We awoke to smoke this morning; it has become the norm for August, but it was especially noticeable this morning. We are thankful for the efforts of those battling the blazes; our hearts go out to those who have lost from the fires. We will be contributing that which we are able to try to be of assistance, and we will continue to learn to be prepared to fight fire in our volunteer fire department.
The fires are part of the changing, warming climate. Northern California is hotter and drier than it was in the past. The ripple effects are felt in health impacts and lower productivity. Working outside becomes more difficult and we feel fatigued. We are deeply conscious of the reality that for all of us there is now a feeling of “there but for the grace of God go I,” as fire is now a question of “when?”, not “if?”.
The transition towards fall is obvious now; fruiting, flowering, swelling into luscious representations of fertility. Winter squash, pumpkins, abundance of tomatoes, cannabis in her various genetic manifestations. The journey continues, a cycle around the sun now leaning back towards the darker months. The days are shorter, darkness earlier and dawn later.
We’ve planted out the first transplants of fall kale into their beds, and are preparing to plant out other brassica, also to start trays of salad mix and other fall and winter crops. We will begin to undersow cover crop (an Organic Soil Builder mix we get at Weathertop), and are considering where to plant garlic in a few weeks.
As we edge towards the end of August, I take time to read and reflect, gathering thoughts and information into my cycle and process. My father always says “when I stop learning, put me in a box”. One branch of knowledge and understanding that I am pursuing is through reading of historical nonfiction, learning and absorbing the past and gathering a deeper knowledge of history.
My brain travels down pathways of comparison between historical happenings and current events. I reflect on my limited understanding of patterns and archetypal events; I’m fascinated by the concept of ‘history repeats itself’. How do humans, through interaction, shape the world in which they find themselves? What characteristics and components become central to the construction of human systems of governance and process? There has been much sociological thought dedicated to these types of topics; it is a life course of study to consider them.
Vegetables this week are refreshing and flavorful; continued abundance of tomatoes is coupled with sprigs of basil and sage. Cool cucumbers and crunchy carrots make amazing snacks that are delightful for the throat on hot, smoky afternoons. Squash and cucumbers can be diced into chilled salads that are of equal quality in this weather. Crisp kale is a refreshing cool green that makes a nice appearance.