Gary’s Blog: Books teach theory, failure teaches reality

Little garden friend

Little garden friend

March 1, 2015

From: Gary


Just in from the pick hoe work. Tami removed a hundred pound rock pretty much by herself with her pick hoe. Pretty good!  She is learning survival and subsistence skills a little bit at a time, which is how learning new things is done. She is also starting to pack buckets of rocks, and starting with not many in the bucket, but getting results, and beginning a process that will transform her little pocket of a farm.

Mostly, it’s about reorganizing things at this point, moving things from randomness, towards order and utility.  The dead brush that we paid to have chopped is being hoed down hill slightly. Then we dig out the roots and hoe them down on top of the dried brush. And after that we start pulling the topsoil down, followed by the next layer etc., digging into the hillside and inverting it in a primitive form of plowing.  Basically we are creating some rather large furrows across the hillside by using brute force and sharp implements, and working in the direction of gravity..  This allows us to do something incredible with minimal effort in comparison to the results.   For the amount of calories we expend the mass of earth moved is impressive…..

And in the process we remove rocks by the tons, and transport them to the walk and drive way.  We are also covering up quite a bit of organic material, brush and roots, and will be able to plant corn and potatoes, and cassava on or in this layer of organic material that we have plowed under via pure stubbornness and finesse with hoes…

The brush etc. will begin to rot when the rains come. Bacteria in the soil will have a chow hall of fodder, and they will be followed by the earth worms, who will multiply in relationship to the food supply. And the heavy feeder plants like corn etc., will grow tall and healthy on what most farmers let go to waste.  Growing on a hillside manually is in some ways easier than manual agriculture in the flats. Early humans often preferred sloping hillsides for their food production, and modern archeologists  use aerial photography to identify primitive agricultural sites by the shape of the soil moved and alterations to the terrain that may have been done with hoes made from wild cattle hip bones, thousands of years ago, or perhaps with an early iron age hoe a few millennia later.  

There are three things that humans have traditionally done, that last longest; 

  1. move dirt
  2. plant plants
  3. build with rocks

So if you want to do things that last, or even outlive yourself, these three things are what will get you the most years of effect for your labors.

So in my life I have tended to make an art form of this realization.

And I have come to believe, that this is what humans are really here for. To be gardeners, and builders of paths, and planters of trees that feed our-selves and the animals better.

Unfortunately, we have walked into the Maze of the Monkey Money Trap, where the unscrupulous have taken advantage of the naiveté of the good hearted, and enslaved them by their lack of resistance to materialism and vanity.

But fortunately, this system is starting to crumble, and a few are waking up out of the trance, and realizing that the big lie really is not working for them, nor was it ever designed to do so,  other than to bespell them with glittering objects, while absolute evil was done to them and the environment they so depend on.

The city landfills are filling up with glittering objects, and the forests of our animal friends are disappearing, used up for toilet paper, for some over fed apes to wipe their aft ends with, all too regularly.

Meanwhile the frightened monkeys in their concrete utopia hide in their cages at night, until the morrows hours of pulling the levers that get them the treats….

Afraid of the remaining forests, afraid of the animals, afraid of the good healthy work that can change everything for the better…

Oh! I’m sure most of you are imagining this to be some equivalent of a Roman salt mine,

But it’s really not that bad to get out in the morning and assist gravity in pulling down some of the hill with a steel hoe… It’s a good workout to be sure. We are getting stronger by the week. And Tami is learning all kinds of things she never imagined needing to know, to keep food going into her mouth without the Techno cult.  Plus, we are doing the hardest part first, civilizing an area that is rugged and brushy, and creating pleasant paths for our future gardening pleasure.  Access is a fundamental, and I have seen locals who worked agriculture on unimproved slopes, all their lives, end up in wheel chairs as old men.

It took out their knees.

I have watched Tami struggle with the unaccustomed work, her lack of strength and agility, balance, and flexibility, and know it came from a life minus this exercise. Sitting in an office in front of a computer will waste away these things, and in time pretty much lock you into a sitting position..  Modern humans work sitting, drive sitting, defecate sitting, watch TV sitting, and then need a foot thick mattress and springs to sleep on comfortably. Eventually, they end up doing most of these things laying down, in a hospital bed, waiting for their planetary check out appointment.

Anyway, I am trying to teach how to be a real human, one with their feet and hands in the dirt.  One who can produce a tomato or a spud without using a credit card…..

And the terracing will be a good example to future students, that those before them were not afraid to get their hands dirty or work.  This is important, as quality of project will affect quality and numbers of people who want to be part of it. It will also affect the quality of the students both incoming and out going..  Doing something half-assed never pays..

Especially, if survival and subsistence are your primary motives.

People moved to the cities, because they assumed that everything is easier there. 

They were imbalanced and then enslaved.

But the road out to the city limits signs still exists.  One can make the journey back out to a wholesome life, but it takes guts to do that, and is best done a bit at a time.  I feel sorry for the survivalist city types who think they can go out into the wilderness with a can of seeds, and soon have tons of food to barter with.  If they have never grown food before, they will most likely starve to death in short order.

You can learn a lot from a book, everything except the failure part..  Books teach theory, failure teaches reality.

Anyway, we made it over the halfway point this morning,  Half the garden is terraced. We still have another month before the rains, so as I thought, we will get close to finishing it in time, and at least have plenty of area to plant.  It’s an insanely large garden, but like in most things that I do, I don’t just do it for me.. There will come others, who will like working in a pretty garden in a beautiful climate, and who will like eating healthy food, and getting some exercise, and a new perspective on life.

I once read a quote, that art was doing things as they should be done, not as they are done.

So, I am trying to make art out of my life.



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