Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

A view looking Northeast in Corkscrew National Park in the Everglades in Florida.


Today, that is to say April 22nd has been proclaimed Earth Day, which would already be more effective if only our government would regulate and enforce laws already on the books. Nonetheless, I think all of us are slowly starting to realize that change in the way we conduct our lives with regard to the environment is extremely important. Getting the inertia to initiate change is very difficult, and I have been reluctant to alter my ways, but more and more voices in the public forums are making change hard to resist.

This winter Mmy girlfriend and I grew a small plot of vegetables in a raised bed completely organically. This necessitated night excursions with a flashlight to remove pesky slugs and caterpillars from the leaves of the plants. Research on the internet led me to become familiar with names such as “Noctuid”; a small night-flying moth with a long proboscis developed to extract nectar from small flowers and which lays eggs that turn into highly destructive caterpillars. Capture of these pests was like enjoying the trophies of a micro-safari, and very satisfying. Of course, because of my girlfriend’s humane approach to all life, I had to set these invasive adversaries free in another part of our small garden. (Dare I tell her that without the appropriate food source they will die anyway? Mmmm, maybe later.)

Anyway, the yields from the small patch have been very enjoyable, the highlight of which was the discovery of “Mustard Greens”, delicious, prolifically abundant leaves, ideal for stir frying and soups, that taste of a light mustard. For two months we have enjoyed all kinds of lettuces, as well as green onions. Currently we have peppers, chili peppers, leeks to be enjoyed soon, as well as green beans. Basil is flourishing like a weed, and we barely keep it in check by making loads of fresh pesto sauce. (What about the price of pignolas, though?!) And a fair amount of tomatoes. Unfortunately they are not so good this year. I am not sure why, maybe because I fertilized incorrectly? This organic thing is kind of tricky!

Nonetheless, the taste and nutrition is outstanding, and more than worth the effort. A book we read recently, has underlined how important it is to eat more vegetables. “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer is quite an eye-opener, and if you have an ounce of compassion (I barely have that), then the situation we are in with regard to eating cruelly treated living beings is dire. By that I mean, if we really are a nation of laws, as well as being a Christian country, then it is hard to see how we can continue on the path we are on, when we are treating our livestock so badly.. Anyway, I leave it to you check it out, but it does seem inevitable that a lot of the food that we eat is too cheap by far. And certainly, if you have a consciousness that desires sustainably grown flowers, then it surely must extend to include sustainably and compassionately raised animals.
Now the days are getting very hot here in Miami, and humidity is starting to get quite high, so the veggies are starting to experience heat check. On the other hand we get to enjoy other flowers that really enjoy the high temperatures and humidity such as orchids, which thrive here. Check out this massive Oncidium right outside my son’s bedroom window.


Happy Earth Day
from the Mayesh Family,
and from my son, too!

April 22nd

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