Archives for posts with tag: desert gardens

I am all about a new profit model and  System D. My father was a big Green, and I grew up composting and recycling and worrying about the archipelagoes of pellets floating on the surface of the Atlantic, which he started talking about  in the 1950s, composed of shit and petroleum emulsified with detergent.

Me, my father, and the ocean. Puerto Rico, ca. 1950.

I am still researching the piece on Edward Espe Brown as the most influential cook of the 20th century. I am encouraged by my research into the source of his recipes — forensic evidence noone else has — that research into the ripoff use of his recipes by Waters, Tower, Katzen and Batali will reveal similar unarguable lines of descent, Waters being the alleged most influential chef of the 20th century, Tower being her main early influence and employee, Katzen being the east coast hippie chef who now serves on Harvard nutrition panels, and Batali the current rage of Manhattan chefs. Like Brown’s,  Katzen’s hippie chef/vegetarian books were and are massive best-sellers. Unlike Brown, she did not sign all her profits over to the Moosewood collective. (Maybe she did. I have to check that out. I bet she didn’t.)

Always been a foodie, worked in a restaurant for a couple of years, avid reader of a wide range of cookbooks. With EEB, I’m getting to the place where it’s all porn and what I eat is simpler. Last night I had cantalope, smoked local Tucumcari Gouda, artisanal sourdough and Costco butter for dinner. (Got to check that out and go for the humane butter.)

So I was very interested to see people I suspect of the punk, straighter edge, food distribution, Gen X Gordon Edgar  and Rainbow Grocery ilk, pace old hippies, featured in the NYT piece on small farmers. Some of them are now former migrant workers who have been taught organic microfarming by awesome organizations like Viva Farms. http://www.vivafarms.org/p/our-farmers.html

And some of them are Lena Dunham dead-end urban job Gen Z refugees, living in an RV without internets and television, doting upon the doggie their rural setting now permits them to keep. They’re 25 and they met in college.

Jenny and Alex Smith, Matthew Ryan Williams for The New York Times.

They remind me a lot of the permaculture hustlers blog of young Australians I read. They make a living by inviting people to come and learn permaculture on their farm — while paying to farm it.
http://milkwood.net/

Planting freedom is a burgeoning idea, and not just at Viva Farms, which seems to be specializing in training former migrant workers. Black Americans returning to the south and planting Juneteenth emancipation gardens is one thread. Another is the discovery, preservation, and promulgation of nearly waterless vegetable crops and techniques, like pre-Colombian water catchment structures, developed by Native Americans in the southwest and sold as Noah’s ark crops, standing tall and dry against genetically engineered, faraway, water rights war-inspiring, unsustainable agribusiness.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/garden/juneteenth-gardens-planting-the-seeds-of-survival.html?pagewanted=all
http://www.nativeseeds.org/

I keep wondering if I plant the Tohono O’odham garden, will they prosper? I did plant their melons this year and await them with pleasure.
https://nativeseeds.org/index.php/store/992/2/seeds/seed-buckets-and-collections/sc003/P-tohono-oodham-seed-collection
http://www.tonation-nsn.gov/

On the EEB research, one of the key pieces of the puzzle is Sibella Kraus, Alice Waters’ first forager, who was a line cook at Chez Panisse and went on to study agricultural economics and become a food activist.

This is one of the punk, System D, locavore jobs of the future. My father spent his life teaching sustainable fish farming in the Third World. Now it comes down to doing the same in the New World.

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Sand Cherry Dreams
Click for deets.

Here we are beginning that bed last summer.

Gopher Proofing the South Beds

Here’s what the whole area looked like in 2010. The sand cherry went in where the rake is leaning against the NW corner of the house.
West Patio Looking Northish

The garden today.

Faust's Metropolis

Honey badger did. Honey badger don’t care.

And so did

Who Survived the Winter?
Honey rock spirea

Who Survived the Winter?
Honey pink penstemon

Who Survived the Winter?
Honey sore-eye poppy

Who Survived the Winter?
Honey creeping Jenny

Who Survived the Winter?
Honey licorice mint

Who Survived the Winter?
Honey zebra grass

Who Survived the Winter?
Honey rosa glauca

Our seedlings are started:
Seedlings in Jiffy Starter

And hardening off to go out and play:
Hardening Off Seedlings

This year’s garden problem shall be what goes in the planters?

Who Survived the Winter?
To the left and right of the picture window. Honey bird of paradise bush also survived the winter.

Right now I’m thinking of some classic aesthetic like this: one heaven, one middle earth, one cascade:


http://www.marthastewart.com/274905/container-garden-ideas/@center/276985/outdoor-living#/187257

….except with chartreuse spikes, grassy sedgy blue middle earth, and orange cascades. All drought and shade tolerant, hah. Perhaps with hanging planters over the top.


http://www.marthastewart.com/274905/container-garden-ideas/@center/276985/outdoor-living#/230140

I think it’s going to be chartreuse New Zealand flax (phormium Apricot Queen), blue hostas, Mexican thread grass and…red honeysuckle?

Sap's Rising!
You can call this resin from the Ponderosa pine and cut it down, as my neighbor did, so it wouldn’t mar her BMW, but I call it the gold at the end of the rainbow.

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