Dangerously organic!

In case you Zoobirds haven't met Sh'mal yet, here's a video I call "Sh'mal, the benefactor" to introduce him:

And, here's a letter I just wrote to Sh'mal, who has moved to Seattle.

Hi Shmal! I sent you a shot of the garden I took yesterday and you replied:

"Looking at the garden makes me feel that I'm still there."

The earth was very soft and easy to work with. The weeds came up pretty well. I am careful to get the roots, too. I'll keep the photos coming to you. Remember admiring the patch with the chard and basil?

You went on to say:

"...And I am. Still a part of the whole; always a part of the whole, but being there was such a ongoing thrill of...well of an existence that was so connected with the earth and once we have connected deeply, whether through our community garden or being on a mountain walking in a park, floating on a river, our connection is us never to pulled away."

I remember how you talked about Lambs Quarter. What an amazingly nutritious, delicious plant. It's taken over the garden, practically.

I hope you get involved with a Seattle garden. Maybe you could hang around one and find someone to share a patch with. Are you finding some good veg to substitute for the McRorie blend? Here's a shot of your patch on the day you began teaching me about gardening at McRorie May '08:

You said "Save the seeds!" referring to the Daikon seeds I saved that you'd kept from the gorgeous Daikon radishes that caught my eye the first few visits to the garden.

Here's a photo of the seeds I have. Not a bunch, but I will save them for you.

Spring was a good time. We were all at the garden in the evenings.

Bruce's patch is the best one in the garden.

He's there most evenings, collecting his dinner.

Did you see the mini-documentaries I did of Bruce describing how his raw diet has improved his overall well-being? Here they are. You'll love this!

And, part 2:

And, part 3:

It's the first cool morning in Gainesville since Spring. I hear people chatting happily, birds waking up and I have all the windows (3) open here in the little place we have in West Gainesville. I like this little village. It's busy. I see a little robin on the crown of the roof out the east window here in my office. And, as I walk out to the porch on the west side, I see a hawk up in the trees! There's just enough time to grab the iPhone and snap some pictures . It's a shame it doesn't have a zoom. I'll attach some here. Hopefully I can zoom in digitally and keep enough resolution to see some detail. It reminds me of my trip to Costa Rica. I took a "canopy tour". It's a different ecosystem in the treetops. I guess the hawk is used to cars and people, because my coming in and out of the door right in front of him didn't scare him off. Neither did passing cars or the crows that called at him. I see bumblebees buzzing him up there. He turns his head nearly al the way around to survey the area.

Yesterday, I took my bike up to Recycled Cycles for a new tire. The Dawes I write about. I parked my car near the bike shop and rode the Dawes to the garden. Frank was there. I hadn't seen him since May. I said hi and we reminded eachother of our names. I mentioned the photo I took of him and Irena last May. It's on the blog I made before I made the Zoobird community. I hoped he'd remember Zoobird, so I reminded him later in the conversation by saying "What was the name of the website?" He remembered and smiled as he repeated it.

I walked over to the tool tower. Sure enough, the gloves were there. I grabbed the best spade of the bunch, the long one, and a claw tool to pull the grass weeds and got started. God, it felt good to be back at the garden after a month of travel.

As I weeded, I noticed a butterfly by the orange flowers by the compost pile. I got a few good shots. People flowed by either walking, riding bikes, or in cars. The bus came by. I saw one guy ride by on a bike with a fishing rod. The students in the house across the street have a motorcycle now, covered with a tarp, in front of the house. I waved to Daniella as she left her house. A snake sunned himself on the sidewalk.

I pulled weeds for about 2 hours. Then, nature called. I was covered in sweat and had a few insect bites. I told myself I'd wear some insecticide and long pants tomorrow. I hate using insecticide because your body absorbs 85% of what you put on it.

Liberty is having a workshop at Indigo in October on Fall Planting. I think I'll follow her advice and yours and plant lettuce, spinach, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, collards, mustards, kale, and swiss chard. Remember how well the kale and collard greens grew in your patch? You told me those were your staples.

I'll plant them the same way you showed me with the bean seeds we planted.

Here's something for you until we next correspond. It's from Carla Van Arnum's magic clinic at Haile Village Bodywork:

All for now.



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Comment by Michael Levin on September 3, 2008 at 6:55pm
Thanks, Carla. You're a part of it with your knowledge of chi, the force behind all of this!
Comment by Carla Van Arnam on September 3, 2008 at 6:41pm
what a lovely history of your association with Sh'mael and the garden, what you've learned and what you hope to do. I look forward to seeing your winter greens. Carla


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