Kale chips

I made some delicious kale chips the other day from organic kale I bought at the Claremont Farmers' Market.  I only had a couple leaves left so I ended up with only a small batch of kale chips.... they were gobbled up instantly.  It is very simple to make and way more economical than buying the overpriced pre-packaged kale chips at a health foods store.  I like to sprinkle mine with nutritional yeast or some mixed herbs I have around the house.

Here's the recipe:
  • Set oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash a hand full of kale thoroughly and pat dry.  Remove leaves from center stems and chop into 1 inch pieces (or however big you want your chips to be!)
  • Transfer chopped leaves to a mixing bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon organic olive oil and a pinch of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt.  Massage the kale with hands to incorporate the olive oil and salt.
  • Transfer to baking pan and bake in oven for ~15 minutes.
  • Eat & enjoy! 


The pitfalls of modern society

Oh, the irresistible trappings of modern society.  There are days when I'd rather ...

-go buy orange juice, rather than juice the organic oranges I gleaned myself
-buy ridiculously expensive kombucha, rather than make it myself for cheap
-buy bread, rather than bake it myself
-go buy prepackaged salad than prepare the fresh greens I harvested myself...

...why? Because buying things prepared by others and/or machines are, well, convenient.  I hate the stupor that I fall into sometimes because of these conveniences... backed by mindless consumer habits (that are subconsciously induced by corporate-backed advertising).  [Again, one can recall the industrial vs. the agrarian lifestyle.]  It is so easy to fall back into that type of mind-set.  It is instant gratification, but not fulfilling gratification.  It makes you see things through the "everything is everything" mentality (the "that's just how it is" defeatist viewpoint) which then sustains the "buy-and-throw away" lifestyle...  It definitely begets this cultural stupor that we think is "normal" .............. and then those who choose to make a sustained effort to live conscientiously and sustainably are labeled "alternative."  There are so many negative connotations to that but also positive ones that I won't go into detail right now.

There is just no reason to justify this cultural stupor anymore.


These past few months...

dried lavender & calendula for use in oil

james harvesting golden beets. ferment this? or eat raw?

james' flourishing mini-farm

dusk at the farm

broccoli flowers

@ le pain quotidien 
refreshing mint lemonade

hot day in the park

dried calendula all stored


Wendell Berry quote

According to the industrial formula, the ideal human residence (from the Latin residere, "to sit back" or "remain sitting") is one in which the residers do not work.  The house is built, equipped, decorated, and provisioned by other people, by strangers.  In it, the married couple practice as few as possible of the disciplines of household or homestead.  Their domestic labor consists principally of buying things, putting things away, and throwing things away, but it is understood that it is "best" to have even those jobs done by an "inferior" person, and the ultimate industrial ideal is a "home" in which everything would be done by pushing buttons.  In such a "home," a married couple are mates, sexually, legally, and socially, but they are not helpmates; they do nothing useful either together or for each other.  According to the ideal, work should be done away from home.  When such spouses say to each other, "I will love you forever," the meaning of their words is seriously impaired by their circumstances; they are speaking in the presence of so little that they have done and made.  Their history together is essentially placeless; it has no visible or tangible incarnation.  They have only themselves in view.
- from the chapter titled "Men and Women In Search of Common Ground" in The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry

*Edit - My thoughts: This is what I do not want in life... yet this is the standard.  And, oh, how sad if one looks at the "norms" of our society.  Wealth allows one to have more options, indeed; however, it has the potential to dehumanize us.  I cannot comprehend the justification of why people want luxuries and why people aspire to be at the top??  You become dependent on others and machines for your well-being.  It's not sustainable at all.  Why must one aspire to be at the top when there is already so much richness to be realized and had at the bottom? Oh, and if everyone viewed physical work as healing and wholesome "normal" activity, this would be a better world... if only.


The Work That Reconnects

Serendipitously her existence became known to me via Pacifica Radio as I was driving to work in the afternoon rain this past winter. The wisdom and radiance in her voice as she described her philosophy seeped right into my being as I stared off into the beautiful, snow-capped San Bernardino mountains...

"Eco-philosopher Joanna Macy, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with four decades of activism. She has created a ground-breaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application."
- via joannamacy.net

Joanna Macy from Chris Landry on Vimeo.

She conducts lectures on 'The Great Turning' initiative (a concept originally by economist David Korten): the shift from the industrial growth society to a life-sustaining civilization. Listen to her lecture:

Here's another interview with Macy, albeit extensive and a bit toned down as she's not so firey! Brace yourselves for 34 minutes of great wisdom: Pachamama Alliance interview with Joanna

Macy also translates Rilke's poetry. I was heavily drawn to Rilke as a high school student. I would read his poetry and cry; it moved me so much. I found solace and renewal in them. I remember I had a black book of his poems and lent it to a friend who never gave it back! (Well, I don't blame him...) It's been a while since I've read Rilke. I am inspired now to carry a book of his poems with me as I travel to North Carolina and WWOOF next month.