“Do What’s Right for All of Us”

gardening to grow food….understand the food economy where you live, because then you can identify what staples to produce for yourself and strategize whether and how to fill a specific niche for your community.

Dale gave me instructions for the shopping trip with Soirée and Triple.

Pre-packaged deli meat is the freshest it gets.

We went to the large convenience store chain that passes for a grocery in rural Tennessee. “They’re trying to make it look like it’s healthy, but its not,” Triple explained.

Tractor Supply was closed for the Easter holiday, so we rushed over to Home Depot. They were closing in 15 minutes, an hour earlier than usual: task focus commenced.

Actually, there’s been steady task focus all day. And since we arrived yesterday, too. This is one of those skills you need to have to do the work involved with gardening to grow food. Triple and Soirée are experts in steadiness. What’s cool is neither of them convey a sense of pressure. Just ‘this is what we gotta do let’s get at it” energy and action.

The first night we made dinner together and ate, comfortably, talking about the vision that brought us here. Actually we didn’t explicitly talk about the vision, we’ve already done that a few times. We dove directly into the implementation of our workplan: test a design for next year’s inaugural intensive residency.

The first morning we took our time getting up and getting going. Each to their own pace. Eventually we merged into breakfast, agreed upon the tasks for the day, and got to it. Quite satisfying to clear the garden so Soirée can do more than comfrey. For the first two years she and Dale were here, getting the house set up had taken priority over putting in a garden. Now it’s time. We also identified and cut fence posts and took a tour to see where the camping platforms will be made, along with the outdoor privies and shower.

Mission: Acquire Items.

Roxy finally got let loose to mingle—that dog is fast! Me and The MeanGoose (doing his job, protecting the flock) are still facing off every time we’re in proximity, and Guppy trotted around the forest near our workspaces all day.

I hadn’t wanted to leave paradise to go to the store, but Leslie agreed that I needed to “suck it up, Buttercup.” It is critical to understand the food economy where you live, because then you can identify what staples to produce for yourself and strategize whether and how to fill a specific niche for your community.

 

Design “A” is a Success

I thought I’d have a minute to myself at the gate.

Colorfully dressed black woman jumping in the air, surrounded by trees at a driveway.
Soirée met me at the road.

Instead this blur of color materialized into a screaming Negro. Let me put quotes around the relevant words: “Negro” (as in her most common label of identity); “screaming” is the adjective chosen by me to describe what was happening.

We waited for Triple awhile past his ETA. I mean, I think Soirée was early, then I snuck up on her, then we waited. I’m not always patient, particularly when I’m hungry…

After arrival and unpacking, we were assigned tasks in the kitchen.

Then Soirée vanished and me and Triple had to figure stuff out.

At some point, I realized Design A is perfect as a guide for next year. With room for on-the-fly adjusting.

“We won!” Soirée hollered.

“Team B came in second!” Leslie added.

I was still waiting for dinner. Soirée got on it. “We’re scraping the bottom of the barrel!”

Leslie responded: “We were cleaning out the fridge! Where did the barrel come from? You been hiding it in the fridge all this time?!”