Spring in Lin’an, China
One of the great pleasures of teaching here at ZAFU is getting to experience spring, which we don’t really have on Maui. Every day we can see changes around us.
I did write Ann Emmsley, from our UHMC Agriculture Department, because I think the soil looks wretched–way too pale. How can they grow anything? When I compost at home, the soil is rich and dark. But I’m an English major, so I needed advice.
Ann says it is hard to tell just by looking, but the soil seems to have good “tilth,” which means, “The condition of soil or land that has been tilled, especially with respect to suitability for promoting plant growth.”
Ann says the soil seems to lack OM (organic matter), but as you can see, the results are good. The trees, flowers, fruits, and vegetables look very healthy.
Ann says I should read Farmers of Forty Centuries.
“Bio-Dynamic Farming Practice” notes, “[T]he shortcomings of chemical farming were already apparent at the beginning of the twentieth century, with the agronomist, F.H. King, publishing his concerns in 1911. The publication, Forty Centuries of Farming, records King’s concerns regarding the degradation of agricultural land in the USA, his travels in Asia and his observation of the traditional methods of maintaining fertility that had been successfully practiced for thousands of years in Asia . This book makes for inspirational reading.” from < http://www.biodynamics-tas.com.au/web/en/biodynamic/Biodynamics/agriculture.html>
I have to admit that isn’t in my current pile of books yet, but I am assured that the Chinese are masters of farming.
I bragged too early to my cousin Elaine in Illinois about how great the spring weather is here. Promptly the temperatures went to 90+ and then back down to the 50s. However, right now I’m sitting in front of a fan with the windows open. The students here say it is too hot. With my many years of experience on Maui, I say it is just right! 🙂
I hope you are enjoying spring wherever you are.
Zài jiàn! Renée