ONE DAY there will be vegetables growing in the raised beds that will be built by me…at this rate I may well be 50 before that happens! Progress has been made, though, in that the palm fronds were replaced by bricks to mark the borders of the beds:
…the first line of bricks, closest to the bottom of the picture was removed and the marked area dug up, so that the small poles that will form the wall of the raised bed can be driven in. By leaving the bricks on the lawn for a few days, they leave a dead grass line easy to follow for digging purposes:
The process is ongoing: first I used a fork, as the lawn surface is just too hard for me to start with a spade. Next I will remove all the roots that have been lifted, and scoop the sand out with a spade.
The next post will show one fenced bed with the next step, namely laying down of newspaper to kill off the grass and provide the bottom layer of the raised bed.
Ek het eers gedink ek wil ‘n lang relaas skryf, met filosofiese benadering en mymeringe, uitgebreide argumente, intellektuele redenering…en toe dink ek – gaan iemand dit lees? Gaan iemand my daarvan beskuldig dat ek al weer probeer om my slim te hou? Sal die kwaai tannies my beveel om stil te bly en my te gedra?
So, nou wil ek graag eerlike en deurdagte antwoorde op die volgende vrae he, aangesien die vrae eerlik en opreg en weldeurdag is:
1. Waar in die Bybel sien julle dis OK om rassisties te wees?
2. Waarop baseer julle julle gevoel van rassemeerderwaardigheid?
3. Hoekom bewonder julle ‘n common vrou – wat nie kan sing nie, en haar pa kon ook nie -wat deur hoeveel mans is, haarself kru uitdruk en ‘n vreesaanjaende gebrek aan intelligente gevolgtrekkings en redevoering toon?
4. Watter “payback” is daar vir julle sienings, die verwoording van haat en veragting, en die verloening van Christelike beginsels soos deur Jesus gepreek? Wat daarvan laat julle goed, meerderwaardig, vooruitstrewend voel? Hoe dra dit by tot julle persoonlike ontwikkeling en evolusie?
5. Wat is julle bang om te verloor as julle julself oopmaak vir nuwe verhoudinge en kulturele ervaringe? My ma het eenmaal gesnik: “Ek kan nie verstaan hoe jy jou rug op jou mense kan draai nie.” Ek hoop sy verstaan nou beter dat om jou arms wyer oop te maak nie beteken dat jy jou rug draai op ENIGIEMAND nie. So wat is dit waaraan julle vasklou en bang is om te verloor?
Enige redelike, Bybelgebaseerde, nie-aggressiewe reaksie word verwelkom.
This half of our front garden looks like this at the moment – actually, the photo makes it look really grim – it is more pleasing in real life. But after a very hot and dry December the lawn, at the best of times not my favourite part of the garden, is really battling. And I DECLINE to waste more water, or electricity to run the borehole pump, in order to keep this useless patch thriving. Apart from anything else, the kikuyu – a weed here- is shot through with “kweekgras”, which makes me murderous. So, in the words of the Queen of Hearts, or someone, “off with its head’ off with its head…!”
As I am a very enthusiastic, if not terribly successful, supporter of self-sufficiency, home veggie gardens and everything related, the idea is to replace the lawn with food-growing beds, while maintaining a modicum of aesthetic appeal.
SO, I have done a rough outline of where the beds will be: in the shape of a tree, as in the second photo. That will leave space to go around, reach every spot from the sides (more about the construction of the beds just now), and has possibilities for placing pots with flowery annuals or something prettyor whimsical.
The beds will be no-dig layers of organic material, with raised sides, in which the vegetables will grow directly. The next steps are going to be:
1. Finding economical material to build the sides up with
2. Killing the lawn – as I don’t have the strength to take it out myself, and right now decline to get labour in to do it! with layers of wet newspaper. That will form the bottom layer of the beds. The lawn around the sides will unfortunately have to be helped out with Round-up. If anyone knows of anything kinder to the surroundings to usher out the lawn, please let me know.
Tomorrow I start bringing throwaway bricks and other stuff from the veld next to the neighbourhood in the wheelbarrow!
We’ve survived the cataclysm that the Mayas didn’t predict. It is now 2013. May it be a lesson to all on conscious and informed reading and interpretation of facts. And how not to pay attention to hysterical people, fear-mongers, and those who make money out hysteria and fear!
What I am hoping for in 2013: an increasingly conscious Christian population in South Africa, which would (in my brain, anyway!) have the following practical implications:
1. Less littering
2. Less backyard breeding
3. Less suffering for domestic and other animals
4. Less meat eating
5. Increased communication and understanding between South Africans
6. Improved education: for all idle Christians to get their hands dirty, so to speak, in providing resources and time. Every little bit helps!
7. Less deliberate ignorance and prejudice – which would have a whole lot of practical implications of its own
8. More notice taken of worldwide injustice and suffering, some of it directly caused by Western imperialism (historical and current), which many Christians unconsciously accept as good and proper
9. More personal and corporate involvement in addressing the rampant corruption and stupidity displayed by the current South African government
10. More reading of and exposure to and money spent on issues that matter (such as the above) and less and less on idle, superficial matters of which the only purpose is to impress others and conform to “the world”.
Just in case anyone lifts an eyebrow and comments that it all sounds serious and even dull: I sincerely believe, and have experienced it, that true pleasure and joy come from helping others, improving their circumstances (because that improves ours as well) and making a positive and constructive impact on our environment, whatever form it takes.
One series of blogs I will be presenting will be based on the Facebook page GROW FOOD, NOT LAWNS’s title; I will be posting photos, tips, remarks (because my efforts will sometimes fail epically) and other things on my crusade (not a good word, that…) to turn our front garden into a food-growing but still nice-looking space.
Another series, some of it in Afrikaans, will address the continuing racism of depressingly large swathes of the South African white population. And a third will look at world issues with suggestions on how conscious Christians COULD be involved positively to make a difference. Please feel free to differ vociferously, but let’s all communicate on the basis of Scriptural revelation, and with intelligence and information!
There are other conscious Christians around. I am sure. They are on WordPress. Check them out. However, this particular one lives in Kuilsrivier, die Wes-Kaap, Suid-Afrika, and if there are any others around, it (this conscious Christian) would very much like to get to know them, reaffirm the connection if it already knows them, and then consolidate resources and start being super-conscious, subverting and transforming the structures that keep us from being all that we can be. We being everyone.
Structures include patriarchal, environmentally damaging attitudes and practices, social ills, hear-no-evil-see-no-evil-speak-no evil ostrich-like behaviour, downright stupidity, racism, fear of rocking the boat, closing ranks on power play…help me out here and list some more!
Yes, it will be opinionated and most probably make many people squirm. Those people must then go and read their favourite ego-stroking Christian magazine or whatever else floats their boat – no stress! The opinions expressed here will be based on extensive observation, wide-ranging knowledge of Christian issues and publications in the world, and the opinions expressed by Jesus in the Gospels as we have them. And other parts of the Bible. They are open to challenge. If the challenge is also based on the opinions of Jesus in the Gospels as we have them, and knowledge of Christian teaching and practice before it got hijacked by the power needs of the western world as expressed by the Roman Empire and its successors.
The goal: a continually improving vision and definition of what the Kingdom of God on earth means and how we can contribute to it, instead of breaking down and stomping around in unawareness and letting things happen to us.