2014 : a retrospective


I tried to do better in 2014 by making the garden bigger and giving the seeds and each row more space and keeping the rows straight. The two rows on the outside, east and west, didn’t germinate. The lessons i learned in 2014 were embodied in failures. Thank god.


I believe good documentation is vital, but that, too was one of my failures. I don’t remember what i tried to plant in those two rows nor may speculate on why they didn’t grow. I do know my son suggested planting the next seeds in 2 ft wide 1 ft high mounds. So that’s how i did a row of squash and one of cucumbers. They grew like gangbusters.


I was more conscientious in 2014 of weeding the garden. I felt good enough from 2013’s experiment i was determined that this attempt was gonna be better. And it was. Besides squash and cucumber i harvested okra and watermelon. I should have been more ruthless in my winnowing of the watermelon seedlings, they were somewhat stunted for lack of space.


At the end of June part of my body failed and immobilized my project along with pretty much everything else i do to make it in this world. The whole experience has allowed me a refreshed perspective on this world from where i sit.  The garden returned to nature but i continued to reap it’s benefits for those two months i was down and out.


And other difficult events occurred in 2014 got me rethinking everything. Steady goin back to the source. With each pulse of the universe.


The Triumph of Seeds: Our huge debt to tiny marvels

“THAT spark of dormant life may be hidden and hard to measure, but mother plants will do almost anything to protect it,” writes conservation biologist Thor Hansen, describing the marvels that are seeds.

Ranging from the human-head-sized coconut to the dust-fine contents of the vanilla orchid pod, we see how seeds are far more than lumps of plant tissue, waiting around for watering before they spring into action. They are a plant’s babies, lifeboats of genetic succession cast off into the sea of an uncertain future.

via The Triumph of Seeds: Our huge debt to tiny marvels – life – 19 April 2015 – New Scientist.

via The Triumph of Seeds: Our huge debt to tiny marvels.

Russia’s Small-Scale Organic Agriculture Model May Hold the Key to Feeding the World

Most food in Russia comes from backyard gardens.

Back in 1999, it was estimated that 35 million small family plots throughout Russia, operated by 105 million people, or 71 percent of the Russian population, were producing about 50 percent of the nation’s milk supply, 60 percent of its meat supply, 87 percent of its berry and fruit supply, 77 percent of its vegetable supply, and an astounding 92 percent of its potato supply. The average Russian citizen, in other words, is fully empowered under this model to grow his or her own food, and meet the needs of their family and local community.

“Bear in mind that Russia only has 110 days of growing season per year – so in the U.S., for example, gardeners’ output could be substantially greater. Today; however, the area taken up by lawns in the U.S. is two times greater than that of Russia’s gardens – and it produces nothing but a multi-billion-dollar lawn care industry.”

The backyard gardening model is so effective throughout Russia that total output represents more than 50 percent of the nation’s entire agricultural output. Based on 2004 figures, the collective value of all the backyard produce grown in Russia is $14 billion, or 2.3 percent of Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) – and this number will only continue to increase as more and more Russians join the eco-village movement.

via Russia’s Small-Scale Organic Agriculture Model May Hold the Key to Feeding the World | P2P Foundation.

via Russia’s Small-Scale Organic Agriculture Model May Hold the Key to Feeding the World.

The Danger Of Becoming Free: Urban Homestead.

Political Vel Craft

Over 6,000 pounds of food per year, on 1/10 acre located just 15 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. The Dervaes family grows over 400 species of plants, 4,300 pounds of vegetable food, 900 chicken and 1,000 duck eggs, 25 lbs of honey, plus seasonal fruits throughout the year.

From 1/10th of an acre, four people manage to get over 90% of their daily food and the family reports earnings of $20,000 per year (AFTER they eat from what is produced).

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Ground Mending


mend – … to set right … correct … to restore to health … cure … heal …

I learned the garden needed more consistent attention than i was able to provide. I learned the yard in which i broke the ground was a whole that immediately started a process of healing. For the yard, the garden was a wound.

I noticed how the yard worked to heal its wound was similar to how my hand healed a blister i acquired digging. The area around the wound/blister/garden closes in and small areas within spontaneously grow outward.


Another thing i learned was what i thought of as generic blades of grass were just the tip of an extensive underground system of interconnected roots, a woven organic fabric, a natural network that provoked green to rise to healing light.




‘Let us begin by considering the growth of a living plant. This growth starts from a seed, but the seed contributes little or nothing to the actual material substance of the plant or to the energy needed to make it grow. This latter comes almost entirely from the soil, the water, the air and the sunlight. According to modern theories the seed contains information, in the form of DNA, and this information somehow “directs” the environment to form a corresponding plant.’

from the essential DAVID BOHM edited by lee nichol 2004 Routledge

“Never give up!”



so it took me another month to break some more ground and sow seed, excuses related to      time and energy. done in haste with little planning. almost in fits of desperation, like i just gotta do something, anything, to break the pattern of societal influences “Distract yourself with the trivial and let govcorp take care of the rest!”

the meditative aspect deepened with the work, the feel of the shovel and the ground and my muscles and breathing and the smell of the dirt. thinkin bout what i have to learn and pass on to my grandchildren. so much more than this.

used to play starfox n64 with the kids. tried to point out the depth and significance of peppy telling starfox, bout half way thru the game – “Never give up!”




early april 2013. after listening to all my talk about the decline and john robb’s resilient communities, my wife grabbed a selection of seed packets at the dollar store and put them in my hand. i went into the backyard, with little knowledge or skill and started digging. it was hard work and a profound meditative experience. Thank you Loyce.