Friday, March 25, 2011

Food For Thought

I'm ecstatic that I am now able to build a very good salad from what I either grow or forage here. Except for those tomatoes. But that will be soon! Well, okay, and the feta cheese but I'm looking into that also. Anyway, the greens are from here! My lettuce, onions and foraged watercress that grows in abundance in all the local springs, including mine. I should have some carrots soon and I could add chard or broccoli if I so desired.

My medicinal herb garden is really getting cranked up. I want to add some more to this, as I do every year. In this photo you can see catnip, lemonbalm, mountain mint, echinacea, lavender and feverfew is over to the side, just out of the frame. You would also see bee balm but in a fit of cleaning I mistook the clump for early mountain mint and yanked it up! I'm a moron. Mountain mint is rampant here and must be controlled or it is very invasive. Fortunately, bee balm grows wild and I can find another clump. *Sigh*

Broccoli harvest continues. I have had some trouble with my cabbage though. After all that time of babying those damn things over the winter, they have now all gone to seed without making a head. I cooked the leaves anyway and Jack said they were good but I was not impressed. I have one row of very young ones that may still do; I hope so, but that is another lesson for me either way.

I also have a few young broccoli that are starting to come on well. I'm hoping that as my older ones die back these will start producing. The young cabbage are in the background, btw.

Raspberries are shooting up quite well now. I can't wait for these jewels! I added two more this past week so I have six plants now, I think. They all got a good dose of composted cow manure and wood ashes this spring as did the strawberries.
I haven't been particularly enthused about posting as of late. I guess I've been a little discouraged although not due to any of my great readers of course! I know ya'll that like to read here would read anything I wrote, for the most part. And I will continue to write. I guess it's just that lately I've become more acutely aware of how little most people really give a shit about their health and what is foisted upon them by conventional society. I mean, I know people that garden a lot and I know a few that raise chickens. I know a few that are members of environmental groups and who actively recycle and such and these are all great things but I don't know that I know any that try to bring the whole concept into play.
I just don't have much in common with most people. I don't have kids that take up the majority of my time. I don't really care about having any either, to tell the truth. I don't have a job I hate that takes up most of my time. I find the religion of most around here unproductive and apathetic. I don't watch television and can't carry on a conversation about the popular shows. This is a good thing in my book. I know there are many people who are trying to live more simply, healthfully and meaningfully but I don't seem to meet them often. I read their blogs! But they are far away. It has struck me more often than not that perhaps I'm more of a nut job than I previously thought. My family is so far removed from my lifestyle that we just really don't communicate anymore. I have actually had a couple of people get literally angry at me because I will not shop at Wal-Mart. It's very discouraging to me that such attitudes exist. It's discouraging to me that people smirk and make faces when I won't eat processed food or plain white bread. It's discouraging to me that people who claim to be Christians get all quiet and wander off when you suggest literal ways to give to the poor or help victims of catastrophes. They are very excited to talk about what God is going to do for them however.
So, I'm just down I guess. I'm no freakin' saint I guarantee, and I'm not claiming to be, but I will honestly try to back up my talk with action. I guess that is what I try to show with this blog. I fail a lot. I eat a Wendy's hamburger once in a while. I still don't make my own laundry soap! Aarghh! lol!! But it is not brain surgery to live a more simple, relaxed life where you actually pay attention to what is going on, rather than just 'busying' yourself through your time here. But I don't find a lot of people who even seem to care to try, yet they will readily complain about being bored all the time or burnt out from stress. I mean, what gives?? Have we addled our brains that much with prescription drugs and processed foods? Or have I got it all wrong? Is my lifestyle unrealistic?


newcracker52 said...

I think you have a great life stlye and I'm envious, that I can't do it. My life is sooo hectic. I am now working 7 days a week. It just seems to never end. Your garden is going so good. My window garden I showed you is going great guns. I hope to have tomatoes soon. I enjoy reading about your life and seeing the projects you work on. It inspires me.

Pablo said...

Have you ever considered that everyone else is crazy and you're one of the few sane ones? I think you are.

Woody said...

I feel that most people don't even take the time to think. There is very little self examination. You keep rocking Annie!

Persimmon Knoll said...

What Pablo said.
You shouldn't be down because other people aren't where you are mentally. Filter them out.
To actually pay attention to what is going on is hard. I didn't realize how hard until I tried it. I wondered if my "busy" life had changed me so that it was harder. I can see how most people don't want to expend the energy. But that's not your problem.

Sissy said...

Stay your course. Others may or may not discover and use some commonsense. Its said 'we can't save the world'. I think differently. You are on a good path and have much good sense. BTW, the laundry soap is good for clothes lightly soiled. It doesn't do much for work clothes.

May I have that salad? Everything is looking good out there

wolfek said...

I had my dish cut off about two years ago due to the rising cost of the bill. I am so glad. I am out of the loop during lunch at work but I realized my life does not revolve around American Idol or Dancing with the Stars at night. Keep on marching to your own drummer and you can continue to lay your head down at night and peacefully rest.

Floridacracker said...

Hey, I'm crazy along with you ... not exactly the same ... I do shop at Walmart, but I definitely agree with so much of what you are doing and the philosophy behind it.

If I keep telling you how impressive you are, you will just get a big head, so I am not going to mention that right now.
Congrats on your garden, I am trying to make mine more efficient and bring in more of the permaculture style.
Even with acreage, I prefer the small efficient food plot over the old row crop style.
That way I can garden and keep my forest.
So ... you know what that food garden needs?
A water feature ... hmmm?

And ... Gawd, I love a beautiful Greek salad like the one you posted.

Anonymous said...

Keep on keepin' on Annie- Pablo's right! My grandpa always said, "Take what you need (from folks) and leave the rest." Sage advice.

HermitJim said...

Just my own personal opinion, but in this crazy world of blogging and homesteading and living life in a very responsible stand out like a diamond in a goats butt!

What you have managed to do, both by yourself and with the help of just a small handful of friends, should shame all of those of us that park it on the couch or porch and never lift a finger.

You continue to show us just what is possible if you want it bad enough, and if more of us would just follow your lead, we would all be better off!

Please continue to just hear your own council, and fight the good fight! If you look behind you, you'll see there are more of us following you than you may know!

edifice rex said...

Hey New! sorry to hear you are having to work so much! maybe one day you will have a solution to that. thanks for your kind words.

Hey Pablo! Ha! well, I guess I never thought of that! you might be right!

Hey Woody! thanks man! I think you are right too.

Hey Persimmon! thanks! very good point; it is hard to pay attention to life and most just don't want to I guess.

Hey Sissy! thanks! I appreciate your always encouraging words.

Hey Wolf! thanks! yeah, I could not imagine my life revolving around TV! bleh!!

Hey FC! thanks man! you're sweet! I prefer the smaller, intensive garden too. A water feature is a great idea! I've been rolling that over in my head; hhhmmm, I'll have to think on that.

Hey Sally! that is sage advice! thank you!

Hey jim! "a diamond in a goat's butt", you know, I don't think those words have ever been used before to describe me. LOL!! that's great!!
thank you for your kind words too! I appreciate your continued encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think what you do is great.
I haven't had cable in over a decade. do I miss it. No. I still have tv but rarely watch it unless itis on PBS. I like growing stuff and try to grow a few things myself. I read, and I read old fashion papers books. Haha! I kayak and enjoy outdoors. Wish I had the talent to do more than I do.
As for relatives that can't relate. Stick to small talk. I have cousins that are trying to keep up with the Jones or Smiths and unfortunately have taught their kids that if it doesn't have a label of some famous someone in other peoples eyes you shouldn't wear it. Wonder why they are in debt up to their eyeballs. Ridiculous.
My business has been slow due to the economy over teh past few years, but you know. I've learned that I don't need much and trying to go with the less is more frame of thinking. A lot of my friends get it, some don't. That is okay, they can do what they want and I will wile away my time happy. I've always been a self entertainer and it doesn't always cost something. Enjoy the simple things in life.

JaneinMaine said...

I love your medicinal herb garden, looks like flowers are in there too?Wondering though, it doesn't look like it is fenced in, do critters get into it, like deer?Jane p.s.I have chickens too-I spend hours just watching them, I've heard it said that watching chickens is "hippie tv"!

edifice rex said...

Hey Anon! yeah, you are very right on several things there. I have learned the small talk thing and I have found the simple things in life are usually things of great quality actually. Sounds like you are really enjoying yourself; good for you!

Hey Jane! I laughed out loud at the 'hippie TV' thing! that's great!
The herb garden does have some flowers in it. It actually started out as just a flower bed but kinda evolved to herbs. It is not fenced because generally speaking, the deer do not like the odor that plants like rosemary and such put off, so they don't bother it. I do sometimes see where they have walked around it though.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Hey, wait a minute - there ARE folks who think the way you do, Annie. Maybe not in all the same ways, but many similar ones. We grow our own veggies as much as possible (but do envy your herb garden). We would like to have chickens and while we have a large enough yard there are other considerations. if we lived closer, we would buy eggs from your chickens! We don't subscribe to any cable/dish services - the TVs are used to watch old movies mostly. We read a lot from thrift store of library sale finds and even go to the library on a weekly basis - no kindles or nooks in our future. We have found many so-called Christians with a holier-than-thou attitude who rarely practice their beliefs outside of Sunday as we found out when we stopped attending any. We keep friends and those we love in our thoughts and prayers every day. There is now a Wal-Mart 5 minutes from our home, but we don't shop there. We take an excursion to the Tractor Supply 45 minutes from our home if we need any garden/yard supplies or the local hardware store. And, we haven't eaten a fast food burger or anything else in a number of years. Cooking at home is what we enjoy more - and we surely know the food is better! So you are not crazy cause there are many more like-minded folks out here in blog land.

Anonymous said...

Bless you my child because falling for a "Baconator" now and then is no sin. OK OK OK i still haven't fallen yet but it is dang close some days.
The garden looks great. And like Beatrice said "I envy your herbs". You should re-read the Mark Twain quote you have in your quotes. Small minded folks like to reduce you to their level. Beside, the more independent you are the more you scare the followers. Don't ya just love to leave them speachless???? AND beware those that wear 'their christianity' on their sleeves, I doubt that Christ know them.

Deb said...

I agree with Pablo! I wish there were more people like you in my neck of the woods. I don't even bother to try to explain my ideals to the moms I meet at ball games and school events--it takes too much energy! I spend too much energy at home defending my choices...sigh...

edifice rex said...

Hey Beatrice! Yeah! I know lots of folks like us in Blogland! :D
What I was getting at was I don't know many in person, here around me and that is a little discouraging. It's nice to talk to like-minded people in person sometimes.

Hey Grenville! you are exactly right about the Mark Twain quote. Maybe I should print that out and hang it over my desk!
Actually I do love to freak people a little! :)

Hey DEb! thanks!! yeah, I usually keep my mouth shut around strangers and casual acquaintances too. :)