Thursday, April 19, 2007


At an organic, sustainable farm experiment somewhere in California, we'll be exploring TOPICS in this ongoing column like:
preparedness (for things like post-peak-oil lifestyles)
bottomland and high water tables
sustainability, wildlife, livestock
solar and wind power and the attendant DC voltage system issues
painting, sketching, music and noise, landscaping, gardening, composting
old wood, old tools, old-school, and old-timey everything
comparisons to other farming eras and locations, such as my boyhood in farm country in Missouri. And of course those delightful "end times" things we all share nowadays.

(By the way, I alone am not Green Darner Farm, merely the moderator of this page)

" Vine shoots, heavy with inimitable stones, clambered everywhere; incombustible braziers glowed red all about, nourished by the mineral embers of every shade of green - brilliant green emerald, leek-green chrysolite, glaucous aquamarine, yellowy zircon, cerulean beryl; everywhere, from high to lows, from the tops of the vine-props to the lowest point of their stems, the vines dripped buches of rubies and amethysts, clusters of garnet and alamandine, chasselas of chrysoprasus, muscat-colored olivines and grey quartz, hurling out fabulous streaks of red lightning, purple lightning, yellow lightning, as they stretched upwards in a tower of fiery fruits the very sight of which was sufficient alone to suggest the palpable impossibility of harvesting such a crop, one only too ready to spit out a dazzling must of flames under the weight of the vine-press."
Joris-Karl Huysmans, En Rade
"I am ... a mushroom
On whom the dew of heaven drops now and then."
John Ford (1586-1639?)
A couple of G's scores from a recent farm auction (below)
View looking west

"When I am in the country I wish to vegetate like the country."
William Hazlitt, On Going A Journey
The metasequoia tree (below)
A living room under construction
A greenhouse being put up
Great White Egrets (always feeding nearby, as are the pheasants, but they're more sly and hard to photograph-pics of them next time)
"The gardener bringeth loads, and his arm and neck ache beneath them. At morn he watereth the leek, and at even the vines - - - -. It also goeth more ill with him than any calling.
The field-worker, his reckoning endureth forever; he hath a louder voice than the abu-bird - - - -. He, too, is wearier than can be told, and he fareth as well as one fareth among lions; he is oft-times sick, - - - - and when he cometh into his house at eventide, the going hath cut him to pieces."
Egyptian school textbook, 1300 B.C. (Nineteenth Dynasty)

" "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted."
"Blasphemy" the general screamed starting to his feet. "Man is made to submit and obey."
Acting out a final confrontation with this Satan he paces the room fingering the jeweled handle of his sword. He cannot return to his maps. Still muttering imprecations he steps into the garden. Under the orange trees an old man is cutting weeds stopping from time to time to hone his knife on a stone, hands like brown silk unhurried and steady. He has worked there as a gardener for ten years and the General has stopped seeing him years ago. He is as much a part of the garden as the orange trees and the irrigation ditch flashing like a sword in sun. The House of the General is built on a high hill. Orange groves, date palms, rosebushes, pools and opium poppies stretch down to massive walls. The Caspian Sea gleams in the distance. But the General can find no peace in his garden today. The Old Man peers at this through the orange leaves with laughing blue eyes and stabs up at him from the irrigation ditch. Forgetting the presence of his servant the General raises his clenched fist to a distant mountain and screams: "Satan, I will destroy you forever." "
William Burroughs, The Wild Boys

"Drowsy animals, snug in their holes while wind and rain were battering at their doors, recalled still keen mornings, an hour before sunrise, when the white mist, as yet undispersed, clung closely along the surface of the water; then the shock of the early plunge, the scamper along the bank, and the radiant transformation of earth, air, and water, when suddenly the sun was with them again, and grey was gold and colour was born and sprang out of the earth once more. They recalled the langourous siesta of hot mid-day, deep in green undergrowth, the sun striking through in tiny golden shafts and spots; the boating and bathing in the afternoon, the rambles along dusty lanes and through yellow cornfields; and the long, cool evening at last, when so many threads were gathered up, so many friendships rounded, and so many adventures planned for the morrow."
Kenneth Grahame, The Wind In The Willows (1933)
Photo below: By "G", from a farm auction recently attended
" For the children of poor folk the country road in summer is like a playroom. Where else can they go, seeing that the gardens are selfishly closed to them? Woe to the automobiles blustering by, as they ride coldly and maliciously into the children's games, into the child's heaven, so that small innocent human beings are in danger of being crushed to a pulp. The terrible thought that a child actually can be run over by such a clumsy triumphal car, I dare not think of it, otherwise my wrath will seduce me to coarse expressions, with which it is well known nothing much ever gets done.
To people sitting in a blustering dust-churning automobile I always present my austere and angry face, and they do not deserve a better one. They believe that I am a spy, a plainclothes policeman, delegated by high officials and authorities to spy on the traffic, to note down the numbers of vehicles, and later to report them. I always then look darkly at the wheels, at the car as a whole, but never at its occupants, whom I despise, and this in no way personally, but purely on principle; for I do not understand, and I never shall understand, how it can be a pleasure to hurtle past all the images and objects which our beautiful earth displays, as if one had gone mad and had to accelerate for fear of misery and despair. In fact, I love repose and all that reposes. I love thrift and moderation and am in my inmost self, in God's name, unfriendly toward any agitation and haste. More than what is true I need not say. And because of these words the driving of automobiles will certainly not be discontinued, nor its evil air-polluting smell, which nobody for sure particularly loves or esteems. It would be unnatural if someone's nostrils were to love and inhale with relish that which for all correct nostrils, at times, depending perhaps on the mood one is in, outrages and evokes revulsion. Enough, and no harm meant. And now walk on. Oh, it is heavenly and good and in simplicity most ancient to walk on foot, provided of course one's shoes or boots are in order."
Robert Walser, The Walk (1917)

Kitchen in progress.
One of our many local Swifts (below)

Two views of the sunset spot.

A green darner, underside
Much of the compound
Even though it's spring, all of us locals have had to irrigate a month early this year.
The meta-sequoia spot, on the slough.

A happy plum tree (below)

Sunset in the kitchen

" In the open spaces, mostly along the line of the old road, there were little hillside farms; sometimes with all the buildings standing, sometimes with only one or two, and sometimes with only a lone chimney or fast-filling cellar. Weeds and briers reigned, and furtive wild things rustled in the undergrowth. Upon everything was a haze of restlessness and oppression; a touch of the unreal and the grotesque, as if some vital element of perspective or chiaroscuro were awry."
H. P. Lovecraft, The Colour Out Of Space


Molly said...

So glad you're going to keep us posted on the goings-on out at the Farm!

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