Spiral Herb Circle and Gravity Flow Wash Station

I have no parents: I make heaven and earth my parents
I have no home: I make awareness my home
I have no life or death: I make the tides of my breathing my life and death
I have no divine power: I make honesty my divine power
I have no means: I make understanding my means
I have no magic secrets: I make character my magic secret
I have no body: I make endurance my body
I have no eyes: I make the flash of lightning my eyes
I have no ears: I make sensibility my ears
I have no limbs: I make promptness my limbs
I have no strategy: I make ‘unshadowed by thought’ my strategy
I have no designs: I make ‘seizing opportunity by the forelock’ my design
I have no miracles: I make right action my miracles
I have no principles: I make adaptability to all circumstances my principles
I have no tactics: I make emptiness and fullness my tactics
I have no talents: I make ready wit my talent
I have no friends: I make my mind my friend
I have no enemy: I make carelessness my enemy
I have no armor: I make benevolence and righteousness my armor
I have no castle: I make immovable mind my castle
I have no sword: I make absence of self my sword

A warrior’s creed- anonymous samurai, 14th century

The spiral garden pictured here is actually one swale and berm curled up on itself.  Some of the inspiration has come via Gaia’s Garden and similar designs at Bayer Farm.  The swale has a polytubing micro sprinkler setup buried underneath the wood chips.  The berm was broad forked and raked, seeded to cover crop, and dusted with compost to bury the seeds.

Water to wash produce is across a small street, so filling the square tote above with water periodically seems like a decent work-around.  It always seem a huge hassle to try and adapt old sinks into wash stations.  I bypassed the whole adaption process and just decided to get rid of the top plumbing.  The plumbing is mostly polytubing, with single adapter of some kind to take it from pvc to hose thread.  All those spigots have simple shut off valves. Future improvements could include putting in rain-water catchment system tie-in and maybe pressurizing the system with a solar powered pump.  Sink drains into a swale behind the processing area.

Micr:o! Automated, Micro-sprinkler irrigated, Green-house Micro-greens.

The Cult of Done Manifesto
  1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing even if you don’t and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

There was a Hunter irrigation control box on site already, and it seemed to be connected.  Except for the fact that the ground wire leading back from the valves to the control box was not connected (hah!).  Took me a while to figure out the problem, but once i did everything took off.  The tables had already been constructed, so it was just a matter of connecting some poly line to the existing water infrastructure in the greenhouse.  I’ve seen other set-ups, using more expensive mister heads, but the regular micro sprinkler stuff at your landscape supply store is what’s being used here.  Micro-greens are getting watered twice a day (am/pm) for 5 minutes.

Attaching Poly tubing to underside edge of tables.  Just used some bailing wire.  90 degree elbows connected to poly coming up from ground.  Micro-sprinklers are popped in with 1/4 inch barbs, connected with 1/4 spaghetti line (hanging down).  Check out the roots on those flats!

Micro-greens currently in production:  Sunflowers, Peas, Turnips, Beets, Collards, Cilantro, Kale

Micro-sprinkler riser poking through flat of just seeded micro-greens.

Not just growing beets…

To dig in the mellow soil-to dig moderately, for all pleasure should be taken sparingly-is a great thing. One gets strength out of the ground as often as one really touches it with a hoe. Antaeus (this is a classical article) was no doubt an agriculturist; and such a prize-fighter as Hercules couldn’t do any thing with him till he got him to lay down his spade, and quit the soil. It is not simply beets and potatoes and corn and string-beans that one raises in his well-hoed garden: it is the average of human life. There is life in the ground; it goes into the seeds; and it also, when it is stirred up, goes into the man who stirs it. The hot sun on his back as he bends to his shovel and hoe, or contemplatively rakes the warm and fragrant loam, is better than much medicine.

My Summer in a Garden, Charles Dudley Warner

CIA Student Farm at Charles Krug Winery

The rushes daily grow taller;
Apricot blossoms daily more lush.
As an old farmer, I enjoy the view;
Everything I do according to the seasons.
I rise early to feed the cows;
Then yoke a pair to farm in eastern acres.
  Earthworms crawl in and out of the ground;
Field crows follow me around,
In flocks they peck and cry,
As if to tell me of their hunger.
My heart is full of compassion
Looking at this, I pity both them and myself.
I give my food to the crows;
At dusk I return with an empty basket.
My family greets me with mocking smiles;
But never would i have changed my mind.
Ch’u Kuag-hsi
6th century

Putting in Work: From School-Master to Sailor

No, when I got to sea, I go as a simple sailor, right before the mast, plumb down into the forecastle, aloft there to the royal mast-head.  True, they rather order me about some, and make me jump from spar to spar, like a grasshopper in a May meadow.  And at first, this sort of thing is unpleasant enough.  It touches one’s sense of honor, particularly if you come of an old established family in the land, the Van Rensselaers, or Randolphs, or Hardicanutes.  And more than all, if just previous to putting your hand into the tar-pot, you have been lording it as a country school-master, making the tallest boys stand in awe of you.  The transition is a keen one, I assure you, from schoolmaster to sailor requires a strong decoction of Seneca and the Stoics to enable you to grin and bear it.  But even this wears off in time.

“Ishmael” from Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Blister forming on blister from a day with the broadfork