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Monday, April 7, 2014

No Need to Water

Native Americans used to eat redbud flowers

Everything is starting to bud, and my internal hunter-gatherer is at war with my inner farmer. Look at all the things that grow by themselves, it says. Why on earth would you water a plant in a pot? How is that even profitable?

Tastes like chives

For instance, there is this plant that is springing up everywhere in my unmown grass that tastes just like chives. Maybe it is chives. What do I know? If I had taken the trouble to grow a garden, and I had planted chives, I would have been very proud of myself for producing food by my own labor. But... what do we need labor for, when it grows on its own? Any time I want to add chives for a salad or to a sandwich, all I have to do is go and pick some. Why water?

That's what Bow is thinking, too, most probably. He thinks I am a fool for trying to water our seeds.

I have ten acres. Properly managed, they could support a lot of people. There are hungry people out there who might benefit from the yield of this land. What right do Bow and I have to keep them out? President Monroe thought that "the earth was given to mankind to support the greatest number of which it is capable." I don't believe that, though. There's got to be a place on this planet for hunter-gatherers, human and non-human.


For instance, yesterday I encountered a cat hunting in my pasture. It ran away as soon as it saw me. You might think I am supporting no one by leaving my fields all fallow. But there are mice living on my land, and there are snakes and hawks and even an occasional cat that live on those mice. Where would they go if I devoted all my land to feeding the greatest number of which it is capable?



Bow asked to go outside this morning, after the rains died down to a drizzle. He declined to step into the flooded pen, but he gave me a push to get me going. Brownie was waiting for me by the planter. It was soaked. Definitely no need to water it today!

9 comments:

  1. Great videos! I don't blame Bow. I don't think I would have wanted to venture into the flooded pens either.

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    1. Thanks, And, yeah, I don't blame him, either!

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  2. Are you sure the plants are chives? They look like wild onions to me. I have a whole backyard chock full of them. Ten acres is a lot of land. Have you ever thought about leasing parts of it to people who would like to garden but don't have the room on their property? My ex-father-in-law leased a small plot of land to use for a garden each spring and summer to raise squash, corn, peas and beans.

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    1. Well, they may be wild onions. But they taste like chives!

      While ten acres seems like a lot, most people around here have much more, so it's unlikely anyone will want to lease the land for a garden. At one point, someone wanted to lease our pasture for a stallion, but that would have required them to come and go at all hours, and Bow would have been pretty upset about strangers on our property.

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    2. I think it might be a type of chives known as onion chives. I have a small plant like that.

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    3. Thanks, Julia, for mentioning that. It is sometimes hard for me to classify plants that I find on my land exactly. I will try to look up onion chives.

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    4. I wish I could classify all the flowers I found on my walk Monday.

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  3. Since you have so many plants growing on your property, maybe it is better to just not bother with the seeds.

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    1. We will still try with that one planter, just to see what happens, though I am not sure anything will come of it. But I am certainly grateful for the things that grow all by themselves.

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