EARTH, i walk

a photoblog about my feet (a day in the life of dan le)

[gentrification/war on the field // oxford, MS]

*the description below matches the photos so follow along (if you can bare my writing)!*

wake up in the morning. eat my breakfast of champions; cereal, grass-fed, free of injected hormones organic milk and ground flax seed. it’s about 44 degrees outside. i check up on the green house. i decide to check out the inside of the vegetable oil-powered bus. cool stickers and inspirational writings line the bus. i like.

i get into the huge dodge truck to drive to the field, which is .25mi away, and have to figure out where to put my feet. when i get onto the field, montana describes to me the day’s job duties: using a flat rake, rake the mulch on section twelve (12), wheel-barrel it to and dump it in the mulch pile.  while i am raking, i notice a very distinct “weed” that i notice that Montana considers a “pest”. it’s GREEN ONION and it’s a weed out here. i gather a handful of it while raking and save it to eat for later. Ryder (great dane) chills on an un-raked portion of section 12.

**continues below pictures**

gentrification/war on the field” (this is a super deep one, prepare yourselves)

while i rake, i notice a large Fire Ant hill. i tap it with my rake and watch the commotion stir in ant land. i’ve been doing a lot of reflection (because i have repetitive tasks that allow me this amazing opportunity) and realize that there are quite a bit of “war” terms that are used to describe some of the actions we take. let me give you a couple of examples:

1) weeds are a common nuisance to farming that farmers want to rid their fields of. well, since im on a Certified Naturally Grown farm, we do not use sprays to get rid of weeds (like Roundup, from the same horrible/evil creators that brought you Agent Orange (a chemical defoliant), Monsanto. a little history lesson for you: 12 MILLION GALLONS of Monsanto’s Agent Orange was dumped on Viet Nam and its detrimental legacy remains a constant reminder to those who suffer, BOTH Viet and American, from its affects. oh yeah, AND, adding insult to injury, up to date, the U.S. of A., my country of birth (or United Snakes of Amerikkka, as i would like to call it occasionally) neither has admitted guilt nor apologized for their wrong-doings. long story short, many of the same chemicals that are found in Agent Orange are found in Roundup and Roundup has been linked to birth defects and cancer. are you surprised? im not, it’s Monsanto. also, adding even MORE insult to injury, Monsanto is trying to stick its poisonous hands in Viet Nam once again by pushing/selling Genetically Modified (GM) seeds to Viet Nam. the nerve! all in all, this is why we need to inform ourselves on how our food is created. anyways, wow, i went deep into that one.

so since we DON’T use sprays, we need to get rid of the weeds by hand. i’ve been feeling a true connectedness to the earth lately and realizing that even weeds are life (duh). they grow so deep and resemble a traditional Viet family out here (they roll deep). i almost feel like im a Gentrifying a family! the phrases that i’ve heard used are, “it’ll take years/generations to get rid of them” and “uproot them completely or they’ll keep coming back”. damn, how deep is that?

2) insects allow ecosystems to thrive. on the farm, we’ve got crickets, spiders, ants, grasshoppers, flies, larvae, beetles, lady bugs, you name it. however, not all insects are beneficial for farming vegetables or fruits. Red Fire Ants, for instance, are not much help and thus must be displaced/gentrified/uprooted in order for the area to be ready for planting.

moving on.
-admire some very healthy soil that Montana holds up for me.
-start raking mulch into a wheel barrel and dump it in the mulch pile.
-i eat my pre-lunch snack.
-admire the beauty of a colorful grasshopper.
-stand on two pine stumps.
-appreciate the amount of walking it takes to arrive to the house to prepare lunch.
-notice two beautiful baby flowers on the ground.
-Tibetan prayer flags strewn along barbed wire.
-eat my lunch with Faith (cat) sitting right behind me in the cutest pose.
-walk back to the field and take a picture (notice how i look different in the two reflections. hence, there’s more than just one way to see the same thing!
-rain clouds are setting in.
-unlace my work shoes on the rocking chair and slip my feet into something more comfortable.
-jam out on the guitar for an hour.
-go to an “art crawl” (it was seriously crawling, so dead!)
-the FREE double-decker tour bus that takes people around to the art galleries (wow)
–oxford water tower.
-after approximately 30 attempts, i manage to parkour over this 11′ wall.
-drank some bourgy “spring water”
-Faith climbs on my shoulder again for the second time.

my day is done.

thank you all. much love and appreciation to life. you = life. thus, i appreciate you.

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3 comments on “[gentrification/war on the field // oxford, MS]

  1. Anonymous
    March 4, 2012

    Daniel, why Montana?

  2. Maxwell
    March 1, 2012

    Man, I love all the photos! Thanks for documenting your travels on here. Getting connected back to the Earth sounds awesome. I want to learn some gardening techniques when you get back!

  3. myca
    March 1, 2012

    beautiful post Dan. thank you for your attentive observations, critical eye, deep parallels and gorgeous photographs. loving your blog!

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This entry was posted on February 28, 2012 by in U.S.A..
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