Tuesday, November 10, 2009


these are people that the government is forcing to do land maintenance, usually for vegetation suppression around roads and airports.
They're being forced to actualize a cultural belief about how land is supposed to function.

These are vegetables planted in the parking lot of a Chinese food drive through in Fort Bragg CA. It looks like it was recently converted from a mass of junipers, a prickly tough shrub. The owners removed the junipers, created small berms and planted bok choi, squash, cucumber, and beans. A single juniper was left in the beds and when we walked by a man was carefully pruning away the dead branches to reveal the trunk.

He was actualizing a cultural belief about how land should function.


Milan Young said...

It's easy to explain to a crew how to spray herbicides or run a mower. It's more difficult to explain how to care for the land. The latter takes creativity and kindness, neither of which can be forced by the government.

If we are to change anything in this world, I believe it starts with family values. We need people who care and fundamentally desire to do "right". I think too often the educated circles place the emphasis on the definition of that "right" rather than forming the sort of person that wants to peruse it.

- Milan (Small farmer in Cave Junction who stumbled on your blog)

Nathan R. Hodges said...

Hey Milan, glad you found me, thanks for the comment. I agree with you. Parents have a big responsibility. The family is how we learn some of our most basic culture and begin to form relationships to objects and feelings in the world and in our selves. I think that part of that whole package is a land ethic, a way of seeing the landscape. And the way we look at the dirt and trees and water effects what we do with it. I don't think we can define "right" in this case. I think we can pay attention to how other people treat and have treated the land, but there are too many unknowns to ever really understand the results of our actions. In a way I feel that the strongest value to try and instill in children is curiosity.