Geography

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Nothing is ever at rest.  This orchard appears permanent.  Rooted.  But is is not.  This hill that we snuggle back into creeps outward every year by two whole centimetres.  Did you see it move?  Last winter ice loosens and then lifts particles of dirt.  Debris.  And when the ice leaves and the earth settles these simply roll down the hill a bit more.  I’ve thought that it would be a worthwhile pursuit to sit and do nothing else but to watch this over the course of the winter some year.  Noticing something to which no one else pays attention.

And this ICE-THRUST formation is a constant source of wonderment.  A massive rock popped from of the understory and skidded twenty miles across this valley.  Shearing off and levelling land to its east.  Freezing soil and rocks and sand and clay into the plastic foot of the glacier that lifted it out, this giant rode it like the slowest plowhorse.   These were dropped where they now rest when that mass of ice died.  There are three kinds of soil on my mountainside alone.  Some make me stumble with rocks while others hold my wet feet fast.  I love every one.

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Micro…Meso…and Macro.

These make up a totally different reality for an orchardist than for weathergeeks.  These dictate a the holy trinity of taste.

  • Micro – the restricted space of a few plants or rows and the canopy of management needed to appreciate, even to love these few plants, and coming to know what they are like as a family, and what this can mean to, say, a cask of wine make from their berries.
  • Meso – the greater characteristics of this hillside-family of plants, which by fact is different than your family of plants on your hillside.  And…
  • Macro – the regional disruptions made up of broader particularities.

These are things a natural-born orchardist knows.   We can see these things.  And in doing so we can love these things for the common good of ourselves, and our pickers, and the plants, and the wildlife who also participate and thrive here as well.

And all of it lost on mass-production industrial-agriculture.  There was fog here this morning.  A blanket of water.  Swirling.  Distinct.  Always in motion.  Loved and loving.