Why "Growing Edge?"

Hey! Life is amazing and if you aren't paying attention, it just may be passing you by. Slow down! Observe what is around you. Plant a garden. Make your own food. Create Beauty.

Welcome to our blog. We love discovering what Earth has to teach anyone willing to be on the Growing Edge of life.

--Denise Rushing, New Story Center

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Aphids and Gophers, Ladybugs and Snakes

Today I discovered a few aphids on my tomato seedlings and picked the pests off by hand. Since these seedlings have been set outside during the day, and for such a short time, this doesn't bode well for their prospects... I have seen a ladybug or two in the area and find myself eagerly awaiting their return. My hope is that I have enough extra seedings to ride out this infestation until the ladybugs arrive. It strikes me as a bit funny that the success of my tomato crop will depend upon these tiny creatures.

Will the ladybugs make it to the garden in time? Stay tuned...

Meanwhile, gophers or moles (I don't know which, probably both) have the run of this land. There isn't much I can do to stop them at this point. I've tried mole-chaser windmills, and a strange device that is hammered into a hole in the ground and periodically emits a buzzing sound. The packaging says the sound will annoy the gophers--it certainly annoys me. The only short-term (non-poison or trap) solution seems to be chickenwire around the plant roots. So, the raised beds are set upon chickenwire. All of the other plants will be in trouble. My longer term solution will be to create snake habitat and find myself a large gopher snake. I will cheer the first time I spot one.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Where are the Good Christians?

Today, Mike Morford, a columnist for the Sf Chronicle, asks "Where are the Good Christians?"

Ironic, isn't it, that a good Christian is "Good" precisely because he/she actually follows the words of Christ humbly and without sanctimony? The "Good" or authentic Christian does not wear their faith on their sleeve, pray on street corners and judge other people. The authentic Christian is deeply concerned about poverty, war and injustice and is quietly, deliberately and constantly engaged in justice work. These days, the "Good Christian" is likely appalled at the public face of Christianity as personified by rigid religous zealotry and labeled by the main stream media. When asked if they are Christian, they might answer "well now, it depends, what type of Christian?"

I have known people to give up their possessions to follow the call of their heart, to work for social change and earth justice, to risk much and ask nothing in return. Some go to jail in non-violent acts of civil disobedience. They do this, not because of blind and naive spirituality, but because somewhere deep in their core they resonate with the mystery of spiritual awakening and a call to protect the weak and voiceless.

The state of our world is awakening new prophetic voices and mystical souls. You will find these awakened people through their art, poetry and you will find them speaking for the poor, the marginalized and the voiceless (both human and non-human). Their presence is a gift, they change lives by who they are not what they preach. You will not find them exploiting others for their own gain. You will not find them carrying a sign that says "God Hates Fags." You will not find them threatening others who do not believe what they do. You will not find them destroying earth to bring about the rapture, for they humbly understand that the message of faith is an internal event, the mountains that are meant to be moved are internal mountains. The problems we face externally can be solved if we address their internal source.

Those who endeavor to understand the depth of the message of Jesus of Nazareth, know and that Jesus' core message was one of Love. Those causing division, poverty and violence on local or epic scale are not Christian, regardless of what they call themselves.

How will you know the Good Christians? "By their fruit you shall know them."

I highly recommend the book "God's Politics" by Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners. Sojourners is a prophetic and active organization. "God's Politics" includes sections with titles like "when did Jesus become pro-war?" "When did Jesus become pro-rich?" This book is a call to live an authentic Christianity.

What is Permaculture?

Permaculture (permanent agriculture) is an ecological design framework inspired by living systems. The ethics, root practices and principles in permaculture can be applied to the garden, the farm, and indeed any living system including human structures.