Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Today I am bone tired. I didn’t get a quick start yesterday, and I didn’t make progress on the project I intended too, but I did get a lot done. Mostly the kinds of projects you can just plod along at. I hauled brush out of the yard where I cut out bushes that had invaded what was sold to me as a berry patch. I left the blackcaps and a grapevine. The vine has grapes on it, so I am waiting to see if they are edible or wild. Wild grapes can be edible, but if these are not tasty I will start over with purchased vines. In the space I cleared out I will get more berry varieties to fill in.

I also hauled out limbs from my backyard where my Grandson and Son-in-Law cut out a leaning tree. It really opened that corner of the back yard to the sunlight. The town that I live in accepts limbs and brush from townspeople and then grinds them up into woodchips we are free to tak home. That’s a double win for me. There is a junk tree adjacent to that section which I might cut out also. It leans heavily too, and will open up that space to sunshine while leaving the tall strong trees to shade the area around the house.

I cut back the weeds in my pasture lot so that I now know where the fenceline is. Next I need to clear the rest of the lot, trim around the outside of the fence, and make the fence secure, and build a gate. Then I can go back to clearing the rest of the trash out.

That little lot is a metaphor for what we have done to the world around us – Trash it up, and let it go. I know that the lot has been in this state of disrepair for over a decade, overgrown and with the roof caving in. Presumably at one time it was in use and better cared for. Some of the refuse was then in use. When it stopped being used, maybe when the tree fell onto it, someone probably thought. “someday I’ll get to that”. Maybe even a stab or two was made at it, but it just never happened. Then it became a trash site. “What should I do with this? Oh, haul it out to the old shed”. Eventually I think maybe even the neighbors added to it. It’s in a wooded corner of the property and became a gathering spot for stuff that needed to be hauled to the dump – someday…..

We’ve all done some of that to our own environments. Thrown some trash out a car window, maybe regretting it as soon as we did. Poured something down the drain we shouldn’t have. Continued to use products even after we’ve learned they are not good for us, or are made in environmentally detrimental ways. Now the job of cleaning up seems so insurmountable, and the culprits who created most of the mess are unwilling to help. Helping implies culpability you know.

I’ve seen some good news this past month. More towns and states are standing uo against the petrochemical industry. Folks I know who once would have pooh-poohed environmental issues are now openly discussing their concerns. Even small grocers are providing some organic, local or free trade options. Mom and Pop’s are being embraced over the big box. In some towns, board members are listening to, and voting with the wishes of their constituency. I hope this snowballs and the trash along the highway fence becomes blossoms from the seeds of change. If the accumulation of good acts can become visible to the passing crowd, we have a chance.

By AFarmer

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