Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The goings on

I've been meaning to post about my garden, and show you all the pictures of a nice big trench I dug with my wood chopping muscles I grew while I was at the Anima Center. I think I even outdug my sweetie who's been digging with me.

But alas, I've had much more on my plate than I'd like, and have been a bit overwhelmed.

The garden plans are getting in place, we have two 20 ft long 3 ft wide plots at the community garden down the road from our house. 120 sq feet of plantable space. But, that means we need to dig 240 cubic feet of dirt out of the ground, and fill in the plots with lots of manure and soil amendments before we start planting. The new irrigation lines should be in place by Monday, so I'm aiming to fill in plot #1 by friday, which can be then planted on saturday or sunday.

Probably will mostly grow from seed, due to cost, and we have very little frost worry here. But it is still the time to grow the cool season plants, root veggies, cabbage, greens, peas. We're defiantely planting a bunch of cabbage for making kraut with, various greens (mizuna, kale, mustard, bok choi, chard) beets of many colors, carrots ( both of which can be pickled as well). Among other things, we're going to plant a few artichoke plants (under the impression that one plant can grow up to 30 artichokes as long as you keep up with removing the flowers as they grow.)

Strangely, I've been having a difficult time deciding which herbs to plant in my other bed...so many of the medicine plants I use are very easy for me to wildcraft in the nearby mountains. I don't really want to plant mint in a community garden, considering it's invasiveness, and it is the cold season, so I can't plant out anything really sensative to cold, like ashwaganda (which i do want to plant). So...I have a couple of wood betony plants that Jim McDonald gifted me with at the beginning of the year, when I still lived in Colorado. They have had a long journey, and though doing very well in their pots, I think would be happier in the ground, to be fruitful and multiply. Things like fennel, dill, cilantro and such are obvious ones, and I have some seed from my marshmallow plants I grew in Colorado, so I'll plant some of those as well. We have enough space that I'm going to dedicate a nice corner of the plot to a chamomile bed, as it is one of our favorite medicines that doesn't grow very abundantly around here. I'm also hoping to plant a little corner of nettles, which I'll probably mostly use as a food/green, since I dont drink the infusion much (gives me headaches). Will need to experiment more with very young nettles as a food to see if it hurts my head like the infusion does. In the worst case, I'll harvest nettle seeds for medicine.
I'm also going to plant some lemon balm, as it is always better fresh, and a little less invasive than mint.

On other notes, I've been feeling terribly grumpy and overwhelmed with the business aspects of business plans, filing paperwork for establishing LLC status, asking for a small business loan to help start an Earth based wellness center here in Tucson, where I will base my practice out of, along with two other women practitioners, including an Ecotherapist and an Energy Worker ( and not a weekend certified reiki practitioner either. She's been in school for several years, and needs to acquire 200 practice hours before she can claim certification). I'm starting to rethink the idea of asking for a loan at all, but really not sure how I can finance the place (including buying some chairs, and paying the minimal rent) without it.

I'm completely broke again, and though a small trickle of money finds its way to me from consultations and orders, it is in no way a living wage yet, and doesn't even begin to cover my living expenses ( especially with the debt I'm already in from living in Boulder, which was way too expensive). So, I've been diligently trying to find a job, with some positive leads at a local store, but nothing has panned out yet, and its stressing me out. I'm really tired of constantly scraping the bottom of the barrel, and I'm tired of eating beans as my main source of protein. I'm not hungry, i've been donated lots of good things to eat by caring friends, including tons of beans and some treasured cans of wild meat, and as soon as the garden starts producing, we'll be eating organic local produce almost exclusively ( minus the blueberries I love so much, and any other fruit), which will save money in the long term on shopping.

But it isnt my ideal situation, to say the least.

I've been invited to give a talk to a local alternative medicine group next week, about nutrition, and will be talking about simple ways to improve the diet to increase nutrition and overall health. I'm working on the outline, and once I have that complete, I'll probably turn it into a blog post or an article. I'm not so much nervous about the public speaking part, I actually rather enjoy it, and prefer some level improvisational speaking rather than each word planned out and written on an index card, but I am concerned about having enough resources and references to back up the assertions I'm making, since some of what I have to say doesn't jive with the American Dietetic Association, or what doctors are telling their patients to do. Of course, doctors have no where near adequate nutritional education to actually be telling patients about their diets, and i dont know too many docs who are keeping up with modern nutritional science in detail. Things ARE changing, but we've got a long way to go to disperse the myths that any fat is bad, that lowfat high carb diets are the best way to lose weight, or even achieve good health, and that traditional whole foods are far and away better than modern processed food products. Of course, half the battle is just educating folks, so that's what I plan to do with the hour next Tuesday.

Among other things, I got some fresh, ripe peaches very cheap today, and plan to spend the evening and early morning tomorrow canning peach sauce and peach skin chutney for a touch of late summer sweetness in the cold, dark of winter, and make some saurkraut with 2 cabbages. I wont have my own caggabe for probably 2 or 3 months to kraut up, so I'm making it with store bought for the time being. But I definitely feel the autumnal calling to preserve, harvest, and stock up for the cooler season ahead.

No one seems to be able to make the herb walk this coming saturday, so I'm seriously considering rescheduling it for later on this month, in hopes more people will be able to make it.
I have yet to go harvest prickly pear fruit, and passionflower, and I'm getting the feeling I'm not going to have the time to get to it with everything else that needs attention right now. I guess that is what I get for leaving everything for a month to spend time with myself and Gaia in the wilderness, but I needed the time, and the space, and have to accept the consequences of that decision now ( including the part where I'm broke and jobless). Once the wellness center is off the ground, and we're pulling in more local clients, it will help, but that may take another month or so yet.

I've gone on long enough for today, but I'll try and get some pictures of the garden as it progesses over the next few weeks.

1 comment:

jim mcdonald said...

hey darcey...

just speak your mind, and don't feel obligated to back up everything. I've given SO many talks, and pretty much just put it out there that the people are going to get a blend of history, opinons, facts, ponderings, lore and wild rampant speculation. I usually try not to elaborate on which is which.

(strangely, people are far more likely to accept as fact that I can talk to plants as opposed to fat is good for you...)

You should try master gardener groups/extensions. Most counties have their own, and they meet monthly and a lot of them pay decent for an hour and a half.

Or, if you want, you could offer the poisons and antidotes class, always a good breadwinner. You do poisons on saturday (for $5 or something) and then antidotes on sunday (for lots more :)...

"The mother of us all, the oldest of us all, Hard, splendid as rock, Let the beauty you love, be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth"~ Rumi ~