Monday morning, March 12, 2012, second work day of the week.
Every year about this time, I announce I am not going to make the switch to daylight savings time. For all intents and purposes this is my new year’s resolution, and like that of most, my commitment waivers at some point, when my schedule is forced to comport to the rest of the world by which I am surrounded, good little unquestioning industrial slaves they tend to be.
So today I sit at 7AM, my time, and for that matter the time of the chickens and cows accustomed to my arrival, typing on this computer. In a couple of minutes people will begin to arrive and I will ignore them, silently cussing our collective stupidity, until eventually the will of the masses bends my own. As I age, I tend to bend less easily.
I planted seed last week, pinto beans (for dried beans) sweet corn, blue lake green beans, yellow and zucchini squash, green and white striped Cushaw gourds, cantaloupes, watermelons, cucumbers for pickles and a row of okra. It’s a little early for some of this, but we’ve had regular rains and unusually mild weather so I figured I’d better get while the getting is good. I also set out 144 tomato plants and 78 pepper plants of differing varieties. It drizzled for a couple of days after and then warmed up. I can almost feel the seeds springing to life underground.
The transplants took and potatoes are off to the races, most about 6” tall already with a few stragglers just beginning to appear. Shallots and onions are well on their way to maturity. Broccoli is done for, we’ve been feeding leftover plants to hogs and goats. Most of the cabbage is harvested and a two crocks of kraut near ready in the room next door. The few heads that remain in the garden are massive, upwards of ten pounds apiece. Beets also are ready, cilantro starting to bolt.
We harvested about a third of our spinach patch and filled five large tow sacks. I helped Leah sort and can spinach Saturday and Sunday. Figured if we paid ourselves $10 an hour, we had about $4 per pint invested in labor, not including the cost of lids or any cost in growing and harvesting the produce.
I will not sell you a jar of my spinach. If I did, the cost is $20 a pint. Unless you are a lawyer or a Wall Street banker. Your cost is $200 a pint and you should consider that a bargain, considering what I get for your time.
Martin also planted 5 acres of non-hybrid white field corn right before the rains. Lamentably, he convinced me that we needed to spray glyphosate (generic Roundup) on a field where we intend to plant grain sorghum as the weeds got a jump on us and would interfere with planting and cultivating down the line. I have not yet been able to entirely wean myself from the industrial model of farming. As Dmiti Orlov stated recently (paraphrased): What works in the new paradigm won’t work in this. What works in the current paradigm won’t perform in the next.
I find myself straddling a dying way of life and that of a future not quite manifest, but much closer than most suspect, or at least that’s my take.
OK. It’s 7:30 Central Standard (Don Henry Ford Jr.) time. I need to go to work. People are wondering where the hell I am. The cows think something’s wrong with the people.
Someone is waiting at the door and my fucking phone is ringing.