25.8.08

democratic national convention

ha ha- this ain't about the DNC.

Part of my reasoning for listing meads and tinctures, etc, is so that I have a record outside of my log book. Sometimes I lose those things. So, yesterday I made calendula, dandelion root/burdock root, and lemonbalm tinctures. It's fun. I also found another half gallon of moonshine. :D

It's raining today, in other news. I thanked the sky.

A very good book I'm reading is called Ancient Futures, it's about a Himalayan culture called Ladakh that is similar to Tibet where they live around 10-11,000 ft and pasture their hybrid dzos (yak and cow, I think) at 15-16,000 ft, away from their small fields of barley. The dzos love it up there, but the land is fairly barren, so they eat the vegetation that grows around the glaciers and high mountain valleys. The Ladhakis collect all the dung and use it for cooking fuel. They live in thick mud and stone houses on basic diets of including local "weeds," barley, yak butter, apricots, and a lot of chang (barley beer). They get very little rain, as they're in the rain shadow of the Himalayas, so they have intensely managed canals and shared irrigation canals that are small enough to allow just enough water onto each field. The women are strong and independent, and all are allowed to choose not to have children and/or leave their children and join the monastery. This usually means living at home still, but as a Buddhist nun or monk. The families are important social units where the children are given loads of affection and tender attention, and they take responsibility at a very young age for whatever they can, including younger children. They have beautiful smiles, and 95% belong to the same class of subsistence farmers without any money. The worst transgression within their culture is to get angry, and they often respond when one inquires why they aren't angry about anything, "What's the point?" Cooperation has been necessary and paramount to survival in their harsh surroundings, but in 1974 their thousand-year-old culture was opened to tourism by the Indian government in an attempt to bring them more into the fold as a part of India. This has caused great problems. Television and movies have entered the culture, luring young people away from farming and training them in English and giving them poor quality "educations." They leave their villages to go to school, finish school, have no idea how to farm, then have to move to the city center in Leh (a town of 10-15,000 people) to find one of the very, very few jobs in the region.

Anyway, the book is great, gives a very accurate and complete view of the "global village."

I would like to also say I feel very odd about the passing of Masanobu Fukuoka. The man is a sort of folk-hero, and I refer all of y'all to the zinelibrary.net website to read "On Green Mountain," which pretty quickly summarizes his ideas and integrities in regard to natural farming, no-till and balance.

2 comments:

Dad said...

Alcoholic beverages "found" should be forwarded to your elders who know how to properly dispose of them, These toxic substances, made by the light of the moon, should only be handled by experts! (As you know, I can handle [my] liquor.

Dad said...

Love you