Monday, May 30, 2011

Say beans

Feeling super-inspired this morning by Joan Dye Gussow's This Organic Life, recommended to me by Peggy. I am so enjoying the place the book puts me, in this dreamy exaltation of what a garden can do. And truly I agree with Joan, that a house is just a house while a garden is so much greater.

Vegetable gardens...are much more important than houses in the overall scheme of things.  Agriculture is the foundation of civilization.  Houses comes and go, but soil must be cherished if food is to be grown for us to eat.
     So if I expressed more concern about whether we could grow sweet potatoes without wireworm holes than about whether we had to tear down our house, it is because the house represented nothing but time, money, work, and disappointment, while sweet potatoes -- and the garden as a whole -- had come to symbolize long-term survival.

Heading into the garden now, to stare and think and start more kale, watch bees in flight, generally consider questions of long-term survival and joy and food. And think about this quote that Joan uses to begin Chapter 4:

Removing the weeds, putting fresh soil about the bean stems, and encouraging this weed which I had sown, making the yellow soil express its summer thoughts in bean leaves and blossoms rather than in wordwood and piper and millet grass, making this earth say beans instead of grass -- this was my daily work.                                     --  Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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