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Tag: gardening

Working It Out: Reflections on a Five-Year Experiment

Introduction: How I Got Here Five years ago, in October 2013, I committed myself to an experiment that felt both comfortably secure and quite risky. After teaching abroad in Japan for a year, I returned to my hometown in Humboldt County, CA, moved in with my mother and girlfriend, and actively eschewed all forms of [...]

The Life and Death of Sweet Meats: A Tribute to Barry Snitkin

This is my fiftieth journal, which feels like an appropriate time to reflect on the origins of the words&dirt blog. When I began this project more than two years ago, I wanted to develop ideas about a way of life that was experimental for me. I wanted to step outside the traditional channels of education [...]

Review: David Hinton’s “Hunger Mountain”

In mornings dark, days Unborn Bathed in pools of artificial light I find myself, trappings all At the base of Hunger Mountain David Hinton smiles, ancient sages at his back All smiling, all mysterious As if knowing some unknowable And not sharing We begin up the Mountain Sometimes wandering, leaves in watery eddies Sometimes bounding, [...]

Review: Wendell Berry’s “What Are People For?”

Wendell Berry is an author I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time. As a staunch defender of the environment and nonindustrial agriculture, Berry challenged my parents’ generation to think twice about the price of American modernity. This collection of essays from the 1970s and 80s does just that, and in much richer [...]

Quotes 11-9-2015

“‘I understood in a moment of stillness,’ Litima read. ‘Those candle flames were like the lives of men. So fragile. So deadly. Left alone, they lit and warmed. Let run rampant, they would destroy the very things they were meant to illuminate. Embryonic bonfires, each bearing a seed of destruction so potent it could tumble [...]

Review: Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden; or, Life in the Woods”

Thoreau’s Walden is a masterpiece of transcendentalist philosophy that has inspired many generations of Americans. It’s also a text ripe for revival. My generation is trying to balance our dependence on modern technology with our love of the quickly-vanishing natural world. Too often it feels like we are caught in a zero-sum game pitting modernity [...]

Quotes 9-29-2015

“We are wont to forget that the sun looks on our cultivated fields and on the prairies and forests without distinction. They all reflect and absorb his rays alike, and the former make but a small part of the glorious picture which he beholds in his daily course. In his view the earth is all [...]

Journal #45: Defying the Drought, Pt. 1

California’s recent drought has been scary. Even in Northern California, where the water situation is considerably better than down south, people are realizing that the future of California’s water situation will look much different than its past. Though many improvements will be large, publicly-funded infrastructure projects, individuals can also take action to lessen the effects [...]

Journal #44: To Build a Greenhouse

Next month, Ma and I will be installing something we’ve wanted ever since I took the permaculture design course at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center: rainwater catchment. Ma’s been looking into it on and off for months, and we finally found a guy through a friend who pitched us a simple design for a [...]

Journal #43: Second Spring

As mentioned in previous journals, I spent January-March building with Dan, Sean, and Matt. I thought I’d share a picture of the project we completed in March. We built this deck for two lovely women in Jacoby Creek. This project had special meaning for me. Our clients are getting married this month, and their ceremony [...]