Friday, April 30, 2010

City, Country & Civilization

"We have developed city civilization far beyond country civilization, and yet both are really the two necessary parts of human activity. City and country are gradually coming together in sympathy, but this is due more to acquaitanceship than to any underlying co-operation between them as equal forces in society. Until such an organic relationship exists, civilization cannot be perfected or sustained, however high it may rise in its various parts." L.H. Bailey, NY Times, July 12th 1910

Monday, April 26, 2010

Nature Is One Vast Democracy

"Every person who works in factory or field, who sails the sea or digs in mines, who finds his efforts with books or machines or with vast enterprises, who prophesies of things to come,—every one is touched by the same wind, encouraged by the same rain, grown by the same sun, uplifted by the same birds, guided by the same stars. Nature is one vast democracy."  L.H. Bailey, Ground-levels in Democracy, 1916

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quotable Bailey

"The man who worries morning and night about the dandelion in the lawn will find great relief in loving the dandelions"

Liberty Hyde Bailey, Manual of Gardening, 1910

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Simple Wisdom of the Fields

    The more perfect the machinery of our lives, the more artificial do they become. Teaching is ever more methodical and complex. The pupil is impressed with the vastness of knowledge and the importance of research. This is well; but at some point in the school-life there should be the opening of the understanding to the simple wisdom of the fields. One's happiness depends less on what he knows than on what he feels. L.H. Bailey, The Nature Study Idea

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Satisfaction of a Garden

    The satisfaction of a garden does not depend on the area, nor, happily, on the cost or rarity of the plants. It depends on the temper of the person. One must first seek to love plants and nature, and then to cultivate the happy peace of mind that is satisfied with little.
    In the vast majority of cases a person will be happier if he has no rigid and arbitrary notions, for gardens are moodish, particularly with the novice. If plants grow and thrive, he should be happy; and if the plants that thrive chance not to be the ones that he planted, they are plants nevertheless, and nature is satisfied with them.
    We are wont to covet the things that we cannot have; but we are happier when we love the things that grow because they must. A patch of lusty pigweeds, growing and crowding in luxuriant abandon, may be a better and more worthy object of affection than a bed of coleuses in which every spark of life and spirit and individuality has been sheared out and suppressed. The man who worries morning and night about the dandelions in the lawn will find great relief in loving the dandelions. Each blossom is worth more than a gold coin, as it shines in the exuberant sunlight of the growing spring, and attracts the insects to its bosom. Little children like the dandelions: why may not we? Love the things nearest at hand; and love intensely. If I were to write a motto over the gate of a garden, I should choose the remark that Socrates is said to have made as he saw the luxuries in the market, "How much there is in the world that I do not want !" L.H. Bailey, Manual of Gardening

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Window Farming: A Do-It-Yourself Veggie Venture : NPR

If you have a green thumb, a window and a serious Do-It-Yourself ethic, you too, can be a farmer ... even in your downtown apartment building. Spring is here, and for urban dwellers with no access to soil, hydroponic gardening is a way to grow fresh veggies indoors.

Window Farming: A Do-It-Yourself Veggie Venture : NPR