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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in gardening

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Honoring the Gods Where I Am

I live in the southwest of the USA, in the Mojave Desert, in Nevada, in Henderson, in Green Valley. This ecosystem is nowhere near the origin point of the heathen group of faiths, of which Asatru is one, which was in Northern Europe. Some things don't change-- the moon is the same from any place on Earth-- but proper times to celebrate harvest are very different here. Also, I live within a very different culture even from today's Europe, let alone the Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age, or even the Viking Age.

Yet, I think my simplest rituals are not too different from what the ancient heathens did. Even here, in this very different place. Even though I'm speaking modern English. Even when my perception of what is special and unique enough to be fitting to give to the gods is filtered through a modern understanding of science, as when I became excited and awestruck over a chimera pear and decided to eat it in honor of the gods.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Sounds delicious!
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Earlier this year I bought a persimmon tree and a pawpaw tree from Edible Landscaping. They are both still alive and growing tall

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Radical Hope

Last night I read the news about Cape Town, and then dreamed that my garden died.

I live in a condo in Los Angeles, so my garden is small and fragile and mostly in containers: calendula and tulsi and borage and lemon balm in pots and window boxes, selfheal that's dying no matter what I do, jasmine and passionvine that twine around each other in bombastic friendship, nasturtiums that cascade in a curtain of friendly little circles. Baby blue eyes and violet seedlings growing in a flat. Cleveland sage in a pot, since the soil is mostly clay, and sagebrush and California fuschia in the ground, since they can tolerate that clay. I had to fight with my building manager to put plants in the bare dirt behind the building, even though I'm on the HOA board; status quo bias is so strong that people trust ugly cracked ground more than they trust small, quiet plants. (I won the rest of the board over partly by telling them my unit's property values are suffering because of the eyesore that is the dirt. In reality I don't care much about the property values, but a witch uses the tools in her toolbox; she shapeshifts when she needs to.)

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Sif's Wheat, Part 1: Harvesting in June

The Wheel of the Year is different for me than it was for the ancient Northern Europeans. I live in the Mojave Desert in southern Nevada. Part of respecting nature is respecting local conditions rather than trying to stick to what a book says should be because that's the way the ancestors did it. 

Last December, as I related in my blog post Planting Heritage Wheat for Sif, I planted locally adapted arid-lands wheat in a small garden area dedicated to her. Here are my results. I harvested this wheat in early June. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Hi, thanks, I haven't ground and baked it into bread yet. At the moment it's on the table as a display for Sif. I'm posting a pic
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've never tried growing wheat before; though I did try growing sweet corn one year, but it looks fine to me. The real proof is i

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Washing the Greenman

March brought us a windstorm large enough to knock out our power, rain on the Equinox for the community egg hunt, and a whole host of viruses, which circulated around our family.  The last two weeks, we fought through sickness to be productive, both in the home and garden, clearing away the old, and making room for the new.

 
One part of our garden gone long-neglected was an old terra cotta Greenman, hung on the house by the previous gardener over a decade before.
 
I might have brushed away cobwebs once, but I think it kept slipping my mind over the more pressing and practical issues of digging, weeding, building, and so on.  But after nine years of living in the woods, and about five attempting to make a productive garden out of some of it, I turned and looked hard at the Greenman and understood.
 
After tilling and digging and building this weekend, I went back outside at dusk, took him down off the wall, and gave him a good wash.
 
The blast of cool water sent the worst cobwebs away into the dirt, and scrubbed free bird droppings. I washed behind his ears, where old spider egg casing hung empty and graying.  With the help of a gloved finger, I nudged away filth and debris around the wire where the hook held it.
 
Once rehung, he seemed to smile a bit more, his cheeks glowing in the fading sunlight.  Then we had a talk, and I asked his help in looking out for our little garden.  
 
"Thanks," I said, "for watching out for this space.  Thank you for working with the Mother to make sure things grow.  I ask you aid me in making this bit of land grow vegetables and fruits and herbs for my family, and a little extra for our animal neighbors.  Please help us in making this a working plot of land to feed and nourish those within the house and those who come to visit. Thank you."
 
I felt he heard me.  I felt he understood, and I gave him a nod and turned to go.
 
Before I left, though, I asked one more favor. "And would mind helping me reduce the number of slugs who come to call?  Not all of them, just enough to keep our garden growing strong."
 
Washing the Greenman reminded me of something:
 
When you're struggling to achieve something you feel is important, and practical steps aren't working, maybe it's time to take a look around.  There may be something or someone neglected who seemed superfluous but may prove instrumental in removing the biggest obstacles in your path.
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Curse of the Black Thumb

Spring has sprung and people are starting to talk about their gardens.  Mother Earth has banned me from her garden.  She has issued a restraining order which the plant police definitely enforce at every opportunity forbidding me to touch plants.  I grew up on a farm so you would think I should be able to grow things.  But literally every house plant I have ever tried to grow has died.  I even killed some lucky bamboo.  There goes my karma.  If my life depended on it, I could not tell the difference between sage or oregano.  I love plants.  They bring me peace.  Flowers make me smile every time I look at them.  But grow them?  Nope – strictly forbidden.

What is a plant killer like me doing to have plants in or around my house?  My salvation for having plants in the house is my husband who has a very green thumb – usually.  Of course if a plant dies then I get the blame.  While you don’t have to marry someone with a green thumb, my first suggestion is cultivate a relationship with someone who will help you with your plants.  In addition to my husband, I have two sisters who are very good at growing things both indoors and outdoors.  When I have questions about plants or need suggestions, I go to these experts first.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I Have Been So Long Away

Summertime...and yet the living is not but so easy.

My rich and full life has kept me away from here for a good part of the summer. I'm not just a village witch, you know. I'm a gardener and canner, and this summer we expanded one of the community gardens and brought another one "online" in my neighborhood.

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