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Dec 08, 2007


the old mole

I love the idea of edible cities. I've been foraging for years on Washington's Capitol Hill, finding fruit, nuts, and herbs as close to two blocks to the Capitol itself. There are alleys that cut through many of the blocks, where trees hang on from the days when the entire area had been cut over for farming back in Washington's day.

I started with the best apricots I've ever had, from a tiny tree near my childrens' school, on public space. Then concord grapes growing wild in a back alley. Then a deal with the owner of the largest apricot tree in the city, who lets me stake out netting to cradle the apricots when they fall from his tree, and who doesn't even like them!

I found a wonderful little apple tree growing in the middle of the intersection of three major cross-town highways and the Interstate, all by itself. A yard sale brought me a long-handed fruit picker, and my little girl and I spent several wonderful fall afternoons plucking small, tart apples off this tree in the middle of a complete automotive wasteland.(Sadly, after 3 wonderful years, the tree, which must have been 20-30 years old, sicken and died.)

In a vacant lot towards Chinatown, I saw a yellow squash blossom peaking through a wilderness of weeds. I got off my bike and waded in, only to discover that hidden from public view on this abandoned patch of land was an intricate garden of Chinese vegetables. I took nothing, but several days later noticed a group of wizened Chinese women huddled in the weeds with the watering cans that were keeping their plants alive.

A few blocks from my house, an aggressive mint plant has taken over a tree box, and on the way home, I pull a few leaves to flavor a a salad. Riding by in a car, you would never see any of these things.

If only the city would adopt growing food as an objective for all its public plantings!


So true re the tomato. Nothing better than opening the front door, plucking off a few tomatoes...and having a delicious MEAL. This area is big on eating locally...and I've really only become remotely aware of it since moving here...which sort of shocks me how utterly unaware I was before.

Michael Pokocky

Such an excellent post Evelyn and was inspired by it to write,"music is the universal language+" on my blog
Evelyn Rodriguez writes on the subject music fruit trees on her blog Crossroads Dispatches and I was drawn to this quote,
"Food speaks its own tongue that needs no translators. Music speaks. All a long-winded way of explaining why music fruit trees flit through my mind."

And she makes an interesting quote taken from The Perfect Wagnerite,
“Beethoven had shown how those inarticulate mood-poems which surge through men who have, like himself, no exceptional command of words, can be written in music as symphonies…. After the symphonies of Beethoven it was certain that the poetry lies too deep for words does not lie too deep for music.” - George Bernard Shaw, The Perfect Wagnerite

There is much more to discover at Crossroad_Dispatches, so I will leave that to you.

Kind Regards,

Adam Al-Harbi

when i took a bus to the bay area from massachusetts last june, i found fruit trees for the first time in my life, and herbs, and people's park, and life. when i visited home in september, i discovered wild concord grapes which, when growing, form the impossible variety of colors interwoven as water running through marker's ink on a napkin. i work and live at spirit rock now and stumbled across your blog. i am with patience opening to creative ecstacy, trying not to try, hoping my dance will swing onto paper more and more like those... markers attached to string. but drawing in the air is
all right

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