on gardening

  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    The Tree at the Bottom of Time Paid Member

    THE WINTER SOLSTICE DRAWS NEAR. Now is the “standstill of the sun.” Germinid meteor showers of early December claim the night sky, obscured only by the huge disc of the Wolf Moon. This is the best season to see the bones of garden plants. More than twenty years ago, at Green Gulch Farm we celebrated our first annual tree planting with Dr. E. F. Schumacher, author of Small Is Beautiful. Dr. Schumacher encouraged us to plant trees and to get to know trees in every way. He reminded us that the Buddha exhorted his disciples to plant, and see to the maintenance of, at least five trees in their lifetime. In this way stable forests were planted throughout northeastern India, all along the pilgrimage routes of the Buddha. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Against the Grain Paid Member

    For the last few days I have been lost in the thicket of the Indian summer garden, gathering the ripe seed of Galactic lettuce, Russian sunflowers, and multi-hued quinoa that hails from the Andean highlands. My hands ache from cracking open brittle pods and threshing autumn seed treasures to plant in next year’s garden and to give away. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    On Gardening: Steaming With Buddhahood Paid Member

    While I have been working and meditating at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center for almost three decades, a few seasons ago our family moved “off campus,” about a mile or so up the road, to the coastal community of Muir Beach, where an active clutch of former Zen Center residents continues to practice in the wide embrace of the so-called real world. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    The Birds of the Muses Paid Member

    THE BEES were living in the walls long before I heard them. It was Indian summer a few years ago when I discovered a small cleft along the seamline where our brick chimney pressed against the outer wall of the house. High overhead, scores of pollen-laden honeybees whizzed with industrious delight through this narrow fissure into the inner core of our home. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    A Trace of Figs Paid Member

    Not so long ago I had just finished pruning a beloved Black Mission fig tree when breaking archaeobotanical news rocked my world. A handful of charred figs, carbonized and unearthed in the ruins of a burned village north of the ancient city of Jericho, pushed the known dawn of agriculture back a thousand years to 9400 B.C.E. Not just that, but these same Fertile Crescent figs proved to be a variety that grows only on sterile female trees. Prior to their discovery the first evidence of settled human history was believed to be the domestication of seed-bearing grains and legumes around 8400 B.C.E. More »
  • Tricycle Community 0 comments

    Arranging Garbage Paid Member

    IT WAS ALMOST DARK when I came upon the bobcat, walking alone on a steep overgrown trail far above the Green Gulch valley. She had been dead for weeks, her black-rimmed lips pulled back in a snarl of protest, tiny soot flies scouring her empty eye sockets. Her belly was slit open and she lay, disemboweled, in her own dry blood. The acrid stench of death rose off her matted fur. I considered carrying the bobcat down to bury her in the farm compost pile but decided against it. She was her own sovereign palace of decay, already well-consumed. I placed her, instead, off the trail, onto a soft mound of chain fern and lady's bedstraw and hurried down the mountain while I could still see. This was more than ten years ago, but I still think of that bobcat, especially in this autumn season as we build the last big compost piles of the year, arranging garbage in one giant heap sealed with moldy oat straw drenched in stale green pond water. More »