back to nature

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You know, my friends… we humans are so full of ourselves… that it often seems as if we could do without mother nature completely. You walk through a mall, surrounded by man made scenery, enlightened by soft electric lighting. A sky above that has been specially designed to produce an equilibrium of infinity and offer a hint of plastic blue skies twenty four hours a day, regardless of what the weather may be like ‘outside’. And so a person living in this twenty-first century, could be excused for thinking that we really have no need for mother earth, except as a platform on which to build our own very stylized environment. And if ever it gets too crowded here on Earth, we could always build more of the same on the moon.

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But all the same, there are those… even city dwellers, who enjoy a rapport with the earth itself. While others are satisfied to believe that tomatoes, lettuce and carrots evolve themselves from a little bang to a plastic bag somewhere in the depths of the city where foreign workers reside… not to speak of the evolution of steaks and hamburgers… there are those who cultivate a patch of earth near their home, and actually grow vegetables that can decorate the dining room table, and be consumed as healthy food. Come to think of it, that doesn’t happen so much in the city. Maybe in the outlying suburbs. But for the most part, I suppose, it happens in the country, where you can see open fields here and there, and bits of ground that are uncovered and un-sculptured… real dirt that turns into mud when it rains.

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I’m staying in a small town these days… less than an hour’s drive from Jerusalem, and even here, most of the grounds between the buildings are sculptured and designed, and nary a patch of plain old earth on which to grow cauliflowers or radishes. Of course, there are beautiful gardens, and even a forest close to the edge of town… you can take your dogs or cats for a walk through the trees. And it’s very pleasant. But I haven’t seen any signs of local agriculture. Which led me to thoughts of the allotments that are growing ever more popular in the big city.

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the closest I get to nature

To tell the truth, I’ve never had the strength or the energy to take part in such activity. But after reading the splendid blog of Claire over at Promenade Plantings (http://promenadeplantings.com/), I’ve been meaning for some time to share with her the fact that we have a Jerusalem version of her beloved allotment, only about fifteen minutes walking distance from my old home. It’s a sort of common agricultural stretch of land, in which private citizens can request and receive a patch of earth, and grow all kinds of produce, from beautiful flowers to vegetables… even trees. There are seasons when the activities are more intense, but almost all through the year, you can see a few people busy on the land, doing what people do when they love the ground.

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There are a couple of sheds, and a nice shaded pergola, as well as two tents. I’ve got no idea of what goes on in those tents… Since I’m a book worm myself, and make my home burying into large concentrations of paper, sometimes bound, and occasionally clasped together… and scrolls… and lately, spend a large portion of my waking hours staring at a computer monitor, I’ve always been shy about approaching these city farmers, and asking them about their lives and pleasures, thinking they might not have much patience for the likes of me. But I do gaze at their vegetable plots, and admire their industry. And I do like to mention, under my moustache, most inaudibly, ‘you know, I have a friend over in England who does this sort of thing… and she shares recipes with me’.

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All the pictures in this post were taken at the urban agricultural experiment close to my home, except for the potted plant… which was sitting on my table as I wrote this post. I had so many pictures of the place, that choosing these, took almost as long as writing the post… and I do wish I could show them all.

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71 responses to “back to nature

  1. I like the allotment with the bricks to walk on. I used to cultivate a vegetable garden at the old house. I covered the planted rows with straw to hold moisture and laid paving stones between to walk on. It produced lots of vegetables for years before I changed the area into the Secret Garden with a fountain, benches and trees. I always enjoy growing plants, the smell of freshly turned earth. These are nice to see, Shimon. People have something of an instinctive connection to the earth, I think.

    I found something,yet again, to chuckle about here. The plant that is the closest you get to nature. That’s closer than many folks get, I suspect.

    A nice thought and a nice post. I enjoyed it very much!

    • Though I had the pleasure of growing bananas in my youth, I never had a vegetable garden, and always looked on in admiration as others managed to grow their own food. I do feel some sort of instinctive connection to the earth… but those feelings usually make themselves felt when I am hiking in the mountains or in the desert, in the company of pine trees or other natural habitats. Having been a city dweller all of my life, farming is romantic, but not so natural for me. Glad you liked the post, George. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Enjoyed this post, and the photos. I’ve always had an admiration for those folks that put their hands in the dirt, and help things grow. My sister is one of them. Several years ago, when I was recovering from a surgery, she flew out to stay with me, and while she was there, she made me a small flower garden, which I enjoyed for many months after she flew back home. I loved it so much that I expanded on it, and for a few more months, was able to sit back and simply soak in the beauty. Sadly, I moved away from that house, and haven’t yet had the time or inclination to begin a new garden at my new home. I have a dedicated space for it, but as of today, it is still just a patch of dirt, waiting on a bit on inspiration and hard work. That’s one of the things I learned about gardening from my sister. It is hard work, but it is work that reaps results, so the work is an investment. Like many things, I suppose.

    • For me too, there’s been admiration and romance about working the earth… though I really have never grown my own. At least I’ve watched my son do that. He even made goat’s cheese, which I used to eat on bread… not because I enjoyed the cheese that much… but because it came from his hands. I love flowers too. Both wild flowers in the field (I think I like those the best), and cut flowers in a vase on my work table. There’s something a bit artificial about such flowers… but they give me pleasure. Thanks for your comment, N.

  3. Good morning Shimon. Firstly thank you for the mention, but most of all thank you for sharing the photos of the Jerusalem allotments. It’s a joy for me to see. To see the plants growing so well, to see the red tinge of the soil, to see the same ingenious re-use of everyday items – scraps of wood to make a trellis or fence, but most of all I enjoyed seeing the tables and chairs. They tell me lots about the people there – that they need a rest in the shade, that they like to sit outside and look at their patch of ground and maybe that they like to sit and chat with their fellow gardeners.
    I worry about the disconnect between people and the food they consume – you describe those shopping malls all too well. I worry that kids don’t realise that food has dirt on it, that it’s not a uniform shape, that an insect might take a few bites out of it as well as you and I. That not everything has to be or is perfect and uniform in shape and colour.
    Thank you, I know it’s been a while to wait for this post, but it’s been worth the wait! I’ll be back to look over your photos in more detail again – for me, seeing other people tend a patch of earth shows how much we all have in common – no matter our location or culture. Thank you.

    • Nowadays, it’s very common to hear the claim that all people are pretty much the same; that the differences between cultures are superficial. But having experienced life among other cultures, I find the differences very dramatic at times. The difference of language is often just an indication of differences in values, expectations from life, and relationships within a social order. But when it comes to growing lettuce or beets… that is when we do see a similarity between men and women of different origins. And there is something touching about watching people whose language we don’t understand, taking care of plants and animals. And as you say, those little signs of life style on the allotment, the chairs and tables and reclaimed tools and recycled items give us an intimate picture of the lives of these people who’re not willing to give up on mother nature.

  4. Community garden plot are probably by many in the high-rise buildings. Maybe because many of them had gardens in their past. Meanwhile, human population continues to move upward, so on to the moon!

    • We see cell phones capturing the imagination as a plaything and an instrument of communication for people all over the world, and so it seems at times as if technology is the world of the future. But at the same time the gap between rich and poor, between those eking a living out of the ground and those living in glass houses is forever growing. I wonder sometimes if we’re not going to find ourselves soon with two humanoid species here on earth… and if so… crossing over will be next to impossible.

  5. Thank you for this post and the pictures, Shimon. We have a lot of community gardens around here, and I’ve always admired the people who seek this sacred connection to the earth and their food through shared effort. Glad, too, for my own little plot of earth and all the bounty it offers. I couldn’t be happy without my gardens…or books. 🙂

    • I found it interesting that you put gardens and books on one line, Kitty. And thinking about it, I see them both going through a massive change as a result of present day technology. Books of course, are rapidly being replaced by digital texts. And agriculture is giving way to design, and genetic engineering. But while books are only a method for holding and communicating ideas and knowledge, agriculture produces our food. And ultimately, we are what we eat. It seems to me that very soon, many will realize that choices regarding eating behavior, and growing our own food, may be among the most critical decisions we can make.

  6. What a wonderful post, I really enjoyed it. You do make me smile with your tongue in cheek comments about yourself….as if that plant is the closest you get to nature!!! You are a child of your beloved mother nature and enjoy and appreciate her every day.
    I must say that gardeners are like the boating community, they love nothing better than to chat about their flowers and veg and the problem is always getting away once a conversation has begun. When I’m in my veggie patch people walking by often come into the garden for a chat being curious about what I’m growing….and I wax lyrical and drone on for ages about my very ordinary, mediocre plants! I would definitely approach your gardeners and find out what’s in those wonderful tents….I suspect seeds galore, cuttings, plants being potted on, gardening catalogs and books….a delicious world waiting to be discovered….and I bet you will be welcomed with open arms.
    I loved seeing these pics of your allotments and it’s so good to see what’s growing in your part of the world. I do hope you post more on the subject.
    I am going off to have a look at Claire’s blog now. xxxx

    • Oh Dina, now you’ve gone and spoiled that image I had of the inside of the tent… with the lizard juggling three colored balls while walking on his hind legs along a tight wire, all to keep two milk cows amused so their milk would be extra rich for the making of brie cheese fresh from the allotment. Nothing like a closed tent to get the imagination going, you know… xxx

  7. We do have something like that in our cities too. Zurich or Basel, for instance.

    Personally I think is a great idea, even only thinking about “investing spare time” into something constructive and healty… Even outside the big cities, when travelling by train, you may get a glimpse of these small garden full with vegetables or flowers (of both of them!).
    I think that we human have the same tendencies… no matter our nationality or origins. It shall be deep into our DNA… I guess… and this again, make us all brother, from the same Energy of Life… Il could be the search of Nature to allow us to feel more “bound to it”. For sure the extravagance of the new technologies and progress, just seams to tear apart this fragile connection with Mother Earth. It’s outermost important to keep such beautiful traditions… for the sake of the kids of our kids…
    Have a lovely weekend, Shimon :-)c

    • That picture you share here is just wonderful, Claudine. It really does look like a taste of the suburbs right in the middle of the city. Maybe that’ll be the next step in city planning… to take some of the density away from the city, and let us enjoy a bit of greenery and open space. I am sure that everyone would enjoy it, and it would be a little easier to breathe. I remember, many years ago, we used to have a rather large bakery right in the middle of our city, and there would be this wonderful smell of freshly baked bread in the streets. Unfortunately, as the property prices kept going up, the density of apartments became greater… and all commercial activity got pushed into separate areas, disconnected from the population. Many thanks for your comment.

  8. Yes, it was/is a wonderful post, Shimon…another glimpse into your life there and more to think about for here in my little spot on the globe. We have a bit of a garden patch in our back yard that I’ve not done anything with and wonder what it would take for me to get it going…probably a few days off of the mountain trails…maybe that’s why it’s still sitting there being slowly overtaken by the grass from the lawn. 🙂

    Thank you for the post and the morning walk through the gardens…..

    • I can well understand that time problem that is one of your considerations when you think about gardening. There is only so much we can do in a day. And many of us have more projects on our desk than we can take care of in any case. One has to be a really devoted enthusiast to start working a vegetable garden, especially since all your neighbors will notice as soon as you start to neglect the little patch. You’ll have neighbors stopping you on the street with long and drawn faces, worrying about those little pumpkins or wondering if the peas are getting enough water. That’s why, if I was doing any gardening, I’d probably be doing it in my basement… but unfortunately… I don’t have a basement.

  9. I wish(ed) to see them in my city too… I loved and enjoyed to be in this amazing post, as if I was there too. Thank you dear Shimon, have a nice day and weekend, love, nia

    • Thank you very much, my dear Nia. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I find these gardens very attractive, even though I don’t do any gardening myself.

      • I don’t know too 🙂 But fascinates me and I admire so much… I prefer to find them more than concrete hills in here. You are welcome, and Thank you, have a nice day dear Shimon, love, nia

  10. This is so inspiring. I really believe spending time outside, close to the earth is important…at least it’s important for me. My husband and I had our first garden this year and it was a good experience. I’m looking forward to trying another garden next year with what I learned. Last week we planted a bunch of flower bulbs at our new house with the hope of color and blossoms in the spring.

    • So glad to hear that you are enjoying such an adventure, Kari Ann. As I have mentioned, I don’t do any gardening myself. But even so, I’m a great admirer of those who remain in touch with the ground, and who are able to enjoy the fruits of this earth that they have raised themselves. Once, this was a pleasure known to almost everybody. But as more and more people move to the city, there is less awareness of the bounties of nature.

  11. These are beautiful gardens. I love to grow veggies and had fun experience. I had to give up gardening after moving to south Texas since we don’t get enough rain in the summer…

    • They really are beautiful, Amy. And there is such a variety of things grown there. I remember when they first started this community garden, and it was just an empty field. I thought they were going to put up some more buildings. And then I watched as the field turned into a source of food and beautiful plant life.

  12. Wonderful shots, Shimon. We have several community gardens here in Fort Collins, but I am blessed to live in a home with enough land to grow a small vegetable garden every summer. In fact, we enjoyed one of my spaghetti squash last night for dinner. It is a blessing to live where “real dirt turns into mud when it rains!” Many of my friends and clients grow small gardens in town and our town even passed an ordinance to allow folks to raise chickens for fresh eggs – they can have as many as five hens, but no roosters.

    • That is indeed a blessing, Cathy. What was once taken for granted by most people… in previous generations, has now become a luxury. I’m really impressed by the ordinance allowing folks to raise chickens. I’ve always thought city life more comfortable, and more interesting. Anything I could want is readily available. But my children have chosen to live in towns and country… some for the good of the children. And it seems to me very romantic.

  13. Hi Shimon, I did laugh when I read your opening paragraph, because it’s so bloody true:)
    However, as is the case in your country, many in the UK are feeling the need to put their hands in the soil and grow things.

    We have always had allotments in built up areas, and long may they survive….but it does feel as if there is a growth in the need and desire to be closer to Mother Nature.

    I am thinking of you a great deal of late, living in a new place. As I mentioned before, I have made many moves in my life, sometimes by choice, and other times not necessarily so……and I know how strange it can all feel. However….it can also be exciting, and i sense that you are experiencing some of that.

    Is the dear Nechame still with you?

    Sending you lots of loving hummingbirds. Janet:)

    • Actually, not many of my fellow citizens seem to be aware of this opportunity. It’s just the diehard nature lovers who take advantage, and those who worry about what they’re eating. But it does seem to be a very good thing. As for me, my dear Janet… I’m sort of in limbo now. Enjoying some wonderful hospitality; but not in my own home. I’ve already sold the old home… and the new place is not ready yet. And I’ve no idea how long this is going to take. Meantime, just being in temporary digs, and a new environment, is something of an inspiration. I’ve been taking longer walks than usual, and doing quite a bit of photography. Nechama is still in the old place, and is cared for by friends and family. I am keeping my eyes open for loving hummingbirds, but haven’t seen any lately. I think they’re more active in spring. I did see a few jays in this new place, though… and that was a pleasure. In my old place we had quite a few crows, which I like… but they’re not very romantic. More like mean old truck drivers. Still we get along. Thanks.

  14. I had to look up “pergola”. Seeing such a nice garden is not uncommon to me but seeing a rather aggressive fence around it is. Perhaps because it is experimental? My Dad had gardens for many years and I can recall nostalgically stealing a bean or pepper or tomato to eat. I was hoping to read that your move is completed but apparently not so. My house (actually my Part of the house) is also inundated with reading and computer materials, but I can’t recall ever seeing or reading a scroll and that makes me wonder how it is seemingly common for you. I tell everybody that my area is the command center for a starship and not to be touched. 🙂 The farm thing brought up something I saw on the internet where some lady was demeaning folks who hunt and kill game for food and asked that they quit such cruel slaughter and get their meat like normal people at the grocery store. 😉
    Blessings.

    • You ask a good question, Bob. And this time, I’m not sure at all about the answer. First I thought they’d put up that great big fence because they feared some of the local roughs would make of with the pruning shears, or make love without a license under the avocado tree. But now I’m beginning to wonder if they don’t worry that this love of nature might be catching, and they’re trying to keep all the crazies in a cordoned off part of the neighborhood, where they won’t endanger normal people. I’ll have to ask around, and if I come up with any convincing answer, I’ll be sure to get back to you on that… As for this lady that was against hunting and killing, I get the distinct impression that most city folks believe that steaks grow on trees, individually wrapped in nylon. It’s so innocent, no one wants to disillusion them… so when city folks meet country folks, we all just sing ‘give peace a chance’ and pass around the hot dogs.

  15. Wonderful post as usual Shimon. It’s so important to remember how important and vital our earth is. I do admire those that are fully committed to it in a daily basis.

    • So glad you liked it, Edith. I’d been planning to write about this for some time, but other subjects came up… and then when I wrote the post on bull shit, I remembered farming again, and so here we are at gardening.

  16. Lovely post, gotta love nature. Too many people could care less about the nature around us, they underestimate the green color but it’s unavoidable, the beauty of trees and nature is indispensable.

    • That’s the way I feel, bur911. I may joke about it occasionally. But the truth is, that there’s no better way to find peace of mind than leaning up against a strong old tree, and watching the grass grow. Sometimes it’s wearing to see all the stone houses and the stone walls. Thank you so much for your comment.

  17. more examples of how the people of israel have a long history of making something out of nothing. truly chosen people. what i mean by that is people who choose to excel and improve and not just take things as they are given.

    • My dear Rich, you bring up a subject that has caused us great pain and earned us the hatred of many people of the world… this business of our calling ourselves the ‘chosen people’. From a historical point of view, the context of this claim was the idea that god had chosen us as an example, by giving us the laws and the precepts of the bible and the Talmud, which are more demanding, from my perspective, than almost any other religious framework… for instance, if we were to compare our rules to the rules of Yoga. And of course, once someone claims to be living according to a moral code, people start checking him out very carefully… just in case he pees against a tree by the side of the highway, where everyone might get offended. They’re just waiting for him to fail. So if one of our members has a bit of larceny in his heart, you know that everyone and his brother will get a big kick out of bringing his name up any time Jews are mentioned… mentioning how ‘they think they’re the chosen people’. Actually, I can understand it. A claim like that, is just looking for a beating. But when you see it from inside, you realize that this was a very early version of self esteem. It was just… before that particular psychological invention had become fashionable. In any case, I appreciate your affection for our people. And if you ever come for a visit… and I’m still alive… please give me a little advance warning, and I will be your personal guide here, with great enthusiasm.

      • I completely understand the mistaken use of such a term and I can think of parallels in America that would only bore you.

        I would not dare create a trip to Israel without first coordinating that with you and meeting upon arrival.

        Best wishes and happy everything.

  18. It is so pleasing to me that people still enjoy growing plants for beauty or the table. This year my son even surprised me by planting a garden, the first he has ever done that. But he really enjoyed it. Hope more people feel the urge to work with Mother Nature. Man’s creations can never compare to Mother Nature’s!

    • How wonderful, Bev. One of my great pleasures in life, is watching my children go on to do things I had just dreamed of doing, but never was able to or didn’t get around to doing. That’s the way I felt when one of my sons started raising sheep and goats and making goats’ cheese. Eventually the farm was unable to support his family, and he had to move on to more conventional work… but watching him do that was a great adventure for me too. Thanks for the comment.

  19. It’s a great relief, to see the prevalence of allotments or community gardens (as they’re called here) growing. As you show here, one doesn’t have to participate to appreciate.

    • Yes, Bluebrightly, sometimes it seems as if only some new technological advance could attract the young these days. But there are occasional exceptions, and one of those is the allotment, which inspires a lot of enthusiasm. And another is the bicycle, which seems to be getting more and more popular lately… though it got it’s start long ago.

  20. I am glad more and more people are ‘growing their own’, as they say here. Allotments are a very popular thing in England and some people also grow vegetables, etc in their own gardens. My next-door neighbours always have a plentiful crop of green beans, which they share with us. We used to grow tomatoes and peppers but with us travelling so much now, we are not here long enough to look after them and I kind of miss that. We still have a gooseberry bush and an apple tree, so I can make nice pies with our own fruit and also share with my colleagues. It really is very rewarding and it’s always nice to share.

    • I wouldn’t say that it’s true in all cases… but many times I’ve found that home grown vegetables and fruit are more tasty than what you can buy in the store. For one thing, there are usually many varieties of the same fruit, and the professional farmers are most concerned with shelf life and the look of the fruit, in order to attract many customers. And there also seems to be the problem of picking fruit a bit early so that it will ripen just when it’s in the store, or in the customer’s home. So when people grow at home, they can pick the fruit and vegetables just when they need them. I love home grown, Fatima. And thanks so much for your comment. Wish I could have a taste of your pie.

  21. I’d be happy to see all of your allotment photographs. There are several allotments close to where we live, and one or two days a year, they have an open day, where the owners invite you to talk to them about what they do – there’s a very nice sense of community in the one up the road. Anyway, thanks, Shimon.

    • You’re welcome to see the whole bunch, Richard… You’ll find them here:

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      I just thought that they might be too many for a blog post. I don’t know about those open days… it could be that they have them here too… I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the comment.

  22. Aah, the community garden…it seems this is becoming a huge movement worldwide, and I’m ever so glad for it, especially for those living in high-rise apartment blocks without balconies to grow plants and maintain a connection to Nature. It’s also a very good way to meet up with the other humans who inhabit those apartments and get to know them a little through their gardening choices and swap produce in season.

    Me, I’m very lucky to at present be living with a jungle of a garden outside my lounge/bedroom windows, with my balcony open to the elements (leaves, seedpods, insects fall thereon and I leave sweeping it until it gets really bad as I like for the birds to come and forage for food; you’d be surprised what they find!). At present, it is late afternoon, daylight saving time, on Melbourne Cup Day and the sun is moving through the leaves on the trees and bushes showing many shades of yellow and green and brown and red, with buildings peeping through as well; peaceful and quiet! Lovely.

    • For me, the balcony is often more important than the apartment… that little bit of the great wide world, as an appendix to the living space. You can catch me out there on sunny days and storms. So happy for you on your jungle, and the birds… I’ve got birds too… that wake me in the morning with their song. It makes for a good life. Best wishes to you always, Janina… may you enjoy each moment, with all its colors and magic.

  23. I liked to grow vegetables but my sprouts froze solid one winter and I was put off.It’s interesting seeing what you do..or your neighbours.Allotments are common here and men go off on Sunday afternoon..probably to swig beer.What sort of camera do you use?There are so many,like Tablet computers,I get stuck with indecision

    • The better a photographer you are, the easier it is to use any camera… they all tell a story… and we just take care not to demand too much from the tool… to use it as an inconsequential extension of our presence here in this world… and to congratulate it for the company it gives us.

  24. In your case it would not matter what camera you used… but for others it may be trial and error.Learning by doing.
    We have a saying
    A bad workman always blames his tools.Or,nowadays
    An imperfect work-person always blames their tool

  25. A wonderful thought provoking post Shimon. Great images as always. Many people are divorced from nature and don’t have the time to grow tomatoes and lettuces etc and buy them all down at the supermarket.

    • For all of us, there’s only so much time. In the last couple of generations there have been a lot of ‘time saving” inventions. If we use them in order to do something truly worth while, we’ve used those inventions to improve the quality of our life. But if we use them to sit on the couch for a couple of hours and watch a ‘reality show’ on TV, we’ve actually crippled ourselves. These modern inventions enable us to make choices. But the results of those choices may be more critical than most people realize. Thank you very much for your comment, Pete.

  26. Lovely post. In some cultures they believe a human cannot be fully happy unless they have a garden. Of course we can have different ideas of what that garden may be. I think you do your growing within your book ‘garden’. As long as we grow somehow.

    • It is always a pleasure to learn the wisdom of other cultures. I can easily understand this attitude towards gardens. And I agree with you, that for some people… some cultures… there are alternative exercises to gardening. It could very well be, that among my various activities (such as cultivating relationships with cats, books, and artwork), I reach an alternative awareness equal to the gardener. But I do believe that gardening has a very positive affect on one’s state of awareness… and so, also, on happiness. Thank you, Tish, for this important comment.

  27. Lovely pictures! I had an allotment in the city I used to live in, I loved it so much. A friend of mine made a small shelter there too from old wood, so we had a cosy place to watch it all and sleep sometimes..It’s so great to grow your own food..and it’s heartwarming to see people together doing so. I miss it very much!

    • It seems to me that more and more people are learning the value of this activity that many of us once took for granted. I hope that you will once again be able to enjoy this pleasure. There are many advantages to life in the big city, but there are also a few things missing. We know that the chronic deprivation of even one vitamin can cause a person illness. The same thing goes for life style. To be healthy, we need balanced life; a connection to nature… Thanks settleandchase.

  28. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words

    it was a pleasure to wander within your photos and thoughts of the allotments, I have several gardens, I grow many different flowers, vegetables, I create Natural habitats, and wildlife habitats…
    my passion in life is probably seen in my gardens….I worked or really I should say played at the Botanical Gardens in San Antonio…Dr Moy was a treasure to work with and learn from ….
    America or maybe its just Texas, doesn’t really have allotments, I once dreamed of having enough land to put in community gardens for people who had not space to grow, but wanted too…
    I was/am a Master Gardner (impressive title…just means I have killed a thousand plants or more and know why ) and our main project was putting in gardens in the schools….
    Thank you for sharing ShimonZ, always a pleasure to visit …
    Take Care…You Matter…
    )0(
    maryrose

    • I love reading about your attitude to gardening, Maryrose. Especially your interest in wildlife habitats. There is so much to be learned from such work. To work in a botanical garden is like serving in the temple, from my point of view. And I agree with you that a good teacher is a great and precious gift. You’ve really made me happy with your contribution to this post, Mary. I appreciate your comment.

  29. Now you’ve shattered my illusions, Shimon, I also (used to)’believe that tomatoes, lettuce and carrots evolved themselves from a little bang to a plastic bag.’ I exclude cucumbers of course and capsicums, strawberries (that the snails share with me) and herbs as I grow them in my little courtyard.

    • How I envy you, Mary, that you grow cucumbers and strawberries in your courtyard… and that you share them with snails. My mother used to love apples, and I remember her telling me that if the apples weren’t good enough for the worms, they weren’t good enough for her either. Isn’t it wonderful to be part of the whole picture. Thanks for your comment.

  30. A joy to read this, Shimon. Your first paragraph is so eloquently written and is so very true. There have been stories in the press here in the UK recently about the colossal waste of unsold supermarket food, and also about the waste by the consumer who is tempted into the ‘offers’ in supermarkets to buy three for the twice of two etc. Their eye is always greedier than their stomach. There is also the culture that supermarkets must sell fresh produce that is perfect in shape: no bent cucumbers, apples of a uniform size, etc. Our planet cannot survive such idiocy. Every new development really should have space set aside for allotments – but sadly our modern society is now so de-skilled we would all need to go to night school first to learn the basics of how to grow vegetables!

    • I’m always aggravated by these coercements to buy more; the two for the price of one deals. And it is terrible to think of all the waste. Personally, I think the planet will survive very nicely… but there is room for worry about human beings. Regarding the increased popularity of allotments, I think that people could learn the skill of gardening like they learn Yoga or aerobic dance. It’s not for everyone, but those who do it, know that they derive great joy from the discipline. Thanks for the comment, Andy.

  31. Helping something to grow, be it flowers or vegetables, gives such a wonderful sense of satisfaction in knowing that you added beauty to a tiny corner of the world, or grew something you could put on your table and share with friends. Like you, I no longer have the energy for such large undertakings, but a box or two of flowers, and sometimes a small veggie patch are indeed fun to plant and grow. I agree, that when everything comes pre-processed and packaged from the store, we lose our sense of connection to the earth. These photos are wonderful, thank you for sharing!

    • Thank you so much for your comment, Josie. We are certainly in agreement. There are some things in this world that seem more trouble than they’re worth at first. But once one tries them, we discover that they are a source of great happiness and joy. My best wishes to you and your ever charming Bear.

  32. Yeah we humans mostly behave as if we are in charge of the “business” – but from time to time nature show us how things work… 🙂

  33. The ‘allotment’ sounds like a marvelous idea. We don’t have anything of the kind here. From the enormous flower and vegetable gardens in our tea plantation home, to the apartment in a concrete jungle that we live in today has been quite a change. I am actively involved in looking after the little patch out in front of our building, but a spot in an allotment would be wonderful 🙂

    • I think it started because of just that sort of environment, the concrete jungle. People need to see a little greenery, a little real growing next to them. And it seems like the idea is gaining popularity in the west. I do hope that it’ll come to your part of the world soon. But it’s great that you have a patch of land out in front of the building where you live. You can enjoy the pleasures of gardening. My best wishes to you… and looking forward to some pictures one of these days from your garden.

  34. Just this morning I discovered that the poverty weed bushes that I delighted in seeing and photographing along the street that leads into my neighborhood have been cut down. So many bits of nature that I’ve loved over the past 15 years have been destroyed.

    • I’ve had similar experiences, Steve. And it is a sorry sight to see how people sometimes eradicate all kinds of beautiful plant life just because… I have this beautiful tree that has been standing for years and years outside my old apartment building, and on a number of occasions, some amateur gardener would cut it down to bare bones because it ‘didn’t let enough light in’ according to his way of looking at things. Unfortunately, there are no words to console you… but I know how it feels.

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