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Jun 4 @ 6:13 am

 

As we live in a chaotic, unpredictable world, it  may be helpful for us to build as many escape routes for ourselves as possible.

I have a few: reading, working in the garden and watching Netflix. I suppose you could add meditation. Most of the time I am in the garden, I am in a meditative state with a blank mind (on the weekends when a few people are around, not so much).

For the past three months, when it is not raining, I've spent 3 to 8 hours a day working in the Garland Community Garden which I founded with six other folks 7 years ago. It's a great space with no fences and many plots. It is surrounded on one border by a riparian area that ends in a creek. At the garden the edge marks the transition from the garden to the wild woods where creatures like an owl, raccoons, rabbits, possums.

I often think about the edge when I am at the garden. A lot has been written about the edge and its importance and meaning for human beings. The edge, the place where two distinct environments meet is a significant space that makes room transition, growth and sometimes the birth of new things. In the world of nature, it is at the edge of the forest and the meadow where new species of plants often emerge with characteristics that blend aspects of the plants in the woods with the plants in the meadow.

A couple of days ago I created a Ruth Stout plot. I've done them before but this is the first one I've made one for about three years. I was inspired by two pumpkins beside my neighbors trash cans that I picked up and tossed in the back of my truck. Now their pulp and seeds will produce pumpkins in the fall.

Ruth Imogen Stout (June 14, 1884 – August 22, 1980) was an American author best known for her "No-Work" gardening books and techniques. Stout moved to New York when she was 18 and was employed at various times as a baby nurse, a bookkeeper, a secretary, a business manager, and a factory worker. She was a lecturer and coordinated lectures and debates, and she owned a small tea shop in Greenwich Village and worked for a fake mind-reading act.

Ms. Stout planted her first garden in 1930 at 54 years of age. She gardened for the next 50 years--until she died at age 96. Her unique contribution to the gardening world was to grow her eatables out of her compost pile. “No work gardening” she called it. Just throw some hay and organic matter down, throw some seed in, and feed with compost from your dinner table. No weed pulling, no tilling.

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