My view from the milk stool this morning is on negativity which is something that I’m always aware of. More so it seems when it involves other people, but I’m also aware that I spew it as well. Sometimes it’s hard because on the surface, some things seem to just suck, but if you stop and look hard or long enough, there’s always some good there.

Allowing negativity space in your soul is akin to a poison that slowly does damage and may even kill you. It’s like blossom end rot in tomatoes, mosaic virus in cucumbers or even vine boring insects – granted, the insects are only doing what they’ve evolved to do – feed themselves. It’s just done at the expense of a plant that you may have nurtured from a seed.

This gardening year – which is not over yet – has been the best one yet. There’s still a lot to be done or done better next year, but that’s how you get better. The act of raising food is an art – something a lot of people don’t realize.

I had such high hopes for the sustainable food systems program; however, it’s not going well – at all. I was afraid that it would have been too heavily science based. It is, after all, a Master of Science program, but I was hoping that I could manage it. Not. It’s quite doomed. I’m just focusing on finishing the class I’m in and pulling out a passing grade.

This has been a hard decision. I know in my heart that food and farming are where my passions lie, however, I can’t do science. I just can’t. I can’t look at systems. I can’t read scholarly journal articles with all their references, data, charts, etc. It boggles my brain. I just don’t think that way. 

It’s odd to me – someone who likes school so much – that I’m struggling so finding a graduate program I can fit into. 

I’m not sure what I’m going to do at this point. I’ve taken quite a few steps back and thinking about things. You can’t take the writer out of me. I’m a lazy writer and I’m working to change that starting today. I can use my words to bring attention to the problems with our food system. This would be from my viewpoint however good that is – not having to back up ever sentence I say with a journal reference. 

In my very humble opinion, the food system could be changed if everyone would grow something they could eat. It doesn’t have to be much – a tomato plant on your deck would be a start. Purchase food from a local farmer, however, know your farmer. That’s the only way you’re going to know your food.

Then again, a lot of people don’t care. They think with their pocketbooks, and I understand that. Purchasing food locally is more expensive. You can offset that by growing something of your own. 

Lincoln County still has a good base of local farmers and there’s still open space. Instead of planting flowers, plant food. Cut a piece of your yard out and put in a raised bed. You’d be amazed at how good it feels to dig in the dirt and to harvest your first tomato.

Speaking of tomatoes, we have a jungle of tomatoes growing right now. I didn’t plant them. They’re Matt’s Wild Cherry volunteers. They came with the compost we put down. Yesterday, I harvested almost two and a half pounds of them. It’s like picking blueberries and it truly is a jungle. You have to pray you’re grabbing a tomato and not something else. The risk adds to the flavor, right? I made those two and a half pounds of tomatoes into tomato jam. Think of how good that’s going to be spread on a sandwich or served with scrambled eggs over the winter.

I’m slowly getting fall crops planted. It’s late. They’ll probably end up staying in the greenhouse. Much of what I planted earlier got chewed up by the monster grasshoppers that are living in the garden. Hopefully I can get a decent crop of lettuce, chard and kale going.

Until later …