Ralph Waldo Emerson from Collected Poems and Translations

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.

He is rich who owns the day,

and no one owns the day who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.

You have done what you could.

Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.

Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;

begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear, with its hopes and invitations,

to waste a moment on the yesterdays.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson,

Collected Poems and Translations

An Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you

May the wind be always at your back

May the sun shine warm upon your face

May the rain fall soft upon your fields

and until we meet again , May the Lord

hold you in the palm of his hand.

( for my dear mother)

Balcony Permaculture: a short video

In about two and a half minutes a man describes some ideas from the book ¨Sepp Holtzwer´s Permaculture¨ by, yep, you guessed it, Sepp Holtzwer.  You might be able to use some of these techniques in your balcony permaculture garden.

Learning permaculture: What,Why,How and Where

What is permaculture?

According to Toby Hemenway in his book Gaia´s Garden ( 2009 second ed.)  the definition of permaculture is a set of techniques and principles for designing sustainable human settlements. As I understand it , permaculture is simply optimization  through interconnection. For example, instead of using a pesticide to kill insects harming a plant , a permaculture option would be to place a second plant that is a natural repellant of the pest alongside  the first plant . This is just a simple example, because permaculture related to growing plants takes many more factors into consideration.

Permaculture was co-created in the mid 70´s by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren on the Australian island state of Tasmania. They were looking for alternatives to the rapid changes in industrial agricultural methods, such as monocrops using pesticides, and other toxic practices. In 1978 Mollison published Permaculture One and they continued to develop the practice as it spread across the world and was further developed by many others.

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Why learn it?

For me there are so many reasons ….. ecological ..reduction of waste and carbon footprint…organic food at my doorstep…. so much to learn….fascinating….complex yet simple….ethical…. a relatively new concept…something I have been wanting to explore since I first read about it several years ago….I love plants…. etc.

Probably there are more reasons but these popped into my head immediately.

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How to learn it.

Gaia´s Garden,  A Guide to Home Scale Permaculture, ( 2009 second ed.)  by Toby Hemenway, is considered a classic in the field and I think it´s a good place to start out.  This book explains the global concepts and principles of permaculture,  but focuses mainly on how to create home scale permaculture gardens. It´s easy to find many websites and blogs about permaculture and permaculture practitioners  around the word offer on-site courses (but attending a course is not an option for me). With  these and other resources and most importantly of all,  with practical experience, errors and successes,  I am on the path to learning about permaculture.

Where will I practice it?

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My permaculture garden will be on the balcony and later on the roof of my apartment, in a costal town north of Tarragona , Spain.  The balcony faces south but well is protected from the wind and extreme summer sun by its brick walls and awning. It has a good amount of sun the rest of the year.

The rooftop will require more permaculture skills because although the winter temperature is mild  it´s very, very windy. Wind  evaporates water, causes soil erosion and  and may even destroy plants. But one of the core ideas of permaculture is to design a garden that takes into account harsh or unfavorable conditions, and converts them into a useful part of the  design.

Most of my friends and family live in the city of Barcelona, and if any of them are interested in creating a balcony permaculture garden , maybe we can share the experience. Besides being fun, each of us could bring distinct ideas to the project. I will let you know how it is going. I am in no rush. I plant to study and design over the fall and winter, and do the main implementation in early spring.

Oh, one more thing. I am hardly going to spend any money on this. I intend to reuse materials and exchange materials and plants for the most part. I am really looking forward to the challenge.

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Marbles. A birthday rememberance.

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“That guy is as sharp as a marble.¨

That´s the kind of wisecrack my late brother Nemo (Tom) used to make.

If someone asked him a personal question, he would quip back  “Are you writing a book?¨ If you answered “Yes” he would say ¨Well, leave that chapter out.” Remarks  like these were his style and although he  acted like a tough guy construction worker, he was very kind hearted. For example , no matter how he was feeling , when elderly neighbors would call him in the middle of the night to help them get up  after they had fallen, and he would go right over.

He loved riding his bike on the boardwalk and cast fishing on the beach . Some years ago he liked to go out on the fishing boats that leave from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn and he loved taking his niece and nephews to  Great Adventure in the summer when they came to visit. He was proud to be a member of a chapter of the NYC carpenters union. He was sharp as a tack , almost to the end. I was grateful to be at his bedside as he took his last breath.

Happy 50th Birthday Tommy!!  September 25th!!  You are always in my heart.

Life Detour

Detour in the road ahead. Won´t be here on WordPress for a while , but I´ll be back.

 

 

So how was the first month blogging?

Since this is a learning blog, I have to evaluate how it is going . In past month  , which has been the first month, I have learned that blogging is neither hard nor easy.Mainly it depends on if you feel like doing it or not. Sometimes I was really into it, enjoying it. Then other times I was not that enthused, or just busy with other things that took priority. I did want to commit to myself to do a minimum number of posts per month, and I did do them .

Rewards

The first surprise was when two other blog writers replied to my posts. Both of them have really good blogs, one about gardening and one about crafts , so it was fun to get their comments , look at their blogs, and interact with them several times. So , thanks to the two of you.plant growing in hand

It is also fun to change formats and see how the blog looks using other themes that are provided by WordPress. The first time I did this , I didn’t´t know if I would lose all my posts, but no , nothing like that happens , you just see other formats and can change back with a simple click.

Challenges

The biggest challenge has been the motivation to keep it up. The days go by very quickly , and when I saw I didn’t  have a post written, I just put up a picture, which may not have been the best choice, but I am going to leave it the way it is.

The second challenge is the photography. I have a long way to go as far as taking or finding the right photographs. Also it is not so easy to place the pictures in the exact position I want them to be in , but with Windows Live Writer it is easier to do it than directly on the WordPress page.

So, what to do?

Just keep going.  My goal is to learn , not to be a star blogger. And that is just fine. It has been a pleasant activity so ,to sum up;  so far, so good.