Sunday, December 1, 2013

Landless Gentry

Several months ago I received an interview request from Willi Paul, new mythologist, permaculturist, and other  -ists that I'll let you define after checking out his work. It is a) exciting when people I don't know directly learn about and express interest in this project and b) great to have smart people ask challenging questions about this work. One of the things Mr. Paul asked was, and I paraphrase, "What about Land Scouts who don't have a garden?"
Our garden-- before things started freezing.
Yes, indeed, what about that? You can read my answer here (as well as the rest of the interview), but the short answer is: you have the land wherever you are and wherever you are is your land. As more and more of us become urban dwellers, the odds are that we won't have access to the acreage or even the square footage of the generations prior. And many of us are renters, perhaps unable to plant perennials. What we have is the bustling, breathing, pulsing, system-dense cities and towns in which we live. And if we're lucky we might have a patch of full sun (6 hours+) in which we can grow some plants in containers. Or not.

The point of being a Land Scout is to get to know your land. It is not necessary to cultivate a huge and beautiful garden. It is necessary only to go out and start looking and seeing. This is a good thing for me to remember as a) we have a one-year lease on an apartment and b) it is the beginning of our first winter in Wisconsin. I have a new opportunity to go out, look, and see. After a year through the seasons I hope to know this land better-- to have met the genius loci-- and to go forth from there.
She who keeps us walking daily. And a little snow.