Wednesday, July 20th

Thinking outside the clay pot


If it weren’t for the introductory pages and its esoteric jargon I might had tossed it forever. Instead, I did myself a favor and skipped it for chapter one. I’m currently reading The Double Helix by James D. Watson. Needless to say for someone that is mathematically challenged and science illiterate, I found it encouraging that a scientist had an aversion toward maths. He also confesses how he managed to avoid taking chemistry classes; instead compensated by outside reading and seeking out leading experts in the field. Furthermore he shares how presentations by peers often went over his head; and at the other end of the spectrum how he thought some articles and their corresponding research misguided. What I got from this book is how the author displayed resourcefulness and critical thinking and how both these characteristics involve being open-minded and honest with yourself to the point of admitting your inabilities; and aware when others don’t. I think it also takes a community of minds to find solutions and that ideas are never formed in a vacuum but are influenced by the ideas of others.

What does this have to do with what I’m trying to accomplish at home with my gardening? Nothing, only that you shouldn’t take advice from someone that doesn’t garden. Also, I think sometimes we think solutions come in the form of complicated hi-tech-like packages when they can be solved using resources in our own backyards. The idea that Watson thought of using building blocks similar to what a child plays with to begin building his DNA structure had some people think he and the notion absurd. On a random note, Curtis Stone of the Urban Farmer was asked why he doesn’t do hydroponics and while he isn’t opposed to it said that he thinks technology should be appropriate to your context. You don’t need to go into debt to build a business, you don’t need a lot of land to grow food, and you don’t need hi-tech to keep it sustainable.

With that said, here’s an ingenious lo-tech idea for dryland irrigation using clay pots going one step further to attaching rope to serve as a drip line.