weeds and a wedding.
milk thistles and indian blankets are carpeting the roadway medians undisturbed hillsides. after a spring with a dismal showing of bluebonnets, it’s nice to have some color in untended places. the weather has peaked around 100 but is settling once more around 80 for days full of beautiful sunshine. which has led to much urban foraging, wild-crafting, and wedding planning. let me expound.
“a functioning cog in some great machinery, serving something beyond me” (fleet foxes – “helplessness blues”)
not only is this the bountiful season of wildflowers, but also the bountiful season of baylor dumpsters. the time of year when capitalist cast-offs are at an all time high. and seeing as i am now preparing to handcraft a new home with my soon-to-be husband (without many homely possessions besides an antique sewing machine and rocking chair – and a newly acquired fire pit) – we are greedily grabbing household goods. with the help of some lovely friends. to date we have acquired: an ipod docking station/radio, towels, dish rack, dirt devil vaccuum, ironing board, mop, broom, bookshelf, lots of tazo tea, new clothing.
in addition to the collection of repurposed goods, i particularly enjoy the people we meet. the parents who stare without staring, a wee bit disgusted. the parents who approach us with gifts of pop tarts, ironing boards, baking sheets – feeling a tinge of guilt at the monstrosity of waste. homeless folks on bicycles, collecting what they can to sell for scrap or eat later. whole families (and this really brings joy to my heart) who are searching the dumpsters together.
“if i had an orchard, i’d work til i’m raw. if i had an orchard, i’d work til i’m sore.”
i’ve been listening to too much fleet foxes these days. which has been splendid. and hurray for the riff-raff (thanks gabe). splendid because in addition to dumpstering, i’ve been spending a good number of hours in the garden or just plain growing things. this year, many of my tomatoes, peppers, herbs and flowers are in pots on my back porch – anticipating my move to our home (in what my neighbor calls the heart of the ghetto – two blocks from the two largest housing projects in waco). i’m growing for general consumption but also for wedding-ness.
growing every color of tomato (jaune flamme, cherokee purple, large red cherry, black sea man, green grape). some plants even survived over winter (small attempts to fukuoka-ize/re-wild/perennial-ize annuals). and then there’s the hopi ceremonial tobacco – a christmas present for my betrothed. planted in pots. an experiment (smoke local). we’ll see what happens. . .
in addition to growing food in my backyard (which also includes potato and garlic patches, and fig and pomegranate trees) and front yard (a median of swiss chard, peppers, cilantro, eggplant, and one giant sunflower) – jonathan and i started growing a wedding patch out at the farm (where we’re getting married). only averaging about 1-2 hours every other week of maintenance work. thanks to great mulch and an old drip system donated by an old friend, watering (even in this texas drought) has been minimal. more tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, squash, collective farm woman melons (seed donated and saved by a local gardener), and sunberries. we plan to preserve/can and freeze everything that ripens before july 9th.
our vegetables have the joy of sharing neighboring lots with friendly oinkers, jabbering away the day. i have a secret hope that chickens, ducks, pigs, goats, whatever, run amok during the wedding.
beyond the dumpster-diving and growing of things, i’ve spent my life hating technology (two computer crashes in the last month) and filing IRS paperwork for non-profit-ness associated with the Urban Gardening Coalition (ie my day job). to keep myself sane, i think happy thoughts, knit like a grandma hopped up on green tea, dream about the 1-acre lot that we’ll start converting to orchard/vegetable/berry production (in late summer), and soap-making for wedding favors. thus crafted are: lavender, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, gardener’s grit and unscented beeswax and goat’s milk.
and now since it’s a sunday, i plan on sharing church emily dickinson-style with merryweather and esco (my other life partners) out in cameron park before making my final rounds of the baylor dumpsters.