Blog 2018

July 3, 2018


Tonight I ate lettuce right out of the lettuce bed...and sun-warmed raspberries off the bushes behind the shed.  I got late and ended up sort of skipping dinner, which simply means I didn’t organize my eating with measure; no thoughts about what spices to add.  No chopping.  No heating.  No cooling.  The sun and water had already done what I needed in the moment.  So hand-to-mouth suited me fine this evening.  And there is nothing like the taste of nutrients from the soil—chemical elements that come from keeping healthy soil.  The flavor of the lettuce I grow, the fruits I gather – there is nothing like it in the store – not even the fresh food markets.  Food delivery compromises quality.  It just does.  You have to eat raspberries within 24 hours of picking or they will waste.  It teaches me what we lose in food.  I suppose CSA delivery is the closest a person could get to the direct quality there is in growing her own food.  But I advocate growing what you can where you are; even herbs on a balcony, or small tomatoes in a patio pot.     


Anyway, I got late for making dinner because my organic neem oil arrived and so I had to go out with my mixture to address the japanese beetles.  The beetles are everywhere.  I started with one of the rose bushes, moving to a second variety, and then the raspberries, some of which I ate before I sprayed.  Neem oil is the better organic choice, I decided, as pyrethrum does have some harmful aspects to it if inhaled, and pyrethrin is toxic to a lot of insects including beneficial ones, bees for example, and also fish.  So, I went with the better of the two, according to what I’ve read so far.  Nothing is perfect.  But neem oil is a good option in organic pesticides.  You do need a binding agent with the oil, so I use a non-toxic, biodegradable dish soap.


I will see what the morning brings.  I am new to neem, so I don’t know how often I’ll have to reapply.  I keep wondering what will happen to, say, organic orchards once the beetles head south.  I am told they haven’t gotten there yet, but climate change will bring them, I have no doubt, just as they brought them to the yard where I live. 


I often feel I am dancing madly with the earth in a kind of cyclical spin.  With the planet, I am joined in this expression of recurrent errancy seeking its return to balance.