F O R A G E R
Who needs an asteroid when Humanity can destroy the planet all by itself? Scientists theorize that a celestial impact event caused the implied mayhem we note in fossils of sea creatures buried far above the level that water might ever have reached, the disarming presence of petroleum at 35,000 feet below the surface created by vast tonnage of suddenly deceased zooplankton, massive diversity die-offs in the Permian period 300 million years ago, the remains of millions of insect species that perished then. It’s so self-centered of us to merely mourn the sentient life extinguished by the great gas-off in the Siberian Stairs eons ago. What about the little shrubs? Was any psychotropic botany lost? Now you feel cheated.
We’re accelerating through space fast enough to unload the same kind of unfathomable planetary destruction, riding our own accident into the haze. The various environmental burdens we blithely measured for the past few decades have gone exponential while we have been negotiating modest interventions aimed at slowing down the catastrophe. There are too many people willing to say it’s even too late to counteract the damage done.
Stop promising us about the wondrous carbon emission levels we’ll see in 2025, Ford-Mercedes-Toyota. There may not even be a 2024! I haven’t read much of George Monbiot, the UK Guardian’s truth teller and author of Heat (2007), but back then he was optimistic. Now he’s losing it. He recently wrote: “ To succeed is to destroy ourselves. To fail is to destroy ourselves. That is the bind we have created. Ignore if you must climate change, biodiversity collapse, the depletion of water, soil, minerals, oil; even if all these issues were miraculously to vanish, the mathematics of compound growth make continuity impossible.”
At least there is still celery. And papalo! While there is still time, at least we can indulge in some feel-good food. And the beverage! A nice stiff one. I still need to try this recipe out, but based on the ingredients it has to work: Take the massive papalo bunch, take all the leaves off (small stems are OK) and put them in a blender with a bunch of peeled garlic, a cup of sour cream, maybe some red onion salt and pepper. Now turn the Waring all the way up to EXACERBATE and create. If you are quite done, thank you, with steaming the kale or marinating it for salad, this is a good dipster recipe for kale’s raw use too. But don’t contaminate the papalo! Papalo must remain pure. No kale in the papalo puree. Add more salt later to taste. You never take it out once it’s in. While we’re waiting for the slow, or perhaps sudden unlive-ablity of the biosphere (quick might be preferable), using the celery as a utensil to scoop with will provide us with another means of crunching through this remorseless vegetable. When will it end? People have been leaving them aside lately, which is to be expected. Even the holy kale, gift of summer is discarded now and then. Somebody is so over the kale. But no telling how long the kale will survive because the dread Bagrada Hilaris is now observed en masse. But it’s whacking the arugula I planted to surprise you with, which should not come as any sort of surprise. That is, that the insects should prefer what we want most. I wonder if they will discover the cabbage? They will ruin the radishes too, so we may have to pull them prematurely.
Guess I will just have to plant more C-E-L-E-R-Y.
Then in the winter we will be able to blend up some cilantro or parsley with the sour cream instead of the papalo. Bagrada doesn’t like cilantro, as I have noted far too many times.
What you have in your CSA Share today is the photo negative image of April 27th. The Day The Well Died. On that day I had to stop planting anew and maintain what was already planted with the meager irrigation available through the hose bibs of Help of Ojai and our great benefactor, The Ventura County River Water Disctrict, who gave me a one-month exemption in order to provide you some carrots and beets. Those are now passed. New ones do grow, but delayed. But we did save the celery and the papalo of course, and nurtured the eggplant and what looks like a modesly successful tomato crop that refuses to ripen. Soon it must, mustn’t it?
When the well broke, we set aside more zucchini and postponed the cucumbers. We just planted our sweet corn a few weeks ago, can you believe it? Melons look promising. Sweet peppers will no doubt thrive. We have dependable chile peppers, but you don’t need to worry. I will never put the chile peppers in the box.