Its summer! Though some days it seems more like monsoon season. At least it’s not too cold. Though warm humid weather can be very bad for potatoes – July and August is when blight risk is high. I’ve got my fingers crossed since the potatoes look pretty good at the moment. In fact the garden is getting the better of me – everything is growing well – artichoke, oregano, rhubarb, tomatoes, spuds, leaf veg, root veg, allium, fruit … Its all too much 🙂 Luckily I’m getting some help harvesting the beans from the birds!
But I love the growth. Its the peak of the growth cycle (in the northern hemisphere). Though that is changing. Some of you may have already noticed the days shortening … yup, the summer solstice passed a couple of weeks ago. The climate lags the solar rhythm by a few weeks – that’s why so many of us holiday in July and August – but those amazing late evenings will draw in quickly.
All of this reminds us of the rhythm of life: We’re at the peak of the solar cycle in the northern hemisphere, the nadir in the southern hemisphere. Up here its the peak of growth of plants and animals – this is complimentary as animal demands are greatest now because all spring born creatures must now feed themselves and survive till winter when many will die or hibernate. Its all part of a cycle, or spiral, of life.
Outside the garden, we’ve been preparing another project which some of you might be interested in. We’re part of a small team that is designing, planning and hoping to implement an “eco-village”. This is very exciting for me because it challenges us to design a small (20 – 30 families) community which has a low impact but high value living environment suitable for living, working and playing. The homes will be creatively designed, passive (even zero-carbon) build, and the community will have shared amenities like organic food production, orchard and woodland, ponds, carpentry and mechanics work shops, community centre, library, IT and entertainment centre and of course clean energy. If you’d like to get involved, please let me know. Its early days still and we’d welcome involvement either from design and build partners or from interested future residents.
The timing for this is appropriate. With the cost of oil doubling in a year and credit drying up globally we need to devise and test new ways of living that don’t rely on fossil fuels and credit. I think some people, especially younger adults, might find the coming months and years uncomfortable because we’ve had such an easy run of it for a decade and their expectations of convenience and low cost have not been challenged by hard times. Anyone over 30 though should be more sanguine about prospects for a quick resumption of high growth and easy money. The good news is that money doesn’t make us happy as the recent World Values Survey tells us.
At least once you have enough to eat and live, more doesn’t do much for your own happiness, and energy is better spent on nurturing relationships with friends and family and pursuing creativity and philanthropy.
We hope you have a fun summer holiday, wherever you are. As Adrian aka Incense Man reminds us there are lots of parties going on around the world now:
Happy American Independence Day! Now, I hate to be a party-pooper, but you might like to keep an eye on the weather in the UK this weekend, because of the various high-profile sporting events taking place. We’ve got the Wimbledon finals, the Henley Regatta, and the British F1 Grand Prix… so it’s BOUND to rain! (And that’s not to mention the countless fetes, carnivals, shows and other events going on across the country…)
There are plenty of other things happening elsewhere during the next fortnight too… stand by for celebrations and festivities galore:
For instance, in the Czech Republic, tomorrow (Saturday 5 July) is Saints Cyril and Methodius Day – also celebrated in neighbouring Slovakia – while Sunday is Jan Hus Day.
Also on Sunday, in Lithuania it’s the anniversary of the coronation of King Mindaugas… then in Argentina on Wednesday 9 July you could join in the celebrations of their National Independence Day.
Next weekend, Saturday 12 July is celebrated as Orangemen’s Day (commemorating the Battle of the Boyne in 1690) in Northern Ireland, and elsewhere… and of course Monday 14 July is Bastille Day in France. Then after that, in Thailand Friday 18 July is Asalha Bucha (or Asaha Puja) Day and Saturday 19 is Khao Pansa (or Buddhist Lent) Day.