Today is Saturday, September 25th, the year 2010, and I can't remember the last time I won a raffle. Before sunday, that is, when I won a basket of goodies from the Meat House and a book about gardening anywhere! Winning the raffle was great, and the tour of Brookline's Edible Gardens was even better.
Bountiful Brookline, a one and a half year old non-profit organization working to create/improve a sustainable local food system in Brookline, put on this tour of 8 private and community gardens around town. It was incredible and inspiring to see the ways that people are growing food, especially so much of it in such small areas. For example one gentleman has, over the course of many years and with the help of jerry-rigged poles, ladders, and frames, coaxed grape vines up the outside front two stories of his house! Another lady used the shafts from her daughter's old crew oars to make 10 foot tall bean trellises. There is also a 200 foot commuter garden along a strip of fence (around 99 Kent Street, Brookline, Ma), which started as an art installation/beautification project last year. It is tended and watered by rotating volunteers, and signs encourage anyone passing by to take a tomato or a cucumber, as long as you leave some for the rest of us.
All these examples show how you can grow food pretty much anywhere with some love and dedication. Intensive cultivation, in terms of labor and natural inputs required, produces much bounty per unit of land (or porch, fence, house, etc.). Polyculture and polycropping of complementary species, basically mimicking nature in the diverse variety of her landscapes, is where it is at.
I just returned from a fundraiser for the very same organization that I mentioned above. As part of the 30th birthday of Whole Foods, we were collecting 5 bucks a head for a tasty lunch and recruiting support for BB. Also, if anyone can get to Whole Foods Brighton on October 13 5 percent of the store's total sales will go to Bountiful Brookline. Spread the word and shop for a good cause!
Life here at 12 Verndale Street is going well. The community we have created here is something very special, in my opinion, especially considering our collective lack of cooperative living experience (only one girl had previously lived in a coop house). There is always something going on, someone to share your daily highs and lows with, and something delicious on the stove or the countertop. I have said it before and I will say it again: I am happy here. It is an upgrade from my last living situation in so many ways, and I am so glad that we went through with this grand experiment. I will also remind any readers that they are welcome to visit us anytime, especially for a family dinner sunday-thursday.
sunday: 50 mile bike ride through Boston!
The free beer tasting at the Harpoon Brewery last friday was quite enjoyable, but getting there and back with Matty P was even more so. The beauty is in the process, the journey, and sometimes the event itself is just a room full of strangers scrobbling for free beer (myself included, of course).
On tuesday I had to report to the Brooke Courthouse in downtown Boston. I was there to pay a fine from last fall when I was cited for trespassing on the Boston Commons. We were sleeping out in tents to protest the fact that our homes and dorms were powered by dirty (coal-fired) electricity, but apparently the Police weren't sypmathetic to our cause. But the citation is now magically off my record! The magistrate who handled us informed us that we were lucky because homeless people get arrested for this sort of thing. Hooray for being a priviledged white kid!
Court is a somewhat scary place, though I must say my overall experience was expeditious. This was all I could ask for, especially after hearing stories of long days spent twidling thumbs on uncomfortable benches. Or maybe that is just how I picture court. It was very easy to tell the people who were at work from those who would have probably much rather spent their tuesday morning doing other things. Not to imply that all lawyers love going court; I'm pretty sure some of them do, but I really have no idea. I imagine it is a job like any other with good days and bad, eager and enthusiastic lawyers as well as feet-dragging apathetic lawyers.
I will leave you all with a passage, from Ecclesiastes 3, that my dear Mommy shared with me recently:
"To everything there is a season,
and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing..."