The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. Albert Einstein
I have 40 bales of organic hay earmarked in someone else’s shed for my goats’ next Winter, the minimum to get it home-delivered and a nice comfortable quantity to meet any length of cold-weather grassgrowthlessness I hope. I have not been in a position to cut hay this year, pretty short-armed, but I now reflect that I perhaps should not aim to cut hay in my 4.8 acres, that if I keep the goats’ manure for the garden I am impoverishing my soil everywhere the goats eat or the hay is cut. I look at the apple trees whose soil have provided me with hay in the past years and they seem to sing some kind of lament to me. I am listening, I will chop all the grass that has grown in the orchard in situ and let it mulch, rot, mould, compost, enrich. On the same note instead of giving myself a hard time over my lack of endurance I am now rejoicing that I lost breath before the last field was fenced, thus keeping it out of the goats rotation and getting a fallow year.
I am writing little but thinking actively outdoors, brushed by spiders’ nest knitted overnight and hazel branches laden with pale growing nuts and—despite being regularly chewed by horseflies—enchanted by the sweet smells of August. I read a lot of Raj Patel’s wonderful book about the whys, hows and wrongs of the global food system, Stuffed and Starved, a couple of years ago, and I was delighted to recently come across his 2011 lecture at UC Berkeley Feeding the World which is wonderfully entertaining and recommended viewing for anyone who likes to eat every day. Skip the first 6 minutes, jump in and enjoy, it is completely inspiring, enlightening and funny (my children aged 12 and 14 agree). This is a man who I think asks the right kind of questions.