I’ve had a discouraging time back in Woodland Hills, CA. The beautiful strawberries and blueberries loaded with fruit that I left at the end of June are now dying on the vine. Between a huge 8 inches of harsh solid clay with all the composted matter washed away,b the temperature soaring to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the constant invasion of gophers because their habitat no longer provides predators, I’m looking for better options. I’ve always despised suburbs, but this is where I am right now, so I need to find a better way of producing food. I’m not giving up on the food forest, but I’m finding that that there are other ways that might give me a whole system for when the industrial food complex collapses and in the meantime to provide our extended family with food that will nourish, not kill us.
One of the most interesting to me right now is growing fish and vegetables through aquaponics. A lot of the systems available right now cost a lot of money, so I’m looking at experimenting with homemade versions until my other project takes off and I can earn a little money to invest in the “water works.”http://portablefarms.com/index.php has whole systems for sale and when I looked up the prices it seemed to me that the best way to g0 might be to have a system for a number of families together. For now though, I’m going to try to learn more. http://norcalaquaponics.com/ Here’s one more very permaculture oriented site.
The other one that some of you know I’ve been working on for a while is mushrooms. Growing mushrooms indoors on used coffee grounds is still one of my primary goals. More on my progress there in another post. Indoor/Outdoor Gardening, maybe my very own title invention.
Zion National Park’s beauty and wisdom really surprised me. I have had so little respect for this country over my lifetime. My reasons are many but mainly because of the greed and rugged individualism of this culture that has resulted in a horrific government portraying itself as a savior while condemning it’s poor and agressing the rest of the world. What history I have studied only re-enforces that jaded perspective. What I am finally discovering is that the universe is fundamentally constructed of love! In pockets like Zion I am seeing even humans at work through love.
Zion is made up of amazing sandstone in a dessert environment. The sandstone funnels water into the ground and then waters it’s world with springs. Visitors can experience this at Weeping Rock where trees, columbine and lush vegetation grow straight out of the rock as water drips down it’s surface onto hot hiking heads of tourists. We have much to learn from this earth, but there is a deep gratitude welling up inside me for those who had the foresight to preserve this land for us.
Water is the most scarce and necessary element we live from in fact, we humans are mostly water. There’s a documentary movie about water and our relationship to it I hope to see soon. Here’s a trailer: http://www.flowthefilm.com/trailer
One more thing that cradled me during this 3.5 week break, is an article by Brian Swimme in the magazine EnlightenNext. It’s called “The Powers of the Universe,” and it gave me such great perspective I can’t help but recommend it. He list these characteristics of the Universe and all that is in it, including us.: 0. Seamlessness 1. Centration, 2. Allurement, 3.Emergence, 4. Homeostasis, 5.Cataclysm, 6. Synergy, 7.Transmutation, 8. Transformation, 9. Interrelatedness, 10. Radiance. Although I can’t go into them here, what they gave me is a much more hope filled view of the Earth, myself, and the Universe. Well worth the cost of the magazine.