Monday, September 15, 2014

The Farm that Joe Lives on

Farmer Joe's Postmodern Strip Farm
The picture above shows the farm that Joe lives on with his wife. It is beside a paved road along with a collection of other strip farms that are narrow in front and deep length-wise so that many farms can be set side by side and avail the facilities of a main paved road in front, as are usually found in postmodern villages (see here).

Joe lives on the farm with his wife. His two sons have grown up and study at a University and a daughter has married and lives in town. They visit often though and help out on the farm whenever they do. His grandchildren love to spend their entire vacations at the farm even without their parents because bobby loves to fish in the lake and his sister Jill loves to pick up the flowers and play with grandpa Joe who is in his mid fifties now.  Joe has a three story house on the farm. There is a basement to store his stuff and utilities, a main floor on which he lives with his wife and that has two additional rooms for his children or guests. If everyone arrives simultaneously some have to get on the couch or some cots in the basement when it is not too cold.   There are four bed rooms on the first floor with a bathroom where four farm helps live. They all eat together at the restaurant that his wife runs with the help of Lucy, one of the helps at the farm. Because of this, the restaurant runs throughout the year, even in the lean seasons when there are few visitors from afar. They serve food made out of fresh farm produce only at this restaurant. Everyday Lucy writes on a small black board in front of the restaurant what the day’s menu and deserts are. These vary throughout the year according to what is being produced on the farm. They serve lovegan food (see here) only that consists of stuff made from vegetables, wheat, eggs and milk products aside from fish.. The fish and chips of the restaurant are famous for fifty miles around served along with a green tossed salad or Cole-slaw and tartar sauce.

Joe's wife had figured that since she had to cook everyday anyway, she may as well do it for everyone at the restaurant only and now they rarely cook at home except for breakfast or that late night meal when there is a party at home. Even Christmas dinners for everyone are at the restaurant with family and if a lot of other customers arrive they open a lot of wine and push the tables to the side for a song and dance in the middle.

The restaurant has a sales counter too for farm fresh jams, honey, fruit, vegetables, cheese, flowers and wine that they produce at the farm and rarely is it that a visitor can resist buying something for home before leaving the restaurant.

There is a large room on top of the restaurant that can be reached from an outdoor stairway behind the restaurant. It has four beds set against the walls, a couch, and a TV that comes in handy when additional temporary workers drop in, especially when the fruit has to be picked or the spinach cut and dried. Joe and his wife Martha grow huge amounts of spinach on the farm. Some is chopped up for the hens, some used for the green pasta sauce (see here for recipe) at the restaurant but most of it is cut, cleaned and dried on racks in the barn. Martha uses the powdered dried spinach along with a little powdered celery to mix in the flour of her bread that is a signature product of the farm and is in demand in some far away special organic food stores.

There is a chicken coup and a diary at the farm but the chickens are only for egg and never killed. Similarly the cows are only for milk or to rest. Farmer Joe keeps five hundred chickens and twelve cows. Neither the cows nor the hens are locked up because they have a back yard orchard to roam in bounded by a small lake on the farm from where the hens and cows can drink too. The eggs of the farm are much healthier than those elsewhere because the hens get a lot to munch on in the orchard besides their regular feed.

The lake has both fish and ducks and this is where the duck eggs and fish for the restaurant and the local market come from. The lake is shaped like a U so that farmer Joe does not have to spend on fencing for the chicken and cows. The lake really fills up in rainy months but dries out a bit in the dry ones. It has gently sloping sides on the inner side so that the hens, birds and cows can easily walk up to it for a drink but the outer side is steep for a deep end that provides a home for the fish in the dry months. There are two wind generated water aeration pumps for the lake that oxygenate the water for the fish whenever the wind comes on. Farmer Joe’s farm is connected to the urban electricity grid but he has solar panels on the south side of his barn and home roofs so that most times he is feeding into the grid rather than taking from it, except when the days have been very cloudy.

The most interesting part of the farm is the orchard set within the lake. It is not like a conventional orchard with just a single variety but there are trees of five different varieties of fruit and one more that does not produces fruit but farmer Joe says it fixes nitrogen to fertilize the orchard. The rest of the trees along the road are fruit trees too. The gas for his cooking and the cooking at the restaurant comes from a bio-gas plant that is fueled by cow dung. Farmer Joe wanted to feed human shit into it too but his wife is fussy and did not permit that. Needless to say everything on the farm is organic, fed by the huge amount of compost everything on the farm produces. Not a single leaf or bit of food is wasted but everything goes into the compost pit that is emptied out once every year for farm manure along with the manure that comes from the bio-digestors.

Set within the orchard are a hundred bee keeping boxes that produce honey for farmer Joe and the market too aside from pollinating all the fruit trees and flowers. With so many diverse activities on the farm, farmer Joe does not produce wheat but gets it from the market. He feels wheat is produced best in larger mechanized farms.  But they make their own fresh bread and pasta from wheat that is ground up into flour on the farm itself. Instead he has a patch for fodder for the cows, assorted vegetables and flowers around the farm and home. His roses and tulips are in great demand for flower shops in town. farmer Joe does not have to purchase much cooking oil though because there is so much butter on the farm after the milk is seperated for the cheese. His wife coverts some into clarified butter and uses that for the fish and chips too, no wnder they taste so heavenly. They do not get much sugar either except for some for the cake icing and dusting the donuts, because of so much honey that they have on the farm instead.

Farmer Joe and his farm in this post is fiction but included here as an example of the type of farms a post-modern village  might have.

Pond Image modified from

The copyright on this image is owned by Ross Fletcher and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

More on Dress Colors

The CAANS System for dress Colors

Although most posts of this blog are on important issues that matter to our world and our own inner selves, there are a few articles on a lighter note too. Some were on the absolutely hilarious or abominable practice, depending on how one looks at it, of additions to food that are taking place in the best of places on our planet. I choose to view these as ridiculous exceptions and therefore humorously, lest one stops eating anything that does not come from one's own kitchen because that article described how some famous chefs might be peeing into their gourmet creations to add that final exotic touch (here). A second set of posts on a playful note have been on choosing dress color

Based on a small book on how to choose dress colors, applicable to both men and ladies, developed using some principles of astrology and numerology, I found a dashing shirt color for myself and some famous persons on our planet. My belief in these latter sciences is only peripheral and not firm but then one has to find out one’s unique color somehow and just using personal judgment barely suffices because that can vary with time and person. Moreover, one may never explore precisely the right shade of dress for oneself or a loved one seeing that there are so many shades and colors to choose from in the modern RGB world where we begin with palettes of thousands of colors.

My shirt color turned out to be an unusual shade of green and I could not find a shirt in of that color in the stores. Therefore I went to a fabric shop that stores a wide variety of shades and selected the right color from his shop. The shop owner was intrigued and asked, “Why do you want a shirt in such a color.” I explained it was because of astrology and he said, “O!” -------LOL

Soon after, the shirt was produced by a tailor and I put up a selfie (here)of that in an earlier post. Frankly I did not feel fully delighted with such a shade of green but friends said it looked good and I did look dashing and younger. The book talked of being successful in love with that and would you believe it, I did begin to get chased by some and had a hard time escaping : -) 

I have now put that shirt away deep inside the wardrobe until I am ready for some more romantic love in life because frankly I have had enough of that when I was younger and it was fun. But, Lo and behold! The author of the book has continued his research and come with a revised version that suggests a second effective color. It turns out that the difference in shade is only slight in very many cases but those with a greenish shade have a second bluish shade too. Based on that, the shade of my shirt and a Dress for Hillary Clinton in the second shade is displayed below. However, I have yet to decide if I should get a shirt in the second shade. It may force me to run and hide in the Himalayas  :- )

From a spiritual point of view pure white has been regarded as the most appropriate dress color across spiritual traditions and the CAANS system too states that the colors white as also black are not personality dependent and applicable to all in equal measure aside from browns and grays that are described as neutral for ladies and men respectively. It is only when other colors outside of plain black and white are sought that the CAANS System determination comes into play.

A CAANS System Dress Color
For men if the determined color is too bright it is suggested they wear it as a tie with a white shirt, at least in professional and work settings and I think my shade would be nice for a tie.I shall look for one. It will be definitely nicer than a red tie I have worn most often before.

After writing this post, I googled for images of Hillary Clinton and found one here in the same color as described here. It has confirmed what was discovered earlier, that many successful person have already discovered their ideal dress colors and it is one on the contributing factors in their success in life. Hope Hilary wears a lot of this for her 2016 campaign aside from white and black as also some of her other green shade mentioned in an earlier post perhaps in combined prints of this blue and the original green something like illustrated on the cover of the book. Wishing her success for 2016 whichever way she decides.

Hillary Clinton

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

To Help a Child

To help a Child

While one should be talking of making the world a joyous, secure and happy place for children unfortunately it is not so with many children in our modern world driven by blinding greed and one has to turn one's mind to even more basic needs of many children. What does it mean to help a child or to help make the world a better place for children? This picture says it all.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Jacaranda, tree of Angelic Beauty

Jacaranda Trees along a Street

Seeds, fruits and foliage feed  the body
Beauty of  flowers feeds the soul
Jacaranda is a flowering tree in the family Bignoniaceae, native to tropical and subtropical regions of  South America. It has been planted widely in Asia and Australia now. Jacaranda can be propagated from grafting, cuttings and seeds though plants grown from seeds take a long time to bloom. Jacaranda grows in well drained soil and tolerates drought and brief spells of frost and freeze. Several are widely grown as ornamental trees throughout the subtropical regions of the world because of their intense flower displays. It has a delicate and pretty foliage too and makes a great potted plant as well until it grows to a height of three feet or so at which time it must be transferred to garden, park or the forest. 

Blue Jacaranda is used in medicine and industry. It’s wood, in a cream and pink tone and pleasant smell, is used in cabinet making and carpentry, specially in the automotive industry for luxury cars. The method of using jacarandas as medicine varies. Some experts use essential oils derived from the leaves, others from bark, seeds aka fruits that look like a cross between a tiny turtle shell and a nut or flowers. Others use, instead, a water extract of any of these same parts. Either by use internally or externally, however, Brazilians--where the jacaranda originated--among others in natural healing fields proclaim its efficacy in treating bacterial infections as well as gonorrhea and syphilis. Since about one-third of the world population is allergic to penicillin--the primary drug used in fighting these venereal diseases as well as other infections--it is beneficial to have the option offered by the jacaranda Mimosifolia.

The tree in bloom with its soft blue flowers is an exhilarating and divine sight. In a novella first published in 1992 (Mystic and the Blossoms) this author described a village road with Jacaranda on both sides and shedding masss of blooms on the road. Since then either because of this story or otherwise the practice has been adopted on many other beautiful roads around the world.

Jacaranda leaves and flowers

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