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Pomegranate Trees (and Forward-Thinking Movements) Eventually Bear Fruit

Posted Feb 06 2011 6:54am
I hack and hack around it, the sound of metal on rock clinking loudly with each misplaced strike.  

"A boulder!" I announce to my family, poking my head in the kitchen door with frequent updates as they watch the movie Chicago (my husband's fave football team, the Chicago Bears, no longer in the running for the Super Bowl).  

I think of Scott and Helen Nearing , who wrote the classic book on homesteading, The Good Life , and how they built those beautiful stone walls, like you find in Ireland (where my mother's parents were from: I love this photo ), when they first cleared their land for cultivation.  As dough rises yet again in my kitchen, I think of how they did four hours a day of what they called "bread labor," which was this manual labor, and four hours a day of intellectual pursuits, which is how they earned their money.  

How much my life continues to move toward that reality, I realize.  How close I'm coming to my avocation and vocation being one and the same.  There are my personal blogs, my articles, all the local food security efforts, and now I write a blog for the Cox Enterprise subsidiary, Kudzu , which is a website that makes it easy to hire local service providers (a key way to support economic, environmental, and social sustainability in your community ). The blog covers both existing and emerging ways to create a home environment that meets your needs today and into the future.  Although it is intended for a mainstream audience and is not exclusively about sustainability, it definitely leans green (not only because I do, but because energy efficiency, sustainable resources, and "smart home" technology, etc. are where home building, renovations, and maintenance are heading). 

I see the foam football by the bench I plucked out of someone's trash a couple weeks ago and dragged home, which I intend to paint in bright colors and surround with sunflowers.  
I think of how I spent this whole week on the Kudzu blog writing about the Super Bowl, pretty much from a non-fan perspective. Yet here's something of which I am a fan--this year's Super Bowl will be the greenest NFL championship on record.  Okay, perhaps that's not saying a lot, considering the air travel involved and the upkeep of fields and the sheer consumer waste.  But Cowboy Stadium, which was the first to be recognized in the EPA's National Environmental Performance Track program, targets cutting solid waste by 20%, water consumption by 1 million gallons, and energy use by 20% each year. And those are steps in the right direction, which, to me, is something for which to cheer.  What's more, this year kicks off the Super Grow XLV program ("Touchdown for Trees"), which is the biggest tree-planting yet in communities near Super Bowl locations in order to provide carbon offsets for Super Bowl events.
I pour Farmer D compost in the two holes I dug.  I spread out the roots and plant the pomegranate trees that I bought at the Atlanta Local Food Initiative's fruit tree sale a few weeks back.  And I think about how super my garden is becoming, the tomato cages ready to host pea plants, the juniper bushes about to come out to make room for muscadines, the hooped beds filled shoulder to shoulder with mustard greens, arugula, tatsoi, lettuces, cilantro and French sorrel.  I think about reduced water consumption at the Super Bowl and still can't believe I just converted our toilet to dual flush with a simple $15 kit I bought at Costco (took less than ten minutes and involved no tools).   And, Farmer D's bright green logo staring back at me, I think of the super news I just received that, during an African sunset with champagne in hand, Daron "Farmer D" Joffe, founder and owner of Farmer D Organics , and Stephanie Bernstein, founder and owner of To-Go Ware , became engaged.  
I tell my daughters it will take three years for pomegranate trees to fruit, and we quickly compute when that will be in their lives.  Adding three little years to their current ages makes them impossibly old, ages I can barely conceive of them being.  Yet time passes, children grow up, and pomegranate trees eventually bear fruit.
This talk about children and looking ahead, and about sunsets in Africa, and about the Super Bowl (specifically the story I read about how Green Bay Packers' wide receiver James Jones grew up homeless ) somehow makes me think of two documentaries I just viewed, the first about how three young, rudderless travelers went to Africa several years back and fell upon a story which they turned into a documentary, which then turned into a movement called Invisible Children . The second film, Go, is about how a handful of high school students across the U.S. who were leaders in their Schools for Schools campaigns (U.S. students helping former child soldiers in Uganda) won the opportunity to go visit the people they are helping, and what happened next.  Go is one of the best documentaries I've ever seen.  A key line from the movie has been reverberating in my head ever since: It doesn't matter where you're from.  It matters where you go
And so I hack.  And I plant.  And I write.  And I share in the joy of: a national sport trying to lighten its load (and lighten global worries for just a few hours today), a movie that makes a difference, and an international marriage that will no doubt change the world.

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