October 2014 (16)
The black cherry tomatoes are climbing the trellis of branches, growing an archway over the white wooden gate. The corn stalks are turning the color of the red rock slabs nearby that fit together with jigsaw puzzle perfection forming a snaking bench down the line of the street. The Swiss chard, half harvested, adds color and shape between the raised rock patios and solidly balanced stone coffee table tops. Lovingly crafted, Timmi Cruz's urban garden and community gathering space on the parking strip around his home two block from the CATALYST office was just coming into perfection in June when a complaint was lodged with the city about activities on the parking strip.
A true survivalist needs only five things to live. She needs a cutting tool for splitting firewood or gutting fish; combustion to start a fire; cover, a simple plastic bag or emergency blanket, to keep warm and dry; a container for water, to remain hydrated; and cordage—rope can be an amazing tool. The survivalist C's, a list created by Dave Canterbury of the Pathfinder School, is deceptively simple, for, without the special knowledge and training required to effectively use these tools for survival in the wilderness, their presence is nearly worthless.
There are still signs in my garden that tell of the once prolific abundance of food that grew there this summer. The long stalk of my black beauty zucchini, a four-foot long green boa constrictor with leafy appendages some reaching two feet across, displays dozens of stump scars where I severed the pulpy fruits from the plant's hearty rope of vine. I still harvest from it, a small anemic club here and there, but it's glory days are over. Like the tomatoes, the peppers, the green beans, the potatoes, everything is slowing down and pulling back towards the earth.
Don't forget to vote on Tuesday, November 4! It's particularly important because mid-term elections—the kind without any presidential candidates and all the attendant hoopla—tend to favor more radically partisan candidates. Essentially, the fanatics all turn out to vote, and the moderate voters all stay home. Some great candidates this year are running for local, state and federal offices. They really need you to vote for them. Also on this year's ballot: Vote to renew ZAP funding.
Colorful, joyful, plucky little hens. The human-chicken relationship is an ancient coexistence, thought to have begun nearly 10,000 years ago. Across cultures and through the eons, chickens have been symbols of virility, mothering and fertility (as well as the national symbol of France). Roman armies used them as tellers of fortune: A hungry chicken assured victory.