City or Country

After expressing desire to move away from the city, a friend commented that, they personally needed civilization. ‘Need’ is the wrong word, because it implies a requirement; like food, water, or air.   But more importantly, when are we ever really away from civilization? We normally can’t leave civilization.
I’m stuck in civilizations traffic 10+ hrs a week. I work in a civilized office 40 hrs a week; white walls, white floors, white desk. I sleep in a civilized domicile; heat, plumbing, wi-fi. Even my yard is mostly paved concrete. There’s nothing natural or rustic about any location where I normally am.
Does anyone really think that moving 4 hrs away from sky scrapers is going to hinder our modern routines? Electricity, plumbing, and wi-fi exists everywhere, there’s no wilderness anymore. Even Camping has been largely replaced by the more civilized Glamping.
I don’t consider rural living to be uncivilized. I’ve traveled to small towns in the middle-of-nowhere America and found that they still have the same mart-stores that the big city does. There are stores and restaurants everywhere, so everywhere seems livable.
At this point in my life, I want a garden, and the city areas don’t offer enough space for it. There’s something about having a garden that literally demonstrates how a person has settled in. Laid down actual roots, and grown into a life.
The area where I grew up in had a lot of farms, so I grew accustomed to it, and not having them around makes me think that people have forgotten where real food comes from.  I think farming is easier to understand than technology,  it’s about longevity. It takes time to grow a healthy orchard. Farming gets easier with age; technology gets outmoded. I try to image what I would be doing if I had a massive garden. If I grew enough yield to be self-sustaining. If I’d write a lifestyle cook-book about getting back to basics.
I realize that I’ll have to leave the city lifestyle behind me, but in all fairness the ‘city’ isn’t doing a whole lot for me. The hordes of city-people make my commute 5x longer, and while it’s True that there’s more variety of lifestyle options in a city, with how much time is already wasted on the mandatory bits, I never have the will-power to utilize the variety anyway. I rarely go out because of how little time there is at the end of the day. The city is congested and exhausting, and so I always feel crowded and exhausted.

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Adventures with Greenhouse. Year 1.

A serendipitous present I received this year was a rather large tunnel greenhouse. Arch style, 7ft by 15ft.
With such an uncharacteristically hot-humid summer we’ve been having, a greenhouse seemed unnecessary. But I’ll admit that I was eager to expand my gardening endeavors. My summer harvest had variety, but not abundance.  Perhaps some shelter will help the avocado tree reach its full potential.
This particular greenhouse required assembly, and came with a crude line diagram of the finished product, but no real instructions. Assembly took 2 people about 45 minutes to complete.
Right now there’s only the existing potted plants in it. Peppers, tomatoes, lavender, herbs, ect.
The weather turned cooler near the end of September. And I started trying to sprout seeds for the winter. I know it’s too soon, but since they weren’t ever going to be exposed to frost,  maybe the extra time will allow them to get larger.  My pumpkin vine has existed since early spring, but it hasn’t grown a full pumpkin yet, and I’m worried it won’t happen before Halloween. Maybe if I had started it a year early, I would have ripe pumpkins in time.
A second present I received this year, was an zutano Avocado tree. Taller and thinner than the one I had been growing for the last 3+ years, and this one already had fruit. It was decided that the pear tree would have to go to make space for it. That tree was older, and the pears this year had been disappointingly worm-eaten.
Another new addition, was a dragon fruit plant. It’s not really fair to call it a tree since it’s a jungle plant that’s been formed onto a lollipop frame. I had never seen one before, but apparently they do well in warm-humid weather [or in greenhouses]. The plant appears outlandish; a big tangle of thick succulent tentacles, with pinecone shaped pink fruit.
I’ve also heard that garlic and onions do alright in winter greenhouses, so I figured I’ll try growing those too. Mostly I figured I’d try and keep a tomato plant alive through the winter, since only 1 of the 4 plants I had this year actually yielded a decent quantity.
I’ll update next spring to share what survived.

Floods, fires, earthquakes; and the slow Apocalypse

I’ve been convinced for a long time that America is failing. Corporate greed, consumerism, lack of practical skills education, xenophobic government policies, short-sighted social programs. But there’s something else that’s been in the news lately ; the apocalypse of the natural world.  Fires, floods, and earthquakes sweep the nation, destroying hundreds of American infrastructures. Whole cities destroyed, and emergency services are stretched thin.

American is vast, and there’s plenty of space for everyone, but because of how cities are clustered, no one is able to find work in the rural counties. There are not isolated pockets of self-sustaining farm communities anywhere. So when the cities fail, the masses suffer. The past month, there have been multiple hurricane disasters, multiple fire disasters, earthquakes, and very little government action. In fact, the politicians have been focusing on legislation to deport students, instead of on relief efforts.
If all the natural disasters ruin the land, then in 10 years we’ll all be starving.
-If the fires destroy the orchards and farms, we won’t have food. If the floods ruin the dirt, we can’t grow more. If the earthquakes collapse the roads and buildings, we’ll be isolated.  Flood damage, fire damage, no food.
It’ll occur gradually over the course of years, but eventually the slow destruction of the natural world will become an apocalypse.  Everything will become scarce as we prioritize food production. Prices will increase, and people will become desperately poor from this hardship.  It’ll be the Great Depression all over again.
Eventually, people will become ill from eating cheaply manufactured food, just like the sailors used to get scurvy because there’s no fruit on boats.
Since land now has legal ‘holders’ it won’t be possible to start farming on land that doesn’t belong to you, meaning that renters will become homeless if they are unable to afford the inflated cost. As homelessness  becomes an issue, people will be forced to live in makeshift shanties in derelict areas of cities. Crime will increase as people get more and more desperate. Decline will happen slowly, but it will happen eventually.

Unlike the Great Depression of the 1930s, which was ended by production for WW2, our Great Depression can’t be  pacified, since all our consumer production is already overseas and since we already spend half our national tax revenue on the military. The only way to go is down.

 

Dating Fiasco

The roommate of a friend of mine has been single for a few months, and has been trying to date. He’s been using dating aps and isn’t having much luck. In fact, the dates he’s been on have been downright hilarious. Full spectrum idiocracy, and he’s only half to blame.
I think his biggest problem is that he doesn’t know what exactly he’s looking for in a woman.  It’s like going into a car dealership without any idea of what you’re interested in, and then trying to test drive every car on the lot.
He’s shallow with his profile viewing, yet didn’t present himself favorably on his own. The dates he manages to go on have been horrible. Poorly planned, inconvenient, and conversationally dishonest.
It’s hard to watch a train wreck, but it’s hard to look away too.  I’ve been enjoying the entertainment value of  his dating fiascos.
He met a woman on the other side of the country while traveling for work, and somehow manages to invite her to come visit him, upon her arrival he decides he doesn’t like her after all, and proceeds to be a wet-blanket for the duration of her visit.
He met a woman who was hostile and drunk for the duration of their date at a night club, and yet he somehow asks her out for a second date.
He met a woman who is chronically unavailable to meet in real life because of a busy schedule. and another woman who was clearly trying to scam him into visiting her pay-to-view sex cam site.
He’s not a bad guy; tall, thin, average bro, car-guy personality, steak & potatoes diet, t-shirt, macho pride, and weak sense of housekeeping. And he lucked out hard with his college sweetheart ex, but Still Thinks that he might find another woman who’s that spectacular, so he’s totally unwilling to lower his standards, or make self-improvements to himself.
He’s given up dating in these past few weeks, and thrown his energy into videogames and snowboarding videos. Which means that I’ve temporarily lost an entertainment source, and can only speculate that dating in the digital age is much more difficult than previously anticipated.

Modern Courtships

If money is power, then how can anyone pretend that a marriage is an equal partnership? Clearly one of them has financial power over the other. If I made considerably more money than my spouse, then there’s an expectation for them to prioritize what they are able to bring to the table, which frequently is ‘time and energy for home maintenance’. If finances are a cornerstone for all marriage decisions, then the breadwinner is the decision-maker.  How are people still justifying marriage, knowing that it’s frequently a servitude agreement.
–  These days, women have equality, and are permitted to pursue powerful positions, but will often have to work a second-shift, and do domestic work at home, because husbands have traditionally never been expected to. The aggravation  of knowing that a woman is expected to do both: a career and a household,  divides her time between the two,  making her less effective in both, and less satisfied with the marriage.

That’s not to say that marriage can’t be equal, it can,  but in order for a marriage to actually be ‘equal’, both people have to bring assets to the table. Hundreds of years ago, this meant a dowry or some other type of inheritance, ensuring that one wouldn’t be a burden to the other. Of course prostitution was widely legal [and accepted] right up until 1910-1915, so it was okay if the marriage was loveless. If both people brought an asset to the table, then it’s easier to see how an alliance makes them stronger. If one was a butcher and the other a baker, then together they are able to expand and become a bistro. They’ve both gained something from the union.
–  But the modern American capitalism culture makes it difficult for individual people to acquire economic resource assets. The bakers and butchers of the world all work for larger companies now, so the only thing they have is a job.   A momentary occupation is expected to provide a basic level of financial stability, and little else. So modern courtships often rely on the individuals personal actions to justify matchmaking.
This is why fanatical ideals about Love have become so popular in our culture. We aren’t negotiating/leveraging our family’s assets, we’re only thinking about personal desires.
So what can a person do if they’re seeking  to impress a potential mate? Beyond the usual: employment, shelter, transportation, and availability;  What would make a person more valuable in a marriage negotiation?
Majority of the population has enough disposable income to have a few luxury items, but not mansions. What ‘stuff’  I accrue to make myself more impressive? What ‘things’ am I able to collect in order to earn favor with a potential mate?
And even if we find each other impressive, what reasons do we have to get married at all?

Everlasting Onions

You can plant the bottom [root end] of an onion, and it’ll grown into another onion. You can have unlimited onions.
This year, my summer project was a vegetable garden. I planted until I ran out of space. Pumpkins, watermelons, zucchinis, onions, beans, cucumbers, kobocha, peppers, tomatoes, squash, herbs, ect.
Most of the time, it’s a waiting game. Plant, water, wait, ripen, harvest.
With fruit, they all ripen in the same month, but the onions have ripened in waves. I’m pretty impressed with them. Somehow I’ve managed to pick 1 onion every week for the past several months.
The right time to harvest an onion is after the leaves have completely dried up. It takes months, but once you eat the onion, you can plant the bottom end and it’ll grown into another onion. It’s everlasting onions.
I have a collection of empty garden pots on the windowsill, and every time I dice up an onion I place its roots back in the dirt. After a month, it’ll grow back a leaf.
It’s a fulfilling practice.

Onions

gardening onions

Fresh food, home-grown, sustainable gardening.