Philosophical Background – JP005
We lay out our background and foundational positions we occupy as we cultivate the soil. Some of this episode is prepared and some of it is divined. Be sure to check out our instagram post. In it we tell a story of a rose that we forgot to tell out loud :]
- Works referenced
- George Washington Carver’s entire body of work
Specifically we mention Bulletins # 6 and 42
- KRADA: Soul-day of Nana Kwame Afrani (George Washington Carver) – Akan Perspective
- George Washington Carver’s entire body of work
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The #Yorùbá definition of agriculture is èkó nìpa ìroko, “the art of cultivating the soil.” In this episode we lay out our philosophical backgrounds and the positions we occupy as we practice our art. 1. Our rat turd #thaipeppers at the seedling stage in the south facing sun. 2. Rat turds germinating. They so kaaaaaayoooot ? 3.Our formerly(!!!) lodged corn. We actually fixed it but we mentioned it in the podcast. We will certainly discuss this in later episodes. 4. The sheeeeeeen on this #phalaenopsis. #RIP We miss you Reece!! 5. This rose blossoms in such stupendous rapidity once we removed it from the space in between the bricks it was stuck in. You can see the damage the masonry left on its petals. 6. That same rose the next day, brilliantly blossoming. As always, #nofilter. Jìgìjìgì is streaming on all podcast platforms! Be sure to click the #linkinbio?
Asante Sana ߊߛߊ߲ߕߌ ߛߣߊ
Medase Paa ߡߍߘߊߛߋ ߔߊ
Modupe O ߡߏߘߎߔߋ ߏ
Thank you for listening to
- Urban Agriculture and Climate Change: “The New Normal”
- Smelling Funk to Power
- Charles Southward
- “God made the Soil, but we made it Fertile”
- Mushrooms as ߛߊ߲ߞߐߝߊ (Sankɔfa)
Peace. I am Mason Olonade and this is Jigijigi: Africulture podcast. Here we believe building a healthy soil builds a healthy soul. And we share strategies on how to do both. We continually ask ourselves two questions. How do you grow while you grow kale, collards, tomatoes and melons? and deeper? Why do you think the healthiest soils are black?
Today is a very special episode, our philosophical background episode. Some of this episode is prepared and some of it is divined. Our philosophy erupts in agreed emergence out of the black soil created from the rumbling of Ra and Rait, the creator and creator of the world son And daughter of Mu and Mut. The primordial waters that vibratory aliy conceived their offspring. As you may remember, Mu and Mut are to have a children born of Amen and Amenet the great Gander and goose. For it was but an exhalation from the exhilaration of creation. Nganga! that big bang a breath of fresh air into the universe.
Thusly we interpret that breath as one of laughter, for we laugh and the most pleasurable of experiences. Therefore, we further understand the creator and creatress to be two halves of the ultimate comedian. We know that as we work the land if we aren’t laughing, it is not true. To laugh is to be relaxed And to be comfortable, even if we are on the outside of our comfort zone. Every day in the garden, we intend to dance on the border of the comfort zone. The border has very wide and indistinct as it is, in the case of one of our philosophical tenants choose whichever word you’d like laziness, efficiency, or patience. Now, we will begin laying out our philosophical background.
Our first tenant is the soil is alive. We could really argue that there is no border to the soil, but we won’t. We will say that we are a part of it. We are currently reading Future Fertility by john Beebe, and we thought it would be interesting for you to think on this quote “Once the soil has the minerals it means in the right proportions for optimum health and plant growth. It is probable that as long as the minerals are continually returned in the form of processed urine and manure, by those who eat the food the soil grows, no or few outside fertilizers will need to be added.”
We can close quote, we can complete the circle of our soil not just by composting the scraps of what we consume, but also by the concentration of what we’ve consumed. We haven’t done this but we will discuss it further in the in the episode titled Esoterracisms. In our previous episode titled building up our soils we elegantly stated “we acknowledge the verifiable existence of soil borne bacteria, fungi And other microbial life. When combined with worms, nematodes, weeds, dormant seeds and animals, we make up his soil microbial community” close quote.
extremely complex and seemingly complicated relationships are continuously created, dissolved, annuled renegotiated, married, surprised, divorced, and the last thing that we want to do is contribute to their unwarranted murder.
Therefore, our next position is no synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or tilling and little digging. We look to nature to see how she does it. You know, both mother and father know best we can find pesticidal compounds in plants, emergent herbicides in them too. And even radishes will till for you. So if we absolutely have to dig, then we will. But if we can find it, we find a plant first, who will?
Of course, to have this position, we must hold our next position of patience. A wise woman changed my life oops. With her instruction to “Give time, time” while reading while while reading JADAM Korean natural farming. We were so excited to go out into the woods and find some good leaf mold for our soil preparations. A curious circumstance came to us, we couldn’t find it! So, yes, maybe we could have done it wrong. But then as time passed, I found what we were looking I found what I was looking for when I wasn’t looking for it, again. I moved a bucket next to the garage shed and a thick white net was behind it. The funky I needed to get everything started with. I’ll go more into detail about this experience and further experiments in the episode titled shrooms and also covered in the episode titled composts and fermentation.
It then precipitates from there to our next philosophical position. You aren’t that different. This of course, is a celebratory derision, a dig, so to speak. This understanding has made it easier for us to understand what is going on with our plants and our soil. I have three short stories to tell. The first one is about growing my my hot peppers. So Back when I worked for the School of Agriculture, I had gone on a experimental field trip, field field experiment to the eastern shore of Maryland. There we had met with one of my PI’s My boss’ graduate advisors and his wife was from Thailand. She had made me and all of us she had made us pad thai with the Thai peppers that she’d grown. I haven’t had Pad Thai since then, because I don’t believe that somebody could make it better than a seven year old woman for people that she loved. After the dish, which I could barely eat, because I had no pepper resilience built up by then. I asked her if I could have some of the peppers to grow. And she gave me a lot of them to do so. She told me to start them first week of March that’s that’s all that she gave me. So I didn’t listen. Of course I did in my own way As always, and I later started them I believe around the end of March. I had cut open a, you know, a water bottle 16.9 ounce water bottle. I think I cut it in into thirds poked holes in the bottom of it, took some soil out of one of the, the garden beds on the you know, probably going hostas and lilies in the springtime and opened up a pepper, scattered the seeds in the surface and then moved it around, you know, stirred it up with my fingers. I watered it and left it in my bedroom window in this cell and which was south. I guess it was. It was eat South East face No, no. It was like it was directly south facing. That’s what it was. Apologize for that delay. Anyway, I got a lot of pepper plants coming up and it was really cool. It was very cool to see. I’ll include a photo of them on the on the Instagram posts in the show notes later in the year, I was so excited to transplant them. This is the very first thing that I grew. You may remember in the in the first episode I was telling you about, you know, my parents had been gardening and so this was not anything new to me, but this was new to me because it was finally mine outside of that tree that I told you about that, um, that you know i at this point in time I just forgotten about but um there was it.
There was I had encountered some difficulties because my Dad had, we had had a pot that had had just some soil in it. I didn’t really know what soil was there. It was just there. And then my dad had lifted up some of the some of the lawn he just like, separated it from the brick and then lifted under it, dug some, the topsoil out of it and then put it in the pot and we mixed it in half. You know 1:1 I guess and then we transplanted the peppers into there and they were growing very well for a while. And then what happened is that the leaves started turning yellow and falling off in the in the plant had just become extremely thin and I was very, very worried. Because I worked in the School of Agriculture, I had access to a professor who had had gotten his bachelor’s degree in horticulture. He had also given me a lot of my houseplants that I had gotten started and I asked him I said, Hey, I know I’ve got a problem with my peppers. You know, there bear that turning yellow and they’re not going on and use like, so what’s going on with the soil and I say, you know, this, this, this and that and he was like, what would you get the soil from? I said, Well, there was some there were some dirt in the pot and he said, there’s no such thing as dirt. You know, it’s soil and I was like, Okay, so, and at that time, I really didn’t understand until much later but he even asked me he was like, so you’re saying that there was some, some dirt and half good soil. So you’re telling me that there’s no nutrients in the soil? And I was like, Oh, he was like, yeah, you have to fertilize it and I was like, Oh my gosh, so I immediately left from there and got some you know, some you know, some Miracle Gro fertilizer, some you know, some tomato fertilizer because tomatoes and peppers are basically means that the process is the same and you know, put stuff in a gallon mixed it up. Did that soil drench And wouldn’t you believe it? It worked. And so from there, it started to make a lot more sense that you know, because then I told him I was like yeah, I was worried he was like yeah, imagine how much you tried to grow if you didn’t have any food you know, so it’s the same you know, we we begin to lose weight, you know, get sick and all those sorts of things. So that’s how how much different I realized I wasn’t from the peppers and then later that year was awesome because I the first pepper came up and it was bright red and I I had been into it and say, you know, if you look down at your pinkie, basically that’s how long the my first pepper was. And imagine if your nail is a little bit overgrown, you know, by the time you’re like, Oh my god, I can’t believe I haven’t clipped my nails. That’s how much other The pepper that I had bid, and I bid it and then immediately swallowed it. And then even more immediately had hiccups that lasted for about 10 minutes. And after that happened, I was I was hooked man I couldn’t I was like this is amazing. So, you know, I I began to stick with it from there as I didn’t know the story, but I want to keep this episode a little bit short.
So I’ll talk about this one after the end of one of our our consulting visits out here that I’ll talk about in the episode titled fungus gnats. There was a young brother there who was admittedly he said he was overhearing the conversation that I was having about the owner with the owner, and he wanted to know if I had any techniques, or advice to offer him as it related to repotting. Some of his plants is he just bought some from one of these big box stores. And I asked him about what plants he had, he didn’t he didn’t know and well, he didn’t he didn’t have any pictures of him and he he really couldn’t tell me so I really didn’t have any specific advice for him but what I did say to him because I just finished moving at this point in time so this experience was fresh on my mind and I said to him, you know, when you clean your room, and you want to make more space for yourself, what you do is either build things up vertically, or you clean your room and you know, just reorganize it to give yourself a little bit of space. just buying plants you know this was early March so when we bought when you buy a plant from the store, you don’t need to immediately repotted unless you are going for maximum growth.
And most people aren’t most people are just looking to take care of something and So, what you can do though is buy higher quality soil and then further amend that soil with items, soil amendments like perlite, of various grades and which aerate the soil and leave more channels for not only air but water and bacterial life to grab on to. So, in a sense, what you’re doing is like reorganizing the soil in a very Martha Stewart or IKEA type way where you can then put stuff places where they weren’t before. Therefore, you have more room for everything to go through everything to flow through. Just like how you can reorganize your room, you know, you turn your bed, 90 degrees and now you have some room to dance to. We aren’t that different at all from the plants that were growing. So because of this We go to our next point. Before we consume the plants, we must incorporate ourselves into them. There comes a time for sacrifice. Even if you give it the proper sacrifice may be obtained by the plant or the soil. For the real lesson for your real lesson to be learned. This is what I call incorporeality.
I was pruning rose bushes at this at the at the house that I live in, and I was getting torn up now. I when I’m going through an emotional sort of period where there’s a lot of anxiety, a lot of energy, a lot of frustration. What I tend to do is clean or tend to something, I just have to be doing something with my hands. And in my backyard at the house that I live in now, there is this enormous rosebush and it needed to be pruned so that it could blossom and hadn’t been tended to in in I don’t even know how many years. Well, this is an indication one of the branches was over seven feet tall. And then another one was that tall also, but had fallen over. And then what it had done was grown down into the soil, which is known as volunteering and it cloned itself because it had been buried over over so many years from leaves, pine tops and pine cones and all these sorts of things. So that you know, all just all this other leaf matter. And, you know, I had I had just started working with because I was like, you know, I’m nice, whatever I can I can get through this but those roses man they were they were tearing me up I was I had put on my Levi’s jeans I had a hoodie on I had those garden gloves with a rubber rubber thing and it was still getting to me and still getting to me and still getting to me. I had just gone through part of the reason why I was going through this is because I was facing a little bit of turmoil in my previous relationship and I know that I needed to end the relationship. And what I had realized was that some of the things that was going on is that like, people tolerate the thorns on a rose. Because of the blossoms that the Rose has. These blossoms I’ll put a picture of it in the show knows these blossoms are particularly brilliant. I haven’t seen any any any blossoms like like this rose bought like these roses before. There’s this I mean amazing sheen to them that I have. I have never seen that in any, any Well, I’ve seen it in a flower before, but I hadn’t seen it so uniform. Like I had seen it in this rose. Originally, I found out that this Rose was on white rose. And it later had cross pollinated with a neighbor’s roses, which are like a magenta hue. And now they’re sort of off white pink is very, a very soft, very soft rose. And the blossoms are extremely delicate. They may be last and maybe last for two whole days. Part of that is because the plan is just is just growing all over the place. And it has to be it has to be pruned back further so that some of these energies can be redirected into into making a stronger blossom. But I’m digressing what I realized was that in In, in my relationships what I had done was that I guess this could be argued back and forth or whether or not but I say that what I was realizing was that the relationship that I was in I had chosen a rose and the rose have chosen me. And I was very excited to attend to this to this rose because of the blossom. And, and it’s not just this particular rose, but as they are roses that then seemingly forget to blossom and you’re attending to the rose. You’re getting pricked by the thorns constantly. And then the rose bush turns into a phone bush. And you wonder, why am I dealing with a thorn bush? Meanwhile, you’re also contemplating is this even a rose it has been so long since I’ve seen a blossom.
And so I had to do that sacrifice. I had to get cut up. I had to prune so that I could see that blossom again. In order to make that incorporeality, a reality. We have to be open to feel we have to be open to learning.
I had um, I was growing this corn, I’ve been growing this corn, black corn maize model. And I was very excited, um, planted a whole lot of them and then in early in the spring we had a whole bunch of rain that really got really damaged in hand. In my seating techniques, the way that I had sort of started my seats outside with no drainage I had contributed to a lot of loss of my of my seeds. But one of these corns, seeds took very well. But then what I realized was that it had now exhibited corn lodging, and corn lodging is when there’s too much fertilizer present, the soil is too rich, and the corn starts growing very well. vegetatively it just incorporates a lot of nitrogen and starts making all these leaves but it doesn’t make enough roots and it can’t hold itself up. In my seeing myself as them and being open to feel what I had realized was that the corn has spoken to me like, water me. I was like, Huh. And so then I did. And then I found out that this phenomenon was called corn lodging where it’s leaning over. And then it said that the plant needed to be watered more. I was like, Whoa, that’s, that’s, that’s pretty interesting, man. Another thing was that just this just happened just recently. I had seen my dill, I’ve just grown dill, and for the first time, and I seen it flower for the first time. And I tried a technique of hand pollination, to see if it would take because it had worked on my bok choy that the deer later ate and then Over, you know, the weekend after I tried that hand pollination technique. I had this dream where I was collecting dill seeds. And I took myself later that day Don’t forget you had a dream where you’re collecting those seeds because I, I knew I would forget. And I went out there this weekend. And I saw that these that this hind pollination technique worked. And then right behind it, I have a some entre plan. And, to my surprise, this launch of plant has now turned into coriander, right, and it’s not producing coriander seeds. And I’m so excited for both of those things.
This then shows you Our next philosophical tenant which is abundance. We can turn one amaranth seed into a pound of seed. We’ve watched that one seed become eight feet tall. I’ll show you a picture of that. in the show notes, we’ve watched footage, footage of ourselves crawl and replayed memories of us jumping and climbing to new heights. When I started growing this corn, you know, as with the experience of this coin lodging, I was thinking like, Oh my gosh, you know, I don’t, I don’t have pods big enough for this corn, you know, I want to grow it in the container, but it’s still, it’s still getting too big. And I didn’t know what to do. But I wasn’t, like worried. You know, I was still thinking like it’ll, it’ll, whatever it is, it’ll come. It’ll come it’ll come. And then what happened is that we were then given 1200 square feet of space instead. When we got that 1200 square feet of space. It was in the midst of this maybe two week period of without rain, and the rain was supposed to come on Wednesday and I had filled up my buckets with some of the hose water from my house. And I had taken it down to the plant to the plot to water them. And then what happened? We got two thunderstorms a day early abundance. And finally,
to give ourselves the challenge that comedy comes from. Our last position is to be inexpensive. And our episode titled building up our soils we read this quote from Nana Kwame of Afrani bulletin number six.
“We think it is wise to state here that the chief aim was to keep every operation within reach of the poorest tenant farmer occupying the poorest possible soils worthy of consideration from an agricultural point of view. And to further illustrate that the productive power of all such soils can be increased from year to year. Until a maximum fertility is reached.”
The most cutting edge research today suggests we still aren’t anywhere close to that maximum fertility. And lastly, to quote from bulletin number 42. “We also aim to provide our experiences and information for free. So that quote, every farmer can master the problems of when, with what, and how shall I fertilize my crops in such a manner as to produce the maximum yield and do it with the least financial expense and least injury to the soil.”
It is not my position to expect you to agree with my philosophical background. Here, I’ve put it forth for you to understand if you haven’t done so, and you have have concerns or need clarification contact me, ma s o n at o l n a dot d please leave us with a five star review. And I’ll read it in the intro your comment to we will always appreciate it then as we appreciate you now and say Asante Sana Medase Pa. Modupe O. Thank you for listening to Jigijigi peace.