Money vs Wealth
or
“in full pursuit of the uneatable”

It’s a given, an unquestionable part of the modernist credo, that money equals wealth.

I disagree vehemently; the more I think about it, the more I am fairly certain that money is the opposite of wealth. If we look around us, we are very close to the end-game of converting all our planetary resources into money. For the sake of accumulating capital we have destroyed entire species, entire watersheds, entire forests — well, let’s not recite the whole dreary list here. Other people are reciting it better, with more footnotes, elsewhere.

But here’s the catch. When we convert biotic resources into money — when we liquidate real-world stuff to create capital — we run into a negative feedback loop. See, the only thing that money represents is a claim on real-world resources. You know, stuff like food, water, shelter, clothing. Read the rest of this entry »

(Published in: , , ); | on January 30th, 2013 | 4 Comments »

Saving Seeds

Well, I am back after my peripatetic summer. I’ll skip the rapturous ramblings (in prose) about my rapturous ramblings (on the coast) and just say that I fall more deeply in love with BC with each year I live here…

Returning to Cortes Island and the garden, I’ve been harvesting a glut of tomatoes from the greenhouse, curing winter squash (outdoors in the shade, on the wood pile), digging taters, and gathering seed from my most successful plantings. Some things did well. Some things refused to thrive. But overall, I feel humbled by the sheer bodacity of life, the incredible return on my few seeds sown months ago.
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(Published in: , ); | on October 14th, 2012 | 1 Comment »

The Anxious Gardener

Is it just me? Or maybe it’s gardening in a new bioregion, a different climate — not even a predictable climate any more? Somehow I have become an Anxious Gardener. Being a peakista (and on a remote out-island and an uncertain pension too) makes gardening a serious undertaking, not the frivolous hobby it used to be when I was a fully-employed City Person. I feel suddenly the importance of actually making it work, of Not Failing. I feel stage fright.

I find myself fretting over basic decisions like what to plant in which bed. Sun exposure, companion planting likes and dislikes, crop succession all simmer in my head: the potatoes don’t want to be near the alliums, the lettuce gets along with everyone, the collards probably need more sun, spinach will need shade later on… gee, it’s like planning the seating for a family reunion that includes the Sackville-Bagginses…. and it’s probably too early to be sowing direct anyway, what am I thinking? but there is genuine warmth in the sun lately, and the air temperature has risen enough to make me want to have my fingers in the dirt. I think — well, I hope — that “all danger of frost is past”… Read the rest of this entry »

(Published in: , ); | on April 10th, 2012 | 4 Comments »