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, September 7, 2009

Full Circle

It was a real gut-buster closing down things in New Mexico for the season - largely because the tiller broke and we had to prepare all the beds by hand - but things are in good shape. I left the peppers and tomatoes in because they were still producing. They will be tended and eaten by friends and neighbors of the Gulch. Pulling up and composting the vegetables lent an air of finality to the season, but this feeling was shortly replaced by one of excitement for the plantings to come, as the compost from this year's crop residue will be a crucial boost for the soil in the spring. Last night as I read Wendell Berry's essay, "A Native Hill," the following passage reinforced my contentment at this point in the season:

The most exemplary nature is that of the topsoil...It increases by experience, by the passage of seasons over it, growth rising out of it and returning to it, not by ambition or aggressiveness. It is enriched by all things that die and enter into it. It keeps the past, not as history or memory, but as richness, new possibility. Its fertility is always building up out of death into promise.

As I look back on the season, cataloged here in the blog, I notice they mirror each other in an important way. Fittingly, both the work and writing begin and end with well-tended compost as the central subject, as "richness, new possibility".