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Thoughts from the Garden

Garland Community Garden--Still Beautiful in the Bleakness of Winter --  December 29, 2016

The garden is calling.  Hard to believe, but there is a lot of work to be done in the Garland Community Garden—even in the wintertime.  Tuesday I cleaned out one bed that has blackberry vines.  Yesterday I devoted 3 hours to distributing leaves that had been left over the past week.

The great thing about being in the garden is that it provides the necessary quietness to grow a large peaceful space in the mind for thinking about things one might not otherwise ever take time to consider. 

Leaf Awareness Continues to Spread in Garland

People continue to bring leaves to the garden and I’m glad because it tells me they are aware and that they care.  I wonder how many people have taken leaf awareness a step further and are keeping their leaves for composting into soil.  I'm sure there are more than a few who have taken leaf awareness this step further. It’s such a simple act and yet such an important one for the future of soil—a critical element for the ongoing environmental health of our community.  Soil doesn't just come out of nowhere.  It's created from decaying organic matter such as leaves.  Removing leaves is removing future soil.

I’m hoping that Loving Garland Green can take leaf awareness a step further this coming year and work with the Garland Environmental Services and perhaps Keep Garland Beautiful to 1) Find a way to get large paper bags to garland residents for leaf recycling next fall 2) Educate residents to only put leaves in the paper bags. [Based on over 1000 bags now that I’ve opened, Garland residents don’t need much education in this area. Thus far only four bags contained anything other than leaves.] 3) Have Garland Environmental Services pick up the paper bags of leaves along with the shrub trimmings and branches. No labor would be required for emptying the paper bags as they could be mulched with the leaves and residents could pick up the compost and mulch free at the landfill. 

The Garden Is a Place for Proper Perspective

The world is filled with nameless people such as those dropping off leaves who do good deeds.  Once in a while we hear about these ordinary heroes, but the overwhelming nameless number of them remain unheralded and unknown.  The world is filled with far more heroes than assassins, far more angels than demons, far more saints than sinners. There are far more “ordinary” people making the world a better place than evil ones trying to undo it.  Open your eyes and look for them and you will see what I mean.

To listen to the news and to read some of the emails we get, one would think we are on the brink of the apocalypse with the Four Horsemen and their riders –Conquest, War, Famine and Death-- already sighted just around the corner.  However, the peace, order and continuity of the garden reassure me that the beautiful life is still out there.  The more we make efforts to support and grow this beauty, the better we all will be.

The Garden Reminds that Mysteries Remain

The garden is also a great place for lessons in humility.  It reminds me of our majestic planet and how little we actually know about it.  I thought about that yesterday as I was digging the grass out of a bed and contemplated the fiery heart of the earth.  More than three thousand miles below us is the core of the earth.  Scientists know very little about it.  But we think that seismic waves have taught us a few things.  We think we know it has a liquid outer core and a solid inner core.  We think we know that the convection currents in the outer core dictate our magnetic fields.  We think we know the inner core is solid iron.  Its temperature hovers at around 5,000 to 6,000 degrees Celsius. 

But again all these “facts” are nothing more than educated guesses based on secondary effects that have been observed.  To date we don’t have the technology to bore three thousand miles down to the center of the earth.  We can accurately determine that it’s three thousand miles to the center by using basic math as the earth’s circumference is measurable and is known.

 To this day, the deepest humankind has ever gone is just 7.6 miles below our feet — or just 0.2% of the distance to the Earth’s core.  This was accomplished by a project titled The Kola Superdeep Borehole.  It took the people working on this project 19 years (1970 to 1989) to drill 7.62 miles.  Drilling had to cease when temperatures reached 180 degrees Celsius. The Russians undertook this experiment that was finally scrapped in 2006 due to lack of funding.  A couple of longer borehole lengths have since been established.  However in terms of depth below the surface the Kola Superdeep Borehole retains the world record.

We really know very little about anything that matters and yet how many of us don’t even bother to question what we read or hear.  With hardly a pause we indignantly postulate unsubstantiated hearsay and myth as fact and pass it on. 

The garden has countless lessons for those who take the time to stop, work, look and listen.  No, you won’t get all the answers, but you will have peace in your heart that good prevails in spite of all appearances to the contrary.

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Saturday December 31, 2016: WORKDAY IN THE GARLAND COMMUNITY GARDEN – Weather permitting

This Saturday is the last day of the month—the day designated for sprucing up the Garland Community Garden.  Yeah I know it’s New Year’s Eve, but you can come on down and do a little work and then go home and take a nap.  Bring gloves, rake, hoe, and shovel—whatever garden tool you have.  10AM to 2PM and/or as long or short as you can stay 

One thing is for certain: We take care of the things and people we love and love grows all things—even gardens.

Thursday, December 29, 2016