Category: Gardening

Seven Days Make One Weak

Gardening is here, believe it or not

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

If you’re new to TDE,  you haven’t seen many gardening posts. That’ll change as spring nears. I already have posts and essays in the hopper.

Yeah, I know: “Scheske, it’s 10 degrees outside and a deep freeze is on the way. You shouldn’t even mention gardening!”

I disagree.

A farming client told me a late last month that seed companies were already running out of stock. I went (ran) home that night and put in my order at Johnny’s.

About 1/3rd of my selections were gone already, and then it took two weeks for my order to arrive.

I gotta believe the selections are going to get more sparse and delivery times slower as the temperatures warm.

So it’s not too early to think about April, not at all.

There’s a great gardening book called “The Tao of Vegetable Gardening.” The author, Carol Deppe, applies Taoist principles (especially that of wu-wei, “not doing”) to the soil, but the book isn’t about Taoism. It’s all about gardening. The Taoism is rarely explicit, but rather merely laces, or informs, the book as a whole.

I like the book because it cuts against “intensive gardening” (my phrase).

When I read about gardening, authors often talks about plotting out the land, keeping planting journals, etc.

I don’t do that. During idle moments, I often think about gardening, but I rarely resort to writing things down, except for reminders. I rarely plan and when I do, I don’t follow the plans.

Which really cuts against my nature. I plan, scheme, think about the future . . . worry . . . to an embarrassing extent. I am an affront to Matthew 6:27.

But not in the gardening at … Read the rest

How to be a Good Agrarian

I hung out with Michael Jordan outside Chicago about twenty years ago.

No, not basketball Michael Jordan. I’m talking about Michael Jordan, the English professor from Hillsdale College.

We met at a Touchstone conference at Mundelein Seminary. He saw my name tag and said he enjoyed my articles. Being a narcissist, I was smitten, and we talked a bit and took a few meals together. Because we only lived an hour apart, we kept in touch for awhile and met for lunch once, but then drifted away into life.

I bumped into him a few months ago at a Hillsdale cross-country meet. He had just retired due to some health problems. We caught up a bit and I haven’t seen him since.

And then yesterday, I read (what I think is) a farewell essay to Hillsdale alumni. It’s a pithy, fast-paced piece: beautiful in its simplicity, wise in its advice.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a link. Maybe he’ll see this post and send me a link or the entire article.

For today, though, here are a few of my favorites from his “How to be a Good Agrarian in the 21st Century.”

  • Be a member of your community, not a mere consumer in the global economy.
  • Be as self-resilient you can be in terms of home economics and home culture.
  • The food you raise yourself will be better tasting, more nutritious, and healthier than what you find at the supermarket.
  • Try to avoid specialization and the division of labor: When you can, be your own doctor, plumber, carpenter, painter, etc.
  • “Throw out the radio and take down the fiddle from the wall.” Quoting Andrew Lytle from the excellent I’ll Take My Stand.
  • Settle in a particular place, ideally the place where you were born and where
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The Gift of Gab

Hunter, Twitter, and the need to cultivate an alternative

I’m still reeling from Facebook AND Twitter blocking the new Hunter Biden story, even though the Twitter CEO has since apologized (but not unblocked the New York Post’s Twitter account, as of earlier this morning).

The thing is, the story doesn’t indicate Joe Biden did anything wrong. Hunter merely introduced his illicit benefactors to his father while he was VP. I guess Joe may have denied it, but a VP probably meets, what, 10,000 people a year? And given his mental abilities? Surely, it’s believable he didn’t know or couldn’t remember.

Sure. The whole troubling specter that is Hunter Biden should disqualify his father from being President of the United States, but if that’s the case, I suspect it disqualifies every President we’ve had since Reagan. The federal government and politics are irredeemably corrupt.

In other words, the media would’ve shrugged this off, just as it has shrugged off Joe Biden’s apparent mental struggles, close-talking, inappropriate touching, hair sniffing, not to mention his own Chinese booster clubism. 

But the social media giants blocked the Hunter Biden story.

It’s unbelievable on many fronts: meddling in an election, showing partisanship even though they staunchly deny it, casting severe doubts on the polls that show Biden winning in a landslide, raising the specter that the story portends far worse things for Joe Biden.

It also shows the need to cultivate an alternative to Facebook and Twitter, especially Twitter, which has a terrible track record on such things. I think Zuck tries to keep FB reasonably level on such things, though that’s just a hunch on my part.

I’d encourage everyone to Grab the Gab.

Set up an account at Gab.

Here’s my fledgling account. I’ve had it for a few years. I … Read the rest


Football: Enough already. Get rid of the pink. The breast cancer marketing gimmick has become an annoyance. By all means, pray for the poor women battling breast cancer. Donate money to help. But please get rid of the self-congratulatory pink ostentation.

Banner day for the Back to Eden garden last Friday. My local municipality delivered a truck load of wood chips to my house. It was a perfect load: wood chips, with lots of green leaves, which provides a great mix of “brown” and “green” material. I got it spread out and now I have about six inches of cover for the Eden garden. I also used some to expand my “no lawn” area. At this point, I have eliminated about 40% of my yard from mowing. * * * * * * * Menard’s is also still selling those 12-inch self-watering containers (by Apollo Plastics) for $3.50 apiece. Incredible price. I used three in my Fall crop, and they’ve worked great. I plan on putting 20 into play next year.

Yesterday, I stumbled across this list of books that Dylan Grice highly recommends. If I weren’t trying to keep my reading extremely focused these days, I’d get SWAG and Paper Promises. They look excellent (Nassim Taleb also endorses Paper Promises). The list also contains Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman. I can personally vouch for that book, even though I’m only about half-way through it. It’s excellent.

Long-time TDE readers know I’ve long been interested in Jack Kerouac and the Beats (see). In all my Kerouac research, I never read that he wrote a play. I guess they found the script in 2005. It is now being produced in Kerouac’s hometown (Lowell, Massachusetts):

Beat Generation follows the sweetly sozzled Buck (the

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