gardening

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    Unbowed Ground Paid Member

    This morning on the dragon coast of Northern California I smell winter in the cold bowels of the earth. Broken-necked zinnias rot on moldy stems while our prize Atlantic Giant pumpkin suffered its first hungry-rat attack last night at sundown. In the thrust of this harvest season, 100 eager young meditators and I are preparing to plant a memorial apple tree for the Kenyan environmentalist and peace activist Dr. Wangari Maathai, who died of ovarian cancer in late September in Nairobi. She was 71. In 2004, Dr. Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her lifelong commitment to environmental sustainability and the empowerment of women. Under her determined leadership more than 30 million trees have been planted across rural Africa by the Green Belt Movement, Dr. More »
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    The Dry Mind of Paradise Paid Member

    Just inland from the Pacific coast of Northern California, I stand hip-deep in the surge of summer. Padron peppers ripen, lime green and veridian, alongside plump opal eggplants overhung with the heat-bloated vines of Sun Gold tomatoes. Fat honeybees heavy with amber sunflower pollen shuttle through the slow loom of August. In this throb of fecundity, I long for the lean pulse of the arid Southwest. More »
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    The Wind of the Family House Paid Member

    Just before morning zazen the Eta Aquarid meteor showers of early May graze the eastern horizon, illuminating the hemline of black spring sky. In this eerie light the first crops of the season appear in an instant, vanishing in a flash. A dark circlet of pumpkin leaves dusted with frost pushes up from the nether world. Wild peas disappear into unkempt ground. More »
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    Appendix to Seeds of Rebirth Paid Member

    This is additional information to Wendy Johnson's "Seeds of Rebirth" article in the Spring 2011 issue of Tricycle. Seed CompaniesBaker Creek Heirloom Seedswww.rareseeds.com 2278 Baker Creek RoadMansfield, MO 65704417-924-8917Offers open-pollinated natural and non GMO seeds. I love this company. They recently opened The Seed Bank in an old bank building in Petaluma California. They offer an excellent selection of heirloom varieties. Ecology Action—Bountiful Gardenswww.bountifulgardens.org5798 Ridgewood RoadWillits, CA 95490tel: (707) 459-6410I have been connected to this company since it began. They offer untreated open-pollinated heirloom seeds and an excellent array of informative publications. More »
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    Seeds of Rebirth Paid Member

    Early February marks the midpoint between winter solstice and the vernal equinox. Outside, the thick sap tide of spring is on the rise, swelling plump buds of coastal plum and wild currant. In the ancient Celtic calendar of Old Europe, February 1 was traditionally dedicated to Brigid, the Gaelic goddess of poetry, smithcraft, and healing. On this feast of waxing light, new fire was kindled for fresh inspiration, and the growing year began anew. Predating Groundhog Day by centuries, on the feast of Brigid Irish farmers studied the frozen earth for a sign of serpent or badger emerging from their underground dens to herald the birth of spring. More »
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    The Sky River Paid Member

    October wind crosses the world. The last tattered Monarch butterflies of the season sip nectar from ragged vermilion Tithonia flowers at the base of the farm. Practice period began a few weeks ago, the harvest gathered, the fields almost empty. At nightfall, exhausted Monarchs ride the updraft to shelter at the crown of the dark cypress windbreak nearest to the ocean, in trees that mark the edge of raw and cultivated ground. More »