Sunday, September 12, 2010

Senescence : Part 1

Seed saving is becoming a lost art for the average citizen. Seeds can now be acquired at a super market, and it is convenient, but the quality is usually suspect. Also, many gardeners today prefer to have everything look good year round. When plants die, it is a special beauty not fit for all.

I have chosen to save my own seeds year after year. It is best to save the best looking pods for genetic strength. You are probably wondering where the original seeds came from. I got them from a seed company with a good reputation and mostly organic farming practices. It is important to research your seed companies and check the seed viability and fertility. Some seed "manufacturers" design seed that will not reproduce so you are required to keep buying more seed year after year. It is a travesty of the plant kingdom and human civilization.
This is why at the Institute, we will record and preserve ways to save seed and we will stock viable seed for future generations.

In order to get better acquainted, take today's quiz!
For each photo, name the plant that is beginning to die and turn to seed. You can score 1 to 11.
Answers will post later.












Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Pronunciation: flä-'n&r
Function: noun
Etymology: French flâneur
Date: 1854
: an idle man-about-town
In "On some motifs on Baudelaire" Walter Benjamin creates a new concept, le flaneur.
"The greater the sum of those who use any urban space, the more offensive the rude indifference for the others seems to be" The mist-space is itself a protective place.
"Le flaneur" (the wanderer) passes by with a certain skill in the human rumble of the metropolis. His
attitude is the opposite to that quoted above. He is fascinated by the other show performed and forgets
himself. His person is not the most important, as the blase's, but the possibility of anonymously
hiding in the crowd and of abandoning himself to its fascination.
"The street becomes a dwelling for the flâneur; he is as much at home among the facades of houses
as a citizen is in his four walls. To him the shiny, enameled signs of businesses are at least as good
a wall ornament as an oil painting is to the bourgeois in his salon. The walls are the desk against
which he presses his notebooks; news-stands are his libraries and the terraces of cafés are the
balconies from which he looks down on his household after his work is done."
Walter Benjamin, 1938

I read recently that the tradition of strolling around Paris has been in serious decline due to automobile and truck traffic. I am going to try it anyways in December.
Strolling around San Francisco is rarely fun due to cars rolling through stop signs and trying to get ahead of pedestrians. There is plenty of impatience.