Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gardening and health and good karma

My mother tells me that I've been planting seeds since I was 7 years
old - I asked her - if I plant this pumpkin seed - will it grow some
pumpkins? - She replied - only if I really cared for it...

There has never been a year without a garden. I grew up being
indoctrinated in the J. I. Rodale's Organic Gardening school of total
disdain for that evil factory fertilizer.

The gardens have always produced something, but when I moved to
Pinole, a suburb of San Francisco - very much a foggy coastal climate
- the tomatoes didn't ripen - the potatoes never sized to any thing
worth taking in for dinner - the thornless blackberries were mostly
small and totally seed - and I knew all the reasons/excuses why -
- - because - I know more than you.....

Four and half years ago I died. With the Grace of God and a skilled
heart doctor, and a kidney surgeon that tossed out the tumored right
one, I began a slow recovery. My garden didn't do too well during
that first year.

I decided that, having been given a second chance, I would quit the
ways of the first 50 years and try to LISTEN to that voice that daily
offered direction for most of Life's profound and silly questions.
So, my garden attitude began to change from one of knowing, to that of
listening - trying new things (arrogance & tradition hadn't work too
well, so why not...).

You have been messing with my head for many years. I've bought your
books twice, but couldn't make myself even try what you taught. Talk
about a slow learner! Last year I started to apply your techniques,
and some of that "evil poison for the soil" ---

it was a letter - you responded quite simply to that classic question
about the use of the chemical fertilizer - constant and small
quantities - something changed, and now in my "real" second
year as a Mittleider novice, the garden just works - strong,
beautiful plants - more BIG tomatoes already this year than the last
15 years put together - - - strange though - still the same summer
chill every night - still the same frequent foggy, cool days, same
beds of clay (although I did put a layer of saw dust on some of them).

I trust that our planet will have the courage to let go of the
stifling prejudice that dooms each next generation to the bondage of

Please keep up the effort to teach us - it's a slow process -

I AM grateful for your help.

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