Below, Asian radish pods.Below, johnny jump ups and Asian salad greens.

Sweet 100 cherry tomatoes

Below, Oaxaca tomatoes.


Oh the shamelessness of the small Iranian chap, who allowed his underlings to Photoshop his missiles in order to give the impression that he can strike at Israel from the comfort of his office. The phallic war toys of his his are ugly enough in the singular; presented in the fake plural, they are ludicrous. Better that he should grow a garden–Iranians have a rich and ancient culture and gardens are very much part of it. Gardening teaches respect for human life and no one who has nurtured seedlings, amended the soil into which to plant a food crop, revelled in the pleasure of serving homegrown fruit and vegetables to friends and family contemplate the possibility of war without taking its long term impact into account. Maybe the little Iranian chap likes to spice his salads with enriched plutonium. Maybe he thinks that the entire Middle East should share his taste for hot hell. I happen to think that he is in error. I happen to think that imperialistic jihadism is the greatest of follies. Al-Andalus is lost to Islam, guy. Get over it. Grow tomatoes, grow daylilies. It is a more productive and honest occupation than trying to push Israel into a war the United States will be forced to support, Israel being our only democratic ally in the Middle East.

Our commander in chief would do well to plant a garden too. He might see the light then, bring the troops home and literally turn swords into ploughshares. Enough of this nonsense about being policeman of the world. We have enough to do home. Just the other day I met a family whose property is being foreclosed. Their material poverty is shocking. Our country has the resources to keep American families from homelessness and here we are frittering away these resources in Iraq. There four little children in this family I met and I will not go into detail about the way they are living because they have their dignity. They deserve justice, not pity. It ius enough to say that not since I left the Third World have I seen anyone struggle with such difficult living conditions.

Here is how I met these folks–I joined the local Freecycle chapter and posted a request for peonies and irises. Two people responded. The first lives in a middle class enclave; the other lives in a working class neighborhood. Both wanted to share their plants with a complete stranger because good gardeners practice generosity. Should not their example shame Iranian PM and our president out of their selfish warmongering? Isn’t self-evident that kindness is better than war? Apparently not, therefore I have a proposition–let the Iranian PM and Mr. Bush trade places with lady whose house is being taken away by a bank. Let them learn the kind of courage it takes to lose everything but the ability to be generous. Gardening helps; killing people, on the other hand, is highly unproductive. Everyone knows that, right?
Kandahar and Isfahan readers, shalom and salaam.


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