where the wild things are

When we came home from tour the spaghetti squash in our chaotic little garden had climbed the beanstalks and the fence and made a break for the bushes that separate us from a well-kempt university lawn. Every time I look at the baby squash hanging light green on the vines, drool begins to collect in my mouth. Spaghetti squash isn’t too common in Germany, and I can hardly wait for the first ripe batch: to pull out the stringy cooked insides with a fork and to eat them with butter and salt. Here comes that drool again.

I like low-maintenance plants; I am no farmer, nor do I want to be. I lack the motivation, interest, and energy to deal with agriculture on a large scale. I like plants that can fend for themselves, that are hardy, that can get by without the coddling of some stupid human. Though I decided not to plant any tomatoes this year (such princesses with their trellises!), when twenty plants came out of the compost I’d filled the garden with in spite of my plans, I tipped my hat to them with a little more respect. I don’t like growing them, but I love the smell their stalks leave on my hands after I’ve touched them and the way their fruit explodes in juice and seeds in my mouth when I take a bite. I was glad that they had decided to stop by.

When the world falls to pieces I don’t plan on homesteading. I’m not interested in starting another society based on agriculture or animal husbandry or cultivation. I want to live in a world full of wild things: animals that didn’t unknowingly trade security and regular feedings for death, plants that thrive without my interference, an active relationship with my habitat as the source of my continued life. I applaud the folks who homestead, who grow their own, and who support local farmers through their food purchasing choices. (And at the moment I also am one of them.) I just don’t want to live in a world where that’s The Way. Ah, but here I am…

A few months ago I started eating meat again occasionally, and while I have come to terms with what it means to eat meat (as I set out to do when I began my meditation in vegetarianism and veganism seven years ago), I still find animal husbandry less than ideal. I would never trade security for the certainty of being slaughtered when my caretaker needed to eat. No, I’d rather live free until the moment when a better hunter than I took me, and that is the kind of relationship I’d prefer to have with the animals that could become my food. Death is a part of life, we eat as we will be eaten, but it seems that in order for death to be an acceptable part of life, life must first be a part of life. Intense, free, wild life.

Would I survive a crash situation? Maybe, maybe not. But if I do, when the supermarkets and the highways go empty, I know where to find the rabbits, the pheasant, the snails, the walnuts, the blackberries, and all the other wild edibles that I see every time I go for a walk around the university campus. It’s a good feeling (though my hunting skills are laughable), the same feeling the dumpster diver comes to know when she finds edible abundance beneath every lid, a feeling that, if you learn how to open your eyes, you will be taken care of. Or, perhaps more accurately said, that everything you need to take care of yourself is already there, waiting to be noticed.

Thursday July 14th 2011, 8:00 pm 1 Comment
Filed under: conspiracies,daily life

dumpster find of the week: know your onion

I was happy to find an e-mail in my inbox a few weeks ago titled “onions.” I love onions. I love ‘em raw, and I love ‘em cooked, so much so that I have one tattooed on my leg. Mmmm. Full of vitamins and super powers, I say. And this e-mail was about dumpster diving some of that juicy yellow, white, and green gold.

This week’s dumpster find is from a reader from…well, she didn’t actually say. What she did have to say was this:

“The co-op is usually a bastion of reduce reuse recycle but I still occasionally, as a volunteer, find myself breaking down boxes for the recycle dumpster or throwing an odd bit of trash away. Possibly by accident it was that I found an unopened bag of what looked to be dead onions. They were the expensive organic kind.”

“Experiments I have done with scallions have shown that onions are very hardy. I have found that even the deadest-looking onions can revive when put back in dirt. It’s like they’re magical! See what I mean? The attached photo shows that all the onions in the bag came back to life within a week of planting. Hooray! ”

“Oh and if it’s not obvious what I will do with my find, I will harvest and eat them!”

Good call. Seems to me the only thing better than getting food out of the dumpster is getting a plant or a plant start that will continue to feed you long after the dumpsters have gone. I’ve never planted the onions I’ve dumpstered (need to get on that someday, then again it all depends on the time of year when you find ‘em), but I have found tulip bulbs and more spice and herb plants (usually basil) than I could carry home. Any of you ever dumpster any plants?

Wednesday July 13th 2011, 5:19 pm 5 Comments
Filed under: conspiracies,dumpster diving,dumpster finds,freegan

back in the nest

Ahoy Click Clack Gorilla readers! I’ve been back from tour since Monday, but feeling like I’ve been run over by a truck, I’ve been far more interested in things like hot water bottles, naps, and broth than in writing. Add to that the fact that my internet-on-a-stick (a usb stick to be exact) isn’t working, and you have yourself a lazy blogger.

Tour was amazing and stressful and, well, amazing, and once I get my pictures off my camera and my thoughts organized and digested I’ll tell you all about it. We played at a squatted tennis court, at a Kindergarten, and at a big festival. We camped, and we slept in people’s apartments and the bed we had in the back of the bus. Not a single show was weird or fucked in any way, and we all made it home in one piece, or five pieces, depending on how you look at it.

As fun as it was, I was glad to be home, and the first time I walked into my wagon everything had this magical sheen to it, a welcome-home glow reflecting off of every book on my shelf, a warm feathery hug from every blanket on my bed. I had gotten so used to spending every day in the bus, every evening in a different venue, and every night in a different bed, that I’d actually managed to forget what it felt like to be home, to putter about in my normal daily routine, if you could even call it that. It was god damn glorious. As much as it may seem like I am a traveler, what I like most of all is to be at home among the meticulously selected twigs that make up my lovely nest.

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Friday July 08th 2011, 7:06 pm 5 Comments
Filed under: conspiracies,daily life