Now for something completely different…Zen Farming

Zen Farming

As a youth I spent most of my summers in Virginia. For most of what can remember all, in fact cept maybe one, which was in Upstate NY. However I am not really sure about that. I always wanted to and loved going to spend the summer with my mother’s father and mother, until my grandmother passed away, then it was my step grandmother.
The Davis clan (90)

Gramps and his kids ( all grown )

She was nice, but my cousin and I refused to call her grandma, but called her Aunt Unita. Not that we did not like her, she was kind to both of us, but she was not Grandma. My grandmother was my favorite person in the world. It hit me hard when she died. But that is another story.

My cuz, sister and brother, in the late 1950’s

My grands had a gas/service station, a beer garden ( like a bar but served food and had some dancing), and also a farm. This was located at Cooks Corner in Virginia. it looks so different now. When I stayed there I worked at/on all three. I did a lot working at the service station, but I would also help with the farming. For a while in my early days there were some farm animals, chickens, pigs, a horse, little by little they went away. However the farm land was still there. There was corn, beans etc etc. there was also a home garden in the backyard. I helped with that sometimes. I learned to drive on the tractor helping with the big fields but sometime I would do stuff in the small veggie garden. As I got older I would drive the tractor more and more, it was my car.
At one point helped build his retirement home, and almost got killed doing it, when I did an unplanned wheelie on the tractor digging out the basement. I was fast enough to push in the clutch before it reached the tipping point. Scared the heck out of me, also another story

Gramps new self built house

All this to say I never dreamed I would be doing some home gardening in Japan. I never even heard of Japan at the time, much less thought I would be living here doing home gardening. Anyway, last year i started a few misc garden projects. The front “Bamboo-Zen Garden” I am still quite pleased with that. 
The Bamboo are growing nicely. Last year they grow one new branch, this year all of them are growing two new shoots. I have three of four types growing. A black Bamboo, a golden bamboo and a couple of other which are general types. There are two maples and a some misc herbs in a couple of vertical planters. 
The pallet herb location I tried a couple of veggies as well they did not do so well. Not enough light or soil base to really grow. This year i decieded not to go that path with the veggies and just stick to the herbs. Although i am trying a few seeds in a very small space directly in the ground by the gate. There were some flowering plants there that never flowered. I do not have much expectations from that space, so may end up changing it, if this planting fails.
However anywho, I have started some planting in pots on the back balcony, “lanai” as it is called in Hawaii, “Veranda” as it is called here, and English word. No doubt since they are not native to Japan houses, I have a few items started, lettuce, spinach, Kale, bell peppers, eggplants, some kind of bitter thingy like a cucumber, tomatoes of course. Everyone grows tomatoes. Home grown tomatoes are the bomb! 
I am trying to grow some basil to make pesto, but they are not spouting. I may have to get some baby plants and go from there. Also the cucumber seeds did not grow.
So yeah, stuff is planted and mostly growing. I have been getting a few salads out of the Lettuce and kale trimmings and I am quite pleased with that. Growing one own veggies is like growing money. 
I read about a “Brother man” named Ron Findley in Compton, California who has started a big and growing neighborhood veggie growing project, and doing quite well for the hood. Grownups and kids and involved. It is a very positive step for the hood and getting away from buying junk foods, processed foods, heavy chemo sprayed foods. We are what we eat! Food is our best medicine. Growing our own, buying from local farmers is the best way to save money but also to get the best quality substance for our body maintenance. It also make us aware of our connection to the Earth, the planet, interdependence. It is all very Zen.
Zen is not just about sitting in meditation, living in touch with the, Earth, Sea, people and the Universe is Zen.

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