Saturday, November 28, 2015

A Happy Holiday Season

I must admit I am not a fussy gardener. I do not grow orchids and other high-maintenance plants. (Not that I don’t utterly adore orchids, and I would grow them if any of my rooms had enough natural light, which to me seems never enough.) Sustainability entails as little human interference with natural systems as possible. So I must adapt. If you didn’t get it already, here’s the gist: sustainability is about using nature for life hacking, not about revivalism or tree hugging. As a biologist moonlighting as a designer, I truly believe some natural systems can be improved. I will go in detail about this on another occasion.
The day after Thanksgiving, to shake off the effects of overeating the typical yummy foods of the feast, I went into my dormant backyard garden and opened the bags of organic garden soil that I left on my three garden patches a few days ago. I spread them all over the leaf-covered plots and sowed my shade-friendly wildflower seed mix (I usually purchase it from American Meadows). I realized the plants need to be shade friendly after my white mulberry tree that I got from The Arbor Day Foundation grew amazingly large almost overnight. I had another bag of scented wild flower seeds, which I sowed in the patio containers, by the street. Although I reserved most of my containers for growing veggies, the ones near the street are too prone to be infested by traffic pollutants.
It is amazing how running my hands through the bare soil, raking it, and the simple act of sowing seeds brings so much peace and a funny sense of fulfillment. Must be the archaic regions of the cortex – so many generations of agricultural people must have left their imprint on the rewards systems of the brain. Maybe my seasonal tendency to start knitting and working with yarn come fall is related to the same mechanism.
And speaking of seasonal: the affective disorder is on the table again, no surprise for a sun worshiper like myself. Nothing tea and dinner parties with friends cannot handle, though…
P.S. Due to the changing climate (and maybe because I am still not used to living at parallel 40! thriving fig trees anyone?) my garden is not entirely dormant. I still have some mustard greens and nasturtium leaves growing in containers – delicious in salads and sandwiches!

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Licensed and experienced as a nature scientist, I am also a published writer and a graphic artist, curently living in the metropolitan New York area, where I am involved in music production and cultural events. I support sustainability, life-long education and the conservation of the world's natural and cultural heritage.