Back On The Air
me again
dclarion
Some weeks ago (mid-March, I believe), I shut down the server here for financial reasons. I am pleased to announce that the first of three sites is back up, hosted at Dotster.

Anyone who feels like it may go to http://www.rationis.org/ to find Res Publica Rationis as it was the day I turned the server off (hopefully, anyway). My personal site and FnordNet main are soon to follow.



And Away We Go
me again
dclarion
My crocuses are blooming in force, and I've put in the first of the spring-planted food.



Along with the garlic in the foreground, there is now (middle, left to right) green cabbage, red cabbage, brussels sprouts, broccoli, and romaine.  I believe that I want to get another 9-pack each of broccoli and romaine, and a couple of 9-packs of spinach.  I still have designs on onions in the garlic row, and tomatoes and beans in the row I'm finishing off.

I have been informed by several of the ghetto denizens that they want to share my harvest.  Ain't happening.  This is MY dinner.  They can stare slack-jawed at me working out here if they want to.

A Progress Report
me again
dclarion
I'm still at work preparing the planting beds, but I got the idea to show similar views of the farmstead, a couple of years apart:

A View To The NorthA View To The South
April 2007April 2007
  
March 2009March 2009

I will admit that I didn't demolish the decrepit house (my guess is that Homestead Borough did that), but I have done everything else.  There is still much to be done: there are many brassicas to plant over the next few days, there will be onions going into the ground, and I want to set up for tomatoes and beans; but the farmstead project is well underway, and these ghetto assholes and the borough alike be damned for not having got here first.

Putting Your Back Into It
me again
dclarion
When I earlier wrote of backbreaking work, I wasn't kidding.  Here is the equipment I'm using to do the earthmoving necessary to get the farmstead ready:



I have written of using as few non-renewable resources as possible.  Not only is gluttonously consuming these resources expensive, it's insane.  Continuing on the path of the last hundred years will only make it all the harder when what is left is made unavailable to private citizens.  My back and my arms may not be as renewable as they were thirty years ago, but they are renewable, nonetheless.  The result of shoveling five gallons of soil at a time is this:



A planting bed well on its way to receiving tomatoes and beans, which in turn will become food for my table.  This is what I believe we all must do in order to survive, much less thrive.  This is what I ask each of you to join me in doing.  Wherever you may be, please survive and thrive with me.  It gets lonely out here, sometimes.


An Interesting Observation
me again
dclarion
I just came in from hauling miscellaneous stones and broken bricks away from the farmstead.  In the process, I noticed something interesting.  Near the corner of this block, there stands the remains of a garage, once filled to overflowing with old tires and other junk.  Very recently (within the last couple of days), someone closed its doors and nailed a 2"x4" across them.  Two lots away, a property owner erected a wall to block the way to a gaping hole that was once a stablehouse.

The very interesting thing about this is that I have attracted a good bit of attention since last September, when I began work on the farmstead.  Some people stood slack-jawed as I hacked at tree roots with an axe, others spoke with me, asking questions of me while I shoveled the soil.  The garage and the hole stood unchanged but for continued decay for ten years.  Now, this magically changes.

I will, in my humble(?) way, take all the credit.  I surely did not inspire anyone; I'm not the inspirational type.  But the news crews from WPXI and WTAE will surely be here, if only because I'll call them myself.

I think I've actually frightened these sons of a Discordian saint.

First Fruit
me again
dclarion
One of my crocuses is blooming.



I've also been moving soil from the hill behind the back wall, raking the largest debris from it, and placing it in the third planting row.  I'm taking it one five-gallon bucket at a time, and I'll eventually get there.


Midcourse Correction
me again
dclarion
Today was warm and sunny, so I thought that I'd work on the planting beds while I had a chance.  In so doing, I found that I was having reasonable success at removing stones and construction rubble with a garden rake, so I may not need a sieve after all.  That's $20 for food plants.

Some Short-range Plans
me again
dclarion
I've been cleaning up the garlic bed at the farmstead, and planning my next few steps.  I believe that I want to make a sieve, to try to sift some of the slag and stones out of the soil.  I hope I can have it together for $20, at most.  I'll even have pictures, once I get it built.

Dawn Of The First Growing Season
me again
dclarion
The first growing season at the Res Publica Rationis farmstead is officially begun. The garlic planted last autumn has sprouted, growing up through the straw cover that was over it.



Here begins the demonstration that individuals and small groups can reclaim the dead urban centers and have food that does not have to be shipped at prohibitive cost, and all this without relying upon government to support the effort.

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