Bill who putters email@example.com wrote:
I find that a real gardener is not one who cultivates flowers, but one
who cultivates the soil
-- Karel Capek
Billy firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
In article 4p0un.166048$ email@example.com,
"Lelandite" firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Happy Easter to all my garden friends! May your plants be full
colored eggs and like seeds, grow beauty with love.
When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow,*
but the gardeners themselves.*
The soil temp is 60°F, we have a "go". Now, if I can just stay dry.
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
~ Margaret Atwood-
Ah the smell of soil and more.
Soils appeal to our senses, to our sight, touch, our sense of smell,
even taste. Hans Jenny (1999) admired soils for their intrinsic
I have seen so many delicate shapes, forms, and colours in soil
that, to me, soils are beautiful. Whenever I offer this reaction to an
audience, I notice smiles and curiosity, but when I follow up with
slides that depict ebony black mollisols of Canada, titian-red oxisols
of Hawaii, and gorgeous soil-profile paintings by such famous artists
Grant Wood of Iowa, Dubuffet of France, and Schmidt-Rottluff of
the hesitancy turns into applause. Soil-profile art is not akin to
classic paintings with themes; rather, it resembles abstract art: and
you are used to thinking of soil as dirt, which is customary in our
society, you are not keyed to find beauty in it.
Soil tasting is an old practice to test whether soils are sweet or
Roman farmers distilled soil through a wine strainer with water and
drank the liquor. The best soils had neither salinity nor bitterness,
but a sweet and open taste like the smell of fertile soil when it opens
in the spring¹ (Logan 1995:64). Many cultures practise geophagy, or
eating. A Siberian tribe carried small balls of local earth to nibble
their travels to remind them of home. Central American native
communities ate clay tablets, Swedish and Finlanders used clay to
bread in famine times, while the Japanese Ainu people have a clay lump
soup. West African women eat earth processed by termites to obtain
calcium. Many of us take a kaolin-based mixture to settle upset
(Whole Earth 1999). Immunologists (Rook, Stanford 1998) think we need
eat more dirt as children to build up our immune systems.
We don't smear dirt on our lips and inhale mycobacteria. We've broken
the bonds of tens of millions of years of coevoultion of dirt and
terrestrial-vertebrate immunology. Maybe it goes back even further. No
matter. Without early childhood contact with these agents in soil (and
unpurified water), with every flex of our First-World fetish for
cleanliness, fewer antigens enter into our bodies to rehearse the
ancient immunological troops. Without certain small diseases early in
life, we may have more allergies later (Whole Earth 1999).
Hans Jenny had a very sensual approach to the soil: Soil appeals to my
senses. I like to dig in it and work it with my hands. I enjoy doing
soil texture field test with my fingers or kneading a clay soil, which
is a short step from ceramics or sculpture. Soil has a pleasant smell.
like to sit on bare, sun-drenched ground and take in the fragrance of
soil¹ (Jenny 1999). Many farmers and gardeners are enthralled by soil,
not only because it feels good but because it brings us into
relationship with the primal forces of life and death, both physically
and symbolically. We nourish life from a seed, watch it grow, thrive,
spring full of colour and vitality, and then wither and die. This is
natural order of things, of all life¹ (Johnson 2003).-
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
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