Community Garden

Happy Earth Day weekend, month, year, life!

The randomly selected winner of How-to is Becca T. Thank you to all of you for your kind words and support of poetry! I am grateful to be a part of this project that honors the work of nurturing–be it a garden, a community, a life–in such a lyrical way. If you really had your heart set on it, do consider purchasing a copy from the publisher, Old School Books. For the rest of you curious readers, here is one of my poems that appears in the book. It’s about how I have to teach myself how to make zucchini fritters each year as if for the first time. And other things. Like an afternoon in a community garden. Enjoy and be well!

Community Garden

Summer opens in these moments,

wide mouthed and generous as a squash blossom

promising ample fruit to slice and grate,

to bake and fry in those dozen lost recipes reclaimed

come harvest time. The garden sits on a knoll,

blue mountains layered off in the distance,

blue sky raucous with clouds and shadows

and waves of shifting evening light. My child pacing

mulched paths, taking hold of the wheelbarrow,

screeching with something like exhilaration,

but is unnamable, unspoken. We gather

in a garden made with tools and water,

the unyielding soil softened with manure

and persistent grace. Fellowship.

It is a feast tasted with every turning of the wheel

towards warmth, a recipe calling for sun and rain,

forgotten in due course, but recovered

as we set the table together once more. This smell

of fertile earth. This sound of unnamable delight.

Celebrating a Historic Moment

History was made in Santa Fe, tonight.

I’m fresh from City Hall, where our city council unanimously (and astonishingly) voted in favor of an ordinance guaranteeing water for the Santa Fe River. This makes Santa Fe the first city in New Mexico to make environmental flow in a river law.

To say that this is huge would be an understatement.

At a time when ecological devastation is the norm, this was an act of healing and hope.

It was made possible by a movement that began twenty years ago as a small trickle, and grew into a flash flood of love and support for a dry river that was in 2007 named most endangered river in America. Tonight, City Hall overflowed with citizens, activists, clergy, students, hydrologists, lawyers, ecologists, and yes, the politicians who proved that even against tremendous odds, miraculous things are possible.

Our river was first dammed in the 1880s, and again in the early 20th century. For decades its waters have been held in vast reservoirs and used to supply a growing city. Meanwhile, the river disappeared. It turned into an ugly gash, eroded and trash riddled. A living river was for decades considered folly, a waste of our drinking water. It has been a long road to bring the river back to life, first in our hearts and spirits, (which this little project of mine was dedicated to) and now, in reality.

The vision and activism of our community has worked miracles. It is in many ways a small step–just the beginning, really, of what is truly needed for the river to thrive. But in the face of drought and an uncertain climate future, this is a revolution. It is a step towards recognizing that the rivers future and our own are one and the same.

The Santa Fe River is the thread that stitches us back into the tapestry of the wild, pointing us gently away from destruction and towards conservation.  It is the place where nature, myth, history, and spirit enter our bodies and minds. It carries us now, as it always has. And now we will begin to carry it once again. To take our rightful place as stewards of its well being.

Thank you, Santa Fe. I can smell that wet willow bosque already.

¡Que Viva el Rio!

¡Que Viva Santa Fe!

::

You can read more of the story here.

Welcome to Old Recipe for a New World

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Thanks for dropping by.

The recipe we’re cooking these days is simple: less waste, more joy. Will it help to create a new world? At our house, maybe.

We’re gearing up (down?) for a four month fast from buying plastic. It’s a symbolic action, a way for us to live more in line with our principles. A show of solidarity with an increasingly troubled planet, if you will.

I’ll be posting our discoveries of how to get by in a post-plastic world (well, almost – we get to keep the plastic we already have, and cherish those bottles and baggies like they deserve to be cherished). Eventually I’ll be taking hard looks at the facts of consumption and waste, and sharing some of our reasons for making what amounts to a pretty big lifestyle change.

But know that the roots of this journal are planted in the soil of simplicity, wonder, and love. It’s a fertile ground, that. Already I’ve found much to celebrate in the handmade, the natural world, the kitchen, and the goat barn. As we close the doors on old patterns, they open to the surprising abundance of a life lived more carefully.

Commencing to Feast

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Speaking of abundance, we’ve signed up for a winter share with a local CSA, Beneficial Farms. This week, the first in November, we brought home hefty bags loaded with apples, kale, collards, onions, baby beets, scallions, salad greens, arugula, and persimmons.

While our decision to go plastic free is a very personal, symbolic action, joining a CSA offers immediate and significant results. Our carbon footprint from importing food from out of state/country is vastly reduced, while our money goes directly towards strengthening local food systems. It helps create the world we want to live in.

Seasonal food from within our foodshed. You bet it tastes better.

Psst. It’s cheaper, too.