Saturday, August 23, 2008

rah rah blah

Today a rich guy with a lot of secret service personnel is visiting our town, to have lots of pictures taken with some other rich guy. There's expected to be a crowd--possibly more than the daily number of commuters on a weekday. I'm not going anywhere near all that. Don & Kaleigh braved the circus and are now downtown at the bus transfer station, heading to the farmers market, because we need eggs. Don is wearing is homemade BLAH BLAH BLAH t-shirt. It's protest, art, humor, and fashion, all tied up into one. And he's taking some food not lawns propaganda to a vendor who makes great soap. That's it for protest from us. Maybe it's that we're old and boring. I don't know as that I have that much to say about it, especially to tv cameras and enthusiastic people who like to yell and who forget every four years that politicians are not to be trusted. But I think getting some chores done around the homestead and playing with my kid will accomplish a lot more than voting, or not, or whatever. I'm very very glad the deciding spectacle will be ending in a few months, and then we can commence on the doing spectacle. Woo.

I read the local paper online today, and it had a story in it about how the only low-cost dental provider is unable to provide dental services to anyone over the age of 20 anymore due to lack of dentists. And you have to go there and stand in line at 6 in the morning on Fridays only if you want to get an appointment for your kid. If this isn't ridiculous enough, Springfieldians are lining up at the reader forums to bash poor people who need dental health care, and making fun that they have insurance and poor people do not (and do not deserve it). We do have insurance, a medical card, guaranteed by our state, but it's basically not worth the paper it's printed on. No one takes it.

Back to self-health care, and thankfully we have good friends (like yarbwoman Abby) who are learning them up many non-college degrees in areas that actually matter.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

raw flax seed dehydrator crackers

are amazingly delicious and healthy. Do some research, make some and see how you feel :)

Flax seeds seem to go for about $4.50-$5/lb. This is kinda pricey, putting them raw at about the price of gourmet chocolate bars or peanut butter. However, to make the crackers one adds a lot other less expensive ingredients- whatever culinary herbs you're growing, and in season vegetables. They are a wonderful way to utilize bumper crops of tomatoes, for instance.

This is how we made the crackers.

First, Mr. Mark Seimer and I ground some flax (and sesame and chia) seeds in the coffee grinder. Then added an equivalent volume of water, and stirred the bowlfull up with a spoon. The seeds soak up a lot of water, and become mucilagenous. It's this quality, among others, that make them so desirable for cracker making- it holds all the ingredients together. I swear, you bite into one of these crackers and it doesn't break except where your teeth pleasingly crunch. There were a lot of times this afternoon when I'd bite down and be left with a crescent moon of cracker! They're also high in fiber, which might have something to do with the flax's binding ability.

Leave the ground flax to soak awhile, and make your veggie smoothie. One can add nuts, oils, and spices. We added curry powder, cayanne, three roma tomatoes, a bit of greens (kale/lettuce/chard), purple cabbage, half a small onion and 4 cloves of garlic. Garlic seemed to be important for flavoring, as was the sea salt.

Now once you've got your smoothie, mix it into the soaked flax. This you spread onto your dehydrator's pan, or if you live somewhere dry and sunny, perhaps you'll rig up a way to do it outdoors. The cracker will be in the box for 10-12 hours, then Mark will flip it over and do it again on the other side. For moister, breadier crackers you can shorten this time. However, Mark is experimenting with shelf life for these fabulous raw food staple. Hit up google and see how other people are doing it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fluid Universe

While digging through and organizing some old personal papers, I ran across this poem. It's scribbled down from a siting at the American Visionary Art Museum. Enjoyed the feeling of connection with the Chesapeake Bay, which one could see out the window opposite the original inscription.

"Oceana (a poem from the Ocean to Humanity)"

One breath away from mother Oceana
Your nimble feet make prints in my sands
You have done good for yourselves
Since you left my wet embrace
And crawled ashore.
You dance by my side
Children sublime
You show me continents
I see islands
You count the centuries I blink my eyes
Hawks and sparrows race in my waters
Stingrays are floating*Across the sky
Little ones, my sons and daughters
Your sweat is salty
I am why
I am why
I am why
Your sweat is salty
I am why
I am why
I am why

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Plant Up Babylon

Chant down Babylon, plant up Babylon, the vining gardens of Stanistan: Food Not Lawns. Terraform the Earth!

"That was what they were saying, really, when they talked about the impact on humans: they would lose the support of the domesticated part of nature. Everything would become an exotic, everything would have to go feral." --Kim Stanley Robinson, 50 Degrees Below, p. 55
The big question seems to be, how do we make life livable (humane, sustainable) in this "matrix" (system conditions) of industrial-scale devastation that the majority are still participating in on an ordinary everyday basis?!

If you are not designing for sustainability, then you are designing for catastrophe (disaster, chaos, crash, woops, etc.). As long as what is is unsustainable, that means, sooner or later, all of us will be vagabonds, as system failures (the missing information) set in. We'll be forced to "leave," probably not under the best of circumstances. So, hopefully, we'll find that many have left already and figured out ways to survive and thrive--humane, sustainable ways of life. Positive feedback the empirical goods--our rhizomes will crowd out Leviathan's!
"Perhaps all that is left of the world is a wasteland covered with rubbish heaps, and the hanging gardens of the great Khan's palace. It is our eyelids that separate them, but we cannot know which is inside and which outside." --CrimethInc., Expect Resistance, p. 263
Anywhere rain falls or dew collects, plants can grow, there is hope.

Topsoil tops oil. A weedlot is doing more to save the earth than a voter.

Sorry for the disjointedness here ... this is more like random notes from the notebook than a coherent blog entry. Powered by strawberries + cane sugar + yeast.