Saturday, October 2, 2010

Concerning the Sabbath

Sabbath morn, October 2, 2010.

While I try to acknowledge the passing of the Sabbath, I rarely honor the day as I suppose someone of the Jewish faith or a first century Christian would have. Perhaps that’s because the command was to do all your work on six days and then rest the seventh. Nowadays Sabbath keepers tend to remember the resting part of the equation while ignoring the do all your work part. And of course, plants and animals don’t respect holidays. If they die on a Saturday because they’ve been neglected, you can’t raise them back to life come Sunday morning.

In my previous entry, I said, wise is the man that harvests his crops. I haven’t been so wise this year. In fact, one of the reasons I write about what I am doing is to guilt myself into doing a better job. Somehow seeing a recorded ledger of my failures spurs me on to do better.

Large amounts of produce have gone to waste in my garden this year. Even now I have unpicked black-eyed peas and peppers. I harvested only a tiny amount of okra; big plants with dried pods still wave in the wind as a reminder of my negligence. Harvesting entails more than just picking the stuff and putting it into a bucket. The food must be delivered to market or be properly stored, if not, it will rot or otherwise go to waste.

Hogs and chickens are useful as potential consumers of spoiled or excess produce from the garden. And I don’t have any hogs. That’s something I need to remedy to further our path toward a sustainable farm.

When we put corn into a bin, we put diatomaceous earth along the floor and then mixed some throughout the grain as it was added to the bin to keep weevils at bay. Most farmers treat their bins with phostoxin, a horribly lethal substance if not properly handled. I am told no residue remains from the use of this substance as it’s a gas that it emits that kills rodents and insects, but I remain skeptical. Grain buyers tend to look suspiciously at the dust the diatomaceous earth adds to the mix and therefore prefer the chemical.

So, it’s off to work today, because I didn’t do all the shit I should have this week. I won’t get it all done today either, but hopefully we will do enough to survive. As for those that advocate a return to the hunter/gatherer way of life: best I can tell it wasn’t near as great as the romantic notion many have, entailing periods of hardship and starvation. I pretty much accept the fact that the ground has been cursed and if you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Keep a hackin.

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