This is the eleventh in a series of posts on Happyday Farms, the CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) located up here on Bell Springs Road, run by Casey, Amber, Lito and Courtney.
Grocery Shopping at Walmart
Dozer finagled his way off the front deck a week or so ago, and found the inevitable route to the compost pile, which is located inside the orchard. The little miscreant was either smart enough to see the wide-open double gates and made a bee-line for the action, or he just got lucky, and wandered through because he smelled all of the delicacies lying just inside, waiting for a roly-poly bulldog.
Why the gates were open is immaterial. Ever since the chickens took up residence on the north forty, the orchard has been out of the limelight. There are about ten fruit trees planted on the top half, and vast quantities of both garlic and sauce tomatoes, for making catsup and pizza sauce, on the lower half.
Amidst it all is a rapidly expanding forrest of St. John’s Wort, used by most of the mountain woman to make a variety of ointments and salves. Annie has been using it ever since we moved here to make salves which serve as multi-purpose pain relievers, for any kind of skin ailment.
My guess is that the gates were open because the quad had been used, towing the trailer, to bring the rich, black compost into the orchard for both the trees and the soon-to-be-planted tomatoes. Technically, Annie and I are supposed to be conveying our kitchen compost up to the aforementioned chickens, way up the road, so the whole thing would have been moot, and there would have been no compost for the Doze to find.
Back when the orchard was first put in, it might have been thought of as the first step toward the fitting of the land for Happyday Farms. There were manzanita trees growing along the road, one of which housed an ancient kids’ “fort” about six feet off the ground. And at one point about eight years ago, Casey had a crew of three or four guys go through and remove those manzanitas and encase the area in a rectangular enclosure made of range fencing.
Roughly a football field long by about seventy-five feet wide, Happyday Farms is expanding this orchard’s usefulness more in recent months, simply because with Lito, Torrey, Courtney and sometimes Conner, Casey has a lot more options.
That’s why they were out there a couple of days ago, planting sauce tomatoes into beds that had been earlier prepared. Come to think of it, that’s probably why those gates were open from sometime last week.
Now the orchard is an enclosure within an enclosure, since the boys took and expanded the fence around my house and outlying areas, last February. Instead of one gate to enter my complex, I now have six gates, two of them wide enough to allow a propane truck through, strategically placed at the north, south, east and west points of my compound.
But the orchard still has the capacity for allowing a number of agricultural endeavors to coexist side by side, and that’s the beauty of Happyday Farms. With hard work, beautiful land, adequate water, and a positive attitude, we are carving a brave, new community up here on our mountain, in an effort to stem the tide of poisons entering our bodies, and those of our children who follow.
So many people are trapped in an existence, over which they have no control, that it behooves us to recognize that such is not the case with us. We do have control, and we intend to exert any and all influence that we have, into the midst of our community, reaching out with fresh, organic, healthy food, so that those who reside within reasonable distance, have an alternative to the vile and pathetic offerings of McSanto and their ilk.
It saddens me to think that there are countless numbers of good, hard-working people, who have no knowledge of-or ability to alter-the path they are on. They will continue to be forced through economics, to buy the cheaply produced, chemical-laden fodder, that corporate America puts out on its retail shelves.
Sad to think of people grocery shopping at Walmart? Sad isn’t the word for it. Barbaric is more like it, but everyone’s got to eat and the corporations have got to make money. How it came about that there are no governmental stop-gaps to prevent capitalism from poisoning its population is unfathomable.
Right now, all we can do at Happyday Farms is strive to put out as much quality produce as we can for those in our community, and hope that the March Against McSanto continues. And hope also that the reign of food terrorism comes to a screeching halt.
Otherwise, it will be life as we know it that will come to a screeching halt.