Archive for October, 2009

Crass Commercialism

October 22nd, 2009 No comments

I’ve updated the blog template to show my wishlist.

Because I know you were all wondering what to get me for my birthday / for Christmas / for the anniversary of the breaking of the Siege of Vienna / out of sheer gratitude for my witty blogging…

Categories: Blogdom Tags:

Dream Big

October 16th, 2009 No comments

From Sharon Astyk:

So close your eyes. Or first, open them, and look at your property – or your friendly neighbor’s property, or your church’s lot, or your community garden plot. Now that you’ve got it in your head, close your eyes. And take what’s there and add on – what do you want to see? Look at it closely. Smell it. Taste it. Listen to it….

What do you see? A small farm of a few acres, with pigs that root out weeds and manure the ground and then feed your family, and chickens for eggs and a small woodlot, managed for mushrooms, coppiced wood and acorns for feed. Every year you plant more trees, grow more crops, and new garden beds sprout like weeds. There’s a sign at the end of the driveway reading “fresh eggs, raspberries” and the neighbors stop by to pick up your extras and trade neighborly gossip.

What do you see? The family farm brought to life again – the land made productive again, the weeds cut back, the family brought back, swales built to catch precious water, with new crops and new techniques for making fertile space out of what seemed like a lost cause. New hope, and the chance to work together again? Do you see yourself, slowly, patiently planting new trees, repairing the tractor, laughing with your sister again?

What do you see? Draft horses, pulling logs from the shady woodland, and a barn full of animals. A business plan and a market for your lamb, your wool and your vegetables. A diversity of plants and animals – life without monocultures. A pond. A quiet spot to rest, a kitchen full of peaches ready to can. And you see yourself, at work, at rest, in the kitchen, on the land, but there, and present, and ready.

Yeah, I can see that. I can see it all, practically taste it. It’s a good dream.

Categories: Agrarian, Garden Tags:


October 12th, 2009 No comments


October 7th, 2009 No comments

438 years ago today, the Holy League defeated the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Lepanto.

White founts falling in the courts of the sun,
And the Soldan of Byzantium is smiling as they run,
There is laughter like the fountains in that face of all men feared,
It stirs the forest darkness, the darkness of his beard,
It curls the blood-red crescent, the crescent of his lips,
For the inmost sea of all the earth is shaken with his ships.
They have dared the white republics up the capes of Italy,
They have dashed the Adriatic round the Lion of the Sea,
And the Pope has cast his arms abroad for agony and loss,
And called the kings of Christendom for swords about the Cross…
— G. K. Chesterton, Lepanto

Categories: ChesterBelloc, History Tags:


October 1st, 2009 No comments

We had our first frost last night. This is almost three weeks early — per the extension service, our average frost date is supposed to be October 20.

Oh, well — the tomatoes were mostly done anyway (curse you, late blight!). The basil near the house was sheltered enough it didn’t get frosted, and hopefully the covers at the garden plot helped there.

Categories: Garden Tags: