hort.net Seasonal photo, (c) 2006 Christopher P. Lindsey, All Rights Reserved: do not copy
articles | gallery of plants | blog | tech blog | plant profiles | patents | mailing lists | top stories | links | shorturl service | tom clothier's archive0
 Navigation
Articles
Gallery of Plants
Blog
Tech Blog
Plant Profiles
Patents
Mailing Lists
    FAQ
    Netiquette
    Search ALL lists
    Search help
    Subscription info
Top Stories
Links
sHORTurl service
Tom Clothier's Archive
 Top Stories
Disease could hit Britain's trees hard

Ten of the best snowdrop cultivars

Plant protein database helps identify plant gene functions

Dendroclimatologists record history through trees

Potato beetle could be thwarted through gene manipulation

Hawaii expands coffee farm quarantine

Study explains flower petal loss

Unauthorized use of a plant doesn't invalidate it's patent

RSS story archive

RE: SF Chronicle: Worldly Lessons Taught in Community Garden

  • Subject: RE: [cg] SF Chronicle: Worldly Lessons Taught in Community Garden
  • From: "Jack Hale" jackh@knoxparks.org
  • Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 14:51:46 -0500
  • Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
  • Thread-index: AcZRyGvzvGPvdaVTSnm2/gx34bc83wADxKdA
  • Thread-topic: [cg] SF Chronicle: Worldly Lessons Taught in Community Garden

Is this the start of a movement to show Being There at the LA
conference?  It can't be beat for real garden-based political wisdom.
One thing is for sure - people who tend gardens have all the experience
they need of the law of unintended consequences.
Adam, thanks for passing this along.
JH

Jack N. Hale
Executive Director
Knox Parks Foundation
75 Laurel Street
Hartford, CT 06106
860/951-7694

-----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com
[mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com] On Behalf Of
adam36055@aol.com
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2006 1:01 PM
To: cybergardens@treebranch.com; community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] SF Chronicle: Worldly Lessons Taught in Community Garden

Friends, 
 
I love this San Francisco Chronicle  piece by John Hershey,  comparing
CIA Director Porter Goss, a backyard gardener's outlook on the world
with that of community gardeners.  John Hershey is a community gardener.

 
Regards, 
Adam Honigman
Hell's Kitchen, NYC
 
Worldly lessons taught in community garden 
- John Hershey, Special to The Chronicle
Saturday, March 25, 2006 

  
In a recent interview with Time magazine, CIA Director Porter Goss was
asked a very important question. After dispensing with topics like
catching Osama bin Laden and dealing with the insurgency in Iraq, the
reporter got down to business: "You're into organic gardening. How did
that happen?" 
Goss replied that gardening is relaxing and rewarding for him. He even
composts. But he complained that animals always steal his crops. 
I find it reassuring that our top intelligence official seeks solace in
the garden -- although it makes me a little nervous that the man
responsible for eradicating terrorist cells in our country can't keep
squirrels out of his garden. 
I was also surprised. I tend to think of powerful people spending their
leisure time hunting rather than gardening. I can readily imagine Type A
go-getters out on a big-game hunt. But somehow it's hard to picture
Theodore Roosevelt misting orchids or Ernest Hemingway weeding around
his peas. 
Perhaps this is an unfair stereotype. After all, hunting and gardening
are popular for the same basic reason: They take us back to the primeval
days when people lived in nature and had to provide for themselves. It
was a simpler yet rougher time, without the complexities or soft
comforts of modern life. Hunting and gardening make us feel truly alive
by appealing to these primitive instincts in ways that some other
hobbies, like collecting refrigerator magnets, may not. 
But I wonder why some people gravitate to gardening, while hunting
appeals to other personality types. For example, I prefer gardening.
Time spent in the garden is fun and serene, and there are relatively few
fatal gardening accidents. It seems to suit my character. I have nothing
against hunting for food, but let's face it: Hunting can be rather
adversarial. The hunter and the deer are not out there seeking to
resolve their differences amicably. It's a bit of a zero-sum game, when
you think about it. Does this mean the aggressive, driven people who
become leaders in their field are more likely to be hunter-gatherers
than settle down and cultivate the land? If so, does hunting reinforce
confrontational attitudes that carry over into our leaders' jobs, making
them more inclined to deal with a crisis by reaching for their
metaphorical .30-06? 
Of course, there's a time and place for strong action. But I think
gardening, especially community gardening, could teach our leaders
important lessons about foreign policy too. 
Outsiders, perhaps laboring under some stereotypes of their own, may
think of a community garden as an urban idyll of perfect harmony. But
those of us who garden there know that the community garden is a
microcosm of the world. We each have our own territory, with footpaths
forming borders with our neighbors. And we have to deal with conflicts
and threats just as world leaders do. 
For example, has your community garden space ever been invaded by an
aggressive pumpkin vine? When a plot's territorial integrity is
threatened, the gardeners don't respond unilaterally with clippers. We
use diplomacy to discourage expansionism without resorting to force. 
You can't always blame the gardener when plants attack. Last season, I
planted a special type of marigold on the perimeter of my plot because I
had heard that they would deter nematodes from attacking the roots of my
tomato plants. This natural pest-control technique was effective, in a
sense. My tomato plants survived, although they didn't get very big or
produce many tomatoes. They were crowded out and shaded by the
marigolds! Each little seedling grew into a big clump of dense foliage
with hundreds of orange blooms. These yard-high shrubs encroached the
pathways, blockading several nearby plots. I tried to be a good citizen
by trimming the bushes back, but that just seemed to encourage more
growth. This year, I'm looking for some special type of nematode to
deter my marigolds. 
The point is, we all try to get along in the garden. But as in the
community of nations, conflicts can occur. Perhaps we will discover a
rogue nonorganic gardener in our midst who is stockpiling chemical
fertilizers or even trying to develop pesticides of mass destruction. If
so, we'll build alliances to uphold our rules and handle the problem. 
Like the countries of the world, we community gardeners must learn to
share scarce resources. We share the water and try not to drag the hose
over our neighbors' spinach plants. We don't take more than our fair
share of compost from the pile. And we happily share the extra food we
grow. 
OK, that's a bad example. Zucchini is not a scarce resource. It's more
like a common enemy. 
But community gardeners learn to work together to deal with threats to
our collective security. Whether it's a zucchini infestation, an attack
by invasive weeds or the occasional nighttime theft of broccoli or
tomatoes by mean yet health-conscious neighborhood toughs, we know we
are all in this together. That's an experience that might benefit the
people who run our government. 
Would the world be a safer place if our leaders were community
gardeners? I don't know. But I do know one thing: I'd rather garden with
Porter Goss than hunt with Dick Cheney. 
E-mail freelance writer (and community gardener) John Hershey at
home@sfchronicle.com. 
Page F - 9 


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of
ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and
to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:
https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden


______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





 © 1995-2015 Mallorn Computing, Inc.All Rights Reserved.
Our Privacy Statement
Other Mailing lists | Author Index | Date Index | Subject Index | Thread Index