The Scoop

Landship Foods is inspired by the conviction that growing and eating healthy food is one of the most important things we can do for both ourselves and the broader communities of which we are a part. The name comes from the language of pre-industrial Europe. Before the enclosure movement and the associated rise in notions of private property swept England, the suffix “-ship” (as in "relationship," or "friendship") referred to an object or an abstraction with collective duties and mutual rights. Thus, the term “landship” suggests that land was an entity through which humans were joined to each other by a set of rights and responsibilities. I advocate for a revival of this awareness.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Microclimates and Diversity

So, it has frosted the past two nights now, and the squashes, cucumbers, and tomatoes are showing the effects. You may ask, “Why were you not prepared for this?” Good question. I could have at least tried covering the rows. Well, I had checked the weather forecast and it predicted a low of 39 degrees, so I didn't bother. Was the forecast that far off? No; I'm sure it was in the high 30s somewhere nearby, but our vegetable garden got down to at least 32. Another decisive and instructive lesson for the neophyte: weather conditions here can vary drastically in places only a few hundred feet apart. It's the kind of lesson that can only be learned from spending significant time in a place. Working the land in that place makes this kind of education much easier, because the stakes are higher and the lessons more emphatic. The microclimatic variation might surprise many visitors to the desert – as it obviously did me – but it mirrors other diversity that I had noticed. The Southwest has Hispanic, Native and Euro-American histories, which weave a colorful cultural tapestry. The region has sage flatlands and aspen-ringed mountains, often within a few miles of each other. Most people cruising by on their way from California to Texas can't wait to get past Thoreau because it looks stark, desolate, and monotonous. But if you slow down, get off of I-40, and walk the slopes, breathing the desert air, you will see that there is much more to this place than just empty space. The New Mexico desert is diverse.

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