EARTH, i walk

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

[a labor of love, patience, and water // oxford, MS]

hello all.

it’s been a few days since i last updated–the internet was down which forced me to be more creative with my time. when im not wasting my time on the internet, i play my guitar, read (The End of Food by Paul Roberts and Teachings on Love by Thầy Thích Nhất Hạnh).

farming has definitely been a meditative experience for me which involves a tremendous amount of deep breathing (both to keep a rhythm and to steady my heart rate) and patience – the fruits (or vegetables, rather) of my labor aren’t instantly visible. growing, whether it be vegetables, fruits, or in life, takes much time–we must to be mindful of the present moment and reflect on whether what we’ve done serves us as well as serves all beings around us. it’s a labor of love.

i’ve been planting, both transplanting baby plants from the greenhouse and from seed, for the past 3 days. it’s been quite a learning experience and it’s truly physically intensive work, i must say. i have a whole new respect for farmers and the women, men, and all beings that bring us that great stuff we call “food” to our refrigerators and plates. it’s taken me a while to realize that there’s so much work that goes into this “food” we so desperately need, crave, (some) are addicted to, and love. here are some of the things needed in order to get food onto our plates:

0. mother earth
1. sunlight
2. land
3. seeds
4. water
5. oil/petroleum (to run machines,  tools we use are made out of them)
6. wood (from trees)
7. gasoline required for the trucks to deliver the food from farm-to-factory-to-market
8. people power (womyn and men on the farms, factories, driving shipping trucks delivering the food to our local “fatland” supermarkets, workers inside supermarkets)

in the interest of time, here are the highlights of my last three days:

-waffle house!–a chain fast-food diner that is very popular in the south
-a cattle trailer on the freeway with cow feces on the outside
-tomatoes at whole foods (boo. im on an indefinite boycott of whole foods)
-planting bok choy, swiss chard, peas, romaine, spinach, carrots, turnips, and beets!
-seeds and more seeds!
-riding a bike in a freak rain storm that lasted approximately 15 minutes
-watering the beds of vegetables

that’s quite a bit of work, if you ask me. this is actually only a SIMPLE skeleton of what we need. if we’re eating mass-produced and processed foods (eg. chips, candies, even non-organic vegetables) it’s a lot more than what i’ve listed above. furthermore, if we’re eating meat (yes, fish is a meat too) there’s even more (chemicals) that go into our food. we live in a day and age where we can just go to our friendly “local”* supermarket (eg. albertson’s, superior, vons, kroger, target, wal-mart) and get food. we have such a wide variety of options (that’s what these companies want us to think, at least) that are made with either corn, soybeans, or wheat. we are under the false impression that food is as our disposal. according to the Columbia Water Center, “The average American family of four discards 112 lbs. of food each month,” and when we waste food, we’re also, by association, wasting water. and don’t let me get started with water. i won’t don’t worry (not yet at least). wasting food = wasting water. water is such a scarce resource and if you think about it, it’s probably one of the main reasons why wars are waged (eg. the American War in Viet Nam was not simply the U.S. trying to “protect” this country that they knew nothing about from Communist infiltration, just take a look at where Viet Nam is situated and you’ll understand clearly what America’s intentions were; if they had won, which they didn’t (i had to put this in because some insist to believe the U.S. won this war. in war, no one wins. all sides involved have tremendous losses), the U.S. would have built yet another military base, this one in Viet Nam, controlling the water rights of the South China Sea and a allowing the U.S. to enjoy more trade routes as well as potentially bully other countries surrounding) and uprising started (eg. 2011 egypt uprising was around food prices rising, why were they rising? water shortages).

*the word “local” is in quotations because there’s nothing local about the food we get from these supermarkets–many of the foods are shipped thousands of miles via train, truck, or planes from continents such as South America (tomatoes), Africa (coffee beans), and Asia (everything). what do you eat that comes from within 20 miles of where you live?



This entry was posted on March 3, 2012 by in U.S.A..
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