opening ourselves with the hinging daylight hours

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

serrotenous Siena


There are many linkages between soil and fire, also many linkages between fire and saints. Wildfires shape the landscape over geologic time. Ecosystems such as the Pine Barrens of NJ depend on fire to regenerate life.  Serotenous pinecones,  will only open to drop their seeds after the surrounding temperature has surpassed that of a fire. The flames melt away the wax coating and the seeds fall out onto the recently cleared ground.  The saplings of these conifers grow after the fires have roared through, after everything else has been burnt away. 

Done in managable amounts, slash and burn techniques in tropical agriculture actually adds a lot of nutrients to the soil. Only when this practice is done at industrial scale and rate does the forest lose its power to regenerate the canopy and sublayers, resulting in nutrient loss.                                      
(~Here are our farm interns beside the bread oven we built out of natural materials. The roof is covered with sedums, lavenders, and sage. Known as a living-roof it helps reduce stormwater run-off and aids in carbon abatement.)


Fire has been used to cook the food that we eat, yet it is proven that most raw vegetables contain more nutrients than those enflamed. Fire plays a critical role in our methods of pest management at Eve's Garden.  We mix the ashes from our bread oven with the diatomacious earth that we spread around our garden beds. The diatomaceous earth is microscopic crusteceans exo-skelatons, rather like glorified chalk dust. When the ants walk through the mixture it does not poison them. However, when they walk back to their nests, the "dust" will scratch-up all their eggs. This fire helps our plants to survive.  Also pepper plants thrive with added amounts of sulphur. Add a burnt match into where your peppers are transplanted.

St. Katharine, today's saint, saw fire come out from the consecrated. She lived a mystical life, as an activist, and visionary, she began to be visited by angels when she was only 6 years old, seeing guardian angels. The imagery of fire permeates throughout her writing and her prayers "In your nature, eternal Godhead, I shall come to know my own nature. And what is my nature, inestimable love? It is fire, because you are nothing but fire of love and of such nature you have gifted man because in love's fire you have created him."  Caterina di Giacomo di Benicasa (13747-1380) was the youngest of a wool-dyer's  25 children. 

She lived a life of poverty, and fasted for extrordinarily long periods of time, only eating the holyeucharist, before the emergence of the Atkins Diet.

 At age 7 she took a vow of virginity, at an age that most of us are figuring that we have either boy parts or girl parts.  She was with stigmata in 5 parts on her body, and died unexpectantly in her sleep, at age 33, the same age of Christ, after a series of visions of heaven, hell, and purgitoy. Her body was found to be incorrupt, 50 years after her death. Her thumb and head were snuck back to Siena in a series of  mysterious happenings, with the rest of her relicced parts remaining in Rome. She is the patron Saint of many different categories ranging from fire prevention, resisting sexual temptation, nurses, artists, fire fighters, and sickness. In one of her visions she saw Christ come to her with Mary, and take her hand in marriage. She lived in 3 years of self-imposed exile, and is considered the patron saint of people ridiculed for their piety. She wore the ring that Christ brought her.

We planted more marigolds today, tons of Marigolds that we saved last year. We sprinkled them around our transplanted brandywine tomatoes in the greenhouse, set aside in 5 gallon buckets till the last frost falls. In two more days we will move into the summer half of the year, May 1, Beltane, when the fires burn bright from the political and religious hilltops, marking the summer half of the year when the herds moved back to the pastures.  Our potatoes are rising high out of their mounds, and the carrots are ready to be thinned in the morning, the sacrificial carrot when some carrots must parish so that many will live.  The shades of green exploded in my playground of frolicy foliates. It had rained most of the morning and the bark of the trees darkened to sharpen the hues of spring's glory. The locust and maple leaves glowed today. The irises have bloomed, and the robins are getting caught in interpersonal dynamics. We saw 2 rabbits run out of the garden today. They were not lop-ears.  We transplanted transplanted transplanted this week's cilantro, broccoli, mustard greens, broccoli, and lettuce. The greenhouse is packed to its gills, and the marigolds from the Feast of the Annunciation are bigger than my ring finger. The raspberry bushes that had been mowed down by last year's komikazee department of public works have taken it upon themselves to be magnified 3-fold, in the joys ecological economy of abundance. 

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