Friday, February 25, 2011

Indoor Garden Treasure

I grew watching my mom grow gardens both outside and inside our home. However, I was far to busy drawing and playing video games to ever get my hands dirty. Unless it was a dreaded chore. Like pouring compost water on the garden, or covering the garden with raked leaves. For some reason my connection to growing things, nature and plants never really blossomed in the suburbs of Minneapolis. So then 2010 happened and I found myself in the very rural town of Unity, Maine. Far far from home. I was in a town surrounded by real farmers, many young organic farmers. Amazingly, I found myself behind the counter of a deli, staring at a whole new world in front of me. I was presented with a different way of life.

This deli, Cross Trax Deli, thanks to Monica Murphy the owner, was in fact the only deli in town, and happened to the backbone of the local farmers in the area. I met some amazing people in that place, and every day these people helped open my eyes to some very important things. I would always say that organic food is important to me, but I did not really understand who was growing it, or how it got to my plate. I always attended the Minneapolis Farmers Market and met the vendors, but did not understand what it took to get the food to that table each week. I always planned to grow a garden some day, but just figured i would do it someday in the future; because gardening was for middle aged people.

I was living my life from a very city centered perspective. Which, I guess, is understandable growing up right outside of a major city. However, things I said were important to me were only important to me in my mind, and not in my actions. It is like I, and an entire culture of pseudo hippies in Minneapolis, were faking it. In Unity Maine I met the kind of people every in Uptown Minneapolis tried to pretend to be. Punk farmers. People who didn't just say radical things, but did radical things.

I am grateful for this subculture of people for shopping at farmer's markets, and supporting organic and local products at their health food stores; it is very important. I was one of those people. It took moving to the other side of the country and to watch people dragging in bag after bag of carrots and kale, or dragging crate after crate of beets down into the cellar. I watched beaten and bruised farmers strolling in after sundown, filthy, just to pick up the compost slop buckets from the deli to feed to their pigs. Hard work, was actually hard work.

Then came the break up. Not long after my long term relationship with my girlfriend ended, I felt like the small town of farmers was too foreign for me to stick around. I was drawn to a bigger city. But things in my head changed. The common ground fair changed me, cross trax changed me, Unity changed me. I need to let my action speak louder than my words, and my words speak louder than the choir in my head. I can tell myself I am a good person tell the cows come home, but unless I get out and do something about it.... I am only good in my head. And that is a scary realization.

So, here is my very humble start to an indoor garden:

Arugula, Arugula, tomato, and basil. I plan to start a few pepper plants and maybe make a few more of each one. The arugula is already sprouting and I am very happy to have things growing under my care. I know it is a very small step, but it is an important step when it is a step I havnt taken in 28 years. So many excuses to not start an indoor garden, and my new outlook is to get rid of those excuses and turn them into results.

Oh, and just to prove that I am acting on this mind frame since moving to Portland here are a few video you will find me in, protesting for peace:

I'll probably repost these videos and talk a bit about my adventures in activism in Portland, Maine.


Ray said...

Right on! Cool that you're in a We Are Change video!

I try to be a punk farmer every year. Last year I had awesome compost, a few big tomato plants, bunch of sunflowers, Radishes, and a few stalks of corn. Then one day the stupid ass condo developers came and bulldozed the entire yard to put in the long delayed sod. And the people I was staying with moved in August so I wasn't around for harvest.
Right now, I have a nice little Avocado pit putting down a tap root! Exciting! I think growing food is one of the greatest arts we can do. All green thumbs to you and your start up!

thetoymaker said...

Go Billy! We aren't great farmers but our citrus trees do well. You also might think about some basic herbs, basil, dill, oregano, rosemary, mint can really bring a lot of flavor to the party.

Keep using your superpowers for good!


PS I just found out that I'm going to be speaking at conference in Saint Paul in September. You'll have to tell me all the hot spots.

williamhessian said...

Thanks Ray and MSW! Glad to hear you grow some things in Mpls Ray. We need more of that.

Speaking in St. Paul? That's really great. What conference? I'm not sure if ill be in Minnesota, but if so we should get together. I'll definitely give you a few places to check out during your stay.

Custom essay writing service said...

Well love to see this plant is grown with lots of care and humble, nice posting and you have done a great job there dude, really impressive.