Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You Thought It Was Just About Pepsi in the Cafeteria?

(note: original link appears to be inoperative as of 8/7, so I've replaced it with a cached link to the same story. Sorry for the hassle, and thanks to Niels for bringing the broken link to my attention.)

Yet another reason why school is no place to send a kid.

It's all madness.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Farming For Artists

The answer to my gardening woes (if only I lived in Maryland): I could go to the Maryland Institute College of Art to learn how to be... a farmer. How cool is that?

Says one graduate (who entered the college intending to become a sculpture and graduated a farmer):
"Artists are already practiced in perception, in awareness. Growing food involves so much looking and observing and just awareness."
Farming for artists. So there is hope for me, after all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

In Which I Flunk Gardening, Again

I've said it before: I'm a crappy gardener.

I love plants. I love digging in dirt. But I'm a total flop at getting edible things to grow in my backyard.

My lettuce bolts before I can harvest more than a handful.

My squash plants flower and never fruit.

My cucumbers never even flower.

When things do grow they do so on their own with no help from me. Like the blackberries, which were here when we moved in. And anyway the blackberries don't feed my family because just as they approach glossy ripe perfection, the neighborhood birds swoop in and claim the entire crop. (Have you ever seen how fast a few birds can clear out a patch of brambleberry fruit? Amazing.)

I don't begrudge the birds. We all have to eat. I'm just saying, I haven't figured out a way to make this grow-your-own-food thing work for me.

So I'm kind of frustrated.

That's all.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Can Unschooling Change the World?

(This is a bit of a piece I posted earlier this month on my Wordpress site. In case you haven't visited me there, or didn't know I'd taken up dual residence, consider this an invitation to come on over.)

* * *

I spend a lot of time thinking about the ways in which the industrial economy might give way to a natural economy.
I wonder what will it take to move from a culture of exploitation to a culture of reciprocity. To move from a culture of abuse to a culture of care for people and places and living things.
What will have to change? Everything? All of us?
We’re certainly going to have to learn to think differently. And what do you suppose the chances of that are?
Okay. It’s Going to Take a Miracle.

(click here to read the full article)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

When Things Get Noisy

Fourth of July, Midwest, USA. My normally quiet (and recently very quiet) neighborhood is exploding all around me. My cats are hiding under the beds.

The city ten miles down the river spends about $60,000 on fireworks every July 4th. Last night the BBPiT played a private party out in corn and soybean country where the hosts spent more than $5,000 on fireworks. Crazy.

I don't like the sound of stuff blowing up. I guess that makes me a pinko or something. O well.