The Magic Soil under Our Feet

20150405_093252This photo is from my garden about a week ago. Everything is growing strongly.

Thursday night I began the first of four classes with Renee Perry and Tom Garner of East Hill Edible Gardening. The introduction was a surprise to me: Tom spent the better part of an hour describing the intricate structure of soil and all the new research about organisms from fungi to bacteria, to crustaceans and invertebrates, and how they work together to move macro and micro nutrients from the soil into the food we grow and eat. See the Department of Agriculture, Soil Biology Primer.

During class, Tom and Renee gave us places to further explore the wonders of healthy soil. One is Paul Stamets, a micologist whose TED Talk will illuminate how you think about microbes. He makes a strong case for the intelligence of nature.  Take time to watch this short presentation. I guarantee it will make you more grateful whenever you eat your next meal!

UPDATE: My bike evidently had lost a fly wheel and so I feel less guilty about improperly riding it. Today I rode to the West Florida Public Library downtown to find books to help with the new draft of a novel I am writing: Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath for character development, Starhawk’s Walking to Mercury for a model dystopia and use of correspondence for bridging time, and Stegner’s The Spectator Bird for dialogue. The main library had them all!

20150407_172942Came home to harvest greens and herbs for a big salad and later a stir fry with tempeh and ginger, miren, and sesame oil!

My neighbor Zach – bitten by the gardening bug – is also putting in a front yard garden. Christian’s example is spreading.

Found out that my neighbor Ya Ya is turning 73 on the 14th. Plan to surprise him with some garden plants, Yes, he too is putting in a “lasagna” garden.

Tucson Friends – I miss them and the glorious Sonoran Desert

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Mikaela Quinn and I at the Desert Museum. She is an artist and writer, who has published many fine newpapers including the Tucson Green Times for which I wrote a column.

20150323_111712Don and Annemie Baker, friends for a lifetime! We raised our children in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. and then were reunited in Tucson when they retired to a beautiful home in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains.

Oscar and Madeline and Me

20150314_151049Betty Falter also from the Croton family, met me at the Tucson Book Fair for lunch and a quick catch up. She is a grandmother again today.

Madeline Kiser and Oscar Bieta, my soul sister and brother, with whom I share my love of the earth.

I stayed with Oscar and Madeline while attending the book fair and manuscript workshop; with Mikaela and Jim for a couple of days, then with Annemie and Don.

On my last day, Madeline rose at 4:30 am to put me on the plane. I was royally treated by all of them and felt so honored to be called their friend. What would life be without friends and family? A barren plain…. I miss that desert and all of my old friends. But, I am building a wonderful community of friends here in Pensacola. a small city on the Gulf with which I am falling in love, feeling the land under my feet, feeling the caring community, and the ocean power near by.

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