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Almost May…

April 29, 2011

…and I put on a down parka this morning as I set off to walk Pacha. I had been a bit disheartened by this Spring’s weather… so far, it’s looking like a repeat of last year’s cool gardening season. I’ve been getting advice and encouragement from all angles, and even some sympathy, as one veteran CSA owner remarked that these might be the worst two years to try to set out and start a new farming business. But another friend pointed out that “we wouldn’t be farmers if we didn’t always grumble about the weather”.

But as I read through my news feed this morning, and see the videos of the horrible devastation left by the tornadoes in the South this week, (and in the wake of the earthquakes and tsunamis all over the globe) I can’t help but feel like I have absolutely no cause to grumble about weather. We live such a charmed life here in the Pacific Northwest, rain and all.

As our good friend and Biodynamic consultant says, there is a strong ‘impulse’ happening in the world right now, bringing enormous changes world-wide.  With all the crazy weather, oil spills, radiation leaks, and political uprisings in N. Africa, it sure seems like something ‘big’ is going on lately. But as my somewhat nomadic experiences have taught me, big upheavals usually result in something fabulous… so, I’m keeping my eye on the prize. What is going to come of all of this? What are we humans going to build out of the rubble?

I recently became aware of an urban gardening movement flourishing in Detroit. When the economy went to ruins, and people started leaving the city… the abandoned city lots and buildings were left behind. Now, the residents are re-purposing some of those areas and growing their own food, and rebuilding their communities. It reminded me of those herbicided strips under the grapevine rows in conventional vineyards. After the ground is scorched with chemicals, eventually, the first thing that comes back is moss… rebuilding the vegetative foundation where life can grow again.   Nature will win every time.  We just need to be patient and help her along. These little grassroots farming endeavors popping up everywhere… we’re the moss.

And so I remain hopeful that with all the devastation we’ve seen on our planet recently,  something good will grow out of this global ‘impulse’. This is what I’m meditating on when I think of those families in the South today, as I put on my parka, plant lettuce seeds, and try to remember what Spring feels like.

check out this trailer:

Urban Roots Video

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