Twenty-four degrees in the brilliant light of fall colours this past weekend made for an enjoyable annual planting of garlic. Increasingly, our backyard is being geared to sensual utility. Half of our garden plot right now is garlic; I love planting it with my young kids, then waiting patiently all winter for it to shoot up that "new green" color and watching as it continues to mature through summer. Soon, our chickens will arrive, and I will rely on mags like Backyard Chickens or The Small-Scale Poultry Flock book by Harvey Ussery that had my eight-year-old son so enthralled.
A coop design has been selected, and the gents in the house will get to banging and painting. I realize that I live within minutes of a number of grocery stores ( and great ones at that) but my sense of satisfaction--what I call my "Neruda mood"--is so great when I look at a cutting board full of things we grew that we can make into something to eat. Poetry from dirt. My son was so attached to this year's bounty that while I wasn't looking, he potted whatever still lived and plunked them in the living- room. It certainly changes the insect culture, that's for sure; I've never found an earwig inside until last week. The chicken keener in my house hopes to sell his eggs to his grandparents and uncle--sorry guys :). I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my dogs don't eat them...
Apparently, growing, sharing, and eating your own grub can considerably lengthen your life and increase its quality. Check out this awesome New York Times article on quality of life, which profiles three different spots and explores the way they live their lives--hello nightly wine, and yes to napping!
On the matter of what I am reading, Amos Oz's book Black Box, which is a novel in letters (wild and perhaps not-so-good wild) in which the adult characters, with their complicated histories, try and figure out what to do with one pissed off, wayward adolescent. A collage of "utzing" that I hope sorts itself out. I am also taking home with me The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson tonight. Looks really fun!