiction, called Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It’s about trying to live in a self-sustaining manner on a patch of land in southwest Virginia. What she lacks in biological and botanical knowledge, Kingsolver makes up for in enthusiasm and a thorough exposition of the out of control corporate “food” industry. We have traded calories for quality. Wonder if Kingsolver and Michael Pollan know each other?

This trend of calories over quality may be reversible, like global climate change, but my generation will not know for sure. THAT is the question. Will this generation act to better coming generations? Same as it ever was. This is always the question, and improper, wrongheaded answers are the norm. Bless us all. The only comfort may be that those who have nothing (the subsistence folks, the meek) will do the best when it all comes crashing down. When the developed world is in turmoil because the grocery stores are empty, the meek will just be waking up to another hard day of surviving. Bless them, most of all.

May we all practice subsistence in our own ways, mliswilltravel.

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