Friday, November 20, 2009

Green and Read and Red... I went to the library this rainy day to pick up some reading material. Grassroots Gardening: Rituals for Sustaining Activism by Donna Schaper and Culture and Horticulture: a philosophy of gardening by Wolf D. Storl.

From the inside cover of GrassRoots: "In May 2003, Donna Schaper wrote and op-ed for the New York Times, "The Heretic in the Hibiscus," that told the story of her rejection from Coral Gables Garden Club because she was too liberal. As it turned out, the ladies of the club feared that she would do what she had done at the Miami church where she was minister, namely 'bring in blacks and gays to membership and participation.' In response to her article, dozens of garden societies across America contacted Schaper, inviting her to join their societies."
"In Grassroots Gardening, Schaper argues that people who garden find a ritual way to sustain activism. Dirt touching, seeding, and harvesting rituals keep radicals sane, energetic, and positive. It is more than weeding - and also is 'just' weeding. Many assume gardening is for people with country homes. On the contrary, gardening is a great passion for many progressive, political, communal people."

The second book, Culture and Horticulture is a more historical, sorta academic look into gardening. Again, from the inside cover: This book is written as an introduction to gardening in its wider aspects, linking it to historical, philosophical and cosmological contexts, taking horticulture from the microscope to the wider cosmos. Surely such vistas are involved when one takes a shovel to hand to turn the soil: eons have formed it; life permeates it in manifold forms; cosmic cycles of sun and moon warm it, circulate water through it, lure out of it the season's vegetation; and man shapes it according to his thinking and willing, plants and husbands it according to his cultural traditions, and finds mental and physical sustenance through it. All that is gardening!"

Welcome to nerd-out Fridays!

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