.. v. Spontanaeity
... and the gods who laugh at them
I don't know how you all look at plan-making, but to me it is soothing. Not necessarily because it feeds me big illusions about the certainty of what's to come. Because at its best, plan-making is dreaming and stepping towards manifesting my best intentions.
I make planting plans; seed, transplant, and live plant procurement plans; labor plans; marketing & sales plans; land management & improvement plans; engagement & educational plans...... and contingency versions of all those plans. We make plans for life, death, home renovations, vacations...... I make plans for times to be free of plans. I make plans for what I will do if denied the ability to make plans. I make plans for future flexibility that will enable me to yield to those who have not made plans.
All these plans must speak to each other. Maybe it's just because I am a Unitarian Universalist (among other capital-letter signifiers) but I see things as Webs. I have an abiding belief in the Interdependent Web of All Existence of Which We Are All A Part.
Friendstomers Justin, Ariana, and Becka at the farm, about this time last year. There's since been an addition to their immediate family, and our interconnected web.
All the farm and business plans I can come up with must speak to each other in service of speaking to the goals of my business, which must speak to the goals of my life, which I am continually sussing out...They generally seem to have to do with nurturing. Nurture a setting that can nurture others so they can nurture themselves so they can nurture others. A web with many strands, delicate and resilient, contextual and universal.
Josh, Asa and I spent a few days at Letchworth State Park, and I was so inspired by the work of a volunteer from Monarch Watch.
He collects and nurtures the caterpillars through the chrysalis stage.
You may already know that monarchs are unique in their long migratory path across North & Central America. This is the time of year that eggs laid on the underside of milkweed plants are hatching. They go from egg to adult in 30 days! Kids grow up so fast these days!! They get one shot at each aspect of their life cycle, each year, and the effects of their environments bounce and echo through their reality. Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavoir is an accessible and rooted/winged way to engage with this topic.
The chrysalis are jade green with an amazing golden stripe. You can faintly see the mushed up butterfly wings within.
I'm constantly inspired to knit new meaning into this life, this work, this farm. I plan to incorporate swathes of milkweed (there are a dozen varieties to choose from, many of them suitable as cut flowers!) into our cropping, in the hopes that we will nurture a setting for this particular life cycle.
When the butterfly emerges it hangs upside down to let its internal juices fill the vascular system of the wings.
In and amongst the constant planning for the future, and the revision of this year's plans in the hopes that next year's plans will be ever better and ever easier. Trying not to struggle too hard against this temporal moment. Thank you for giving us an outlet for the temporal beauty we nurture, and through your engagement with it, amplifying that beauty so that it resonates against all the strings of our web.
So so fondly,
SOME COMMUNITY NOTES:
- Open Streets Initiative Info Session, tonight at 6 PM
- Monthly event at the Red Door in the North End tomorrow night, a great intro to that neighborhood if it's new to you
- Detroit Hustle book signing by our very own friendstomer Amy Haimerl, this Saturday
BUY YOUR LAND: Acquiring Land Security in Detroit
Tuesday, August 30th, 6-8PM at Oakland Avenue Urban Farm 9354 Oakland Avenue north of Holbrook west of I-75
Land security is one of the most critical components to achieving food sovereignty and ensuring the sustainability of urban agriculture projects. It is also one of the most confusing! Many processes for getting permission, leasing, and buying land have changed and new ones have been created. Join us in this session for an update and explanation of what processes exist now, tools and tips for navigating them, and where to find resources and support. The class will be co-taught by Janell O’Keefe, Land & Policy Support Specialist at Keep Growing Detroit and Nick Leonard, Attorney at Great Lakes Environmental Law Center.