Thursday, July 7, 2016

Without Rule of Law

One of the greatest gifts the United States inherited from Mother England was the Rule of Law.  However, the founders were not content to merely recreate English rule in America.   Our forefathers imported English Common Law and then expanded upon it, choosing members from their own communities to serve as lawmakers and then return home to live under the laws they had created.  They had forged a society that truly was "For the People and By the People".

This great pillar of our society, this strength of our nation, is also inherently fragile.  Our societal strength is only maintained through equal administration of law.  Disparity of the implementation of the Rule of Law between public servants and citizens, between lawmaker and taxpayer, between law enforcement and civilian, causes the foundation of society to crack.  As society fails the chasm of unequal application of law grows until finally, the Rule of Law fails and anarchy reigns.

And here was are.  We now live in a country Without Rule of Law.  Law has become something governing the citizen, not the "public servant".  Our lawmakers regularly excuse themselves from the law governing every man.  Government officials commit felonious and treasonous crimes and continue on, unscathed.  Law enforcement officers violate constitutional rights with no consequence.  Building inspectors, tax assessors and other low level bureaucrats bully the public at every level denying even a basic redress of grievances.  And our "leaders" protect each other, while we, the taxpayers, are left footing the bill while enduring a society Without Rule of Law.

In truth, we are completely upside down.  We should expect more from our public servants, not less.  We should expect the people who create the laws to live by the laws.  We should expect those who are hired to enforce the law, to first and foremost, keep the law. 

With a Supreme Court justices that admit  they will ignore the Constitution and vote with their "conscience", a President that enacts illegal Executive Orders, a former Secretary of State that lies under oath and bureaucrats that engage in petty tyranny on a daily basis we are already living Without Rule of Law.  And without rule of law, we have anarchy.

A United State of America Without  Rule of Law - are your ready?

*Joe Nobody wrote an excellent book called "Without Rule of Law".  You just may need it in the near future.  Grab a copy on Amazon - and tell them Enola sent you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Hugelkultur Update

If you have read of our adventures for any amount of time, you know that gardening has been the bane of our existence!  For fifteen (yes, fifteen) years, we have attempted to grow a garden in our red clay soil with (very) limited success.  We amended our soil with organic material, brought in load after load of manure to enrich the poor clay soil.  We tried raised beds, drip irrigation and potato towers.  We planted fruit trees, berry bushes and cold crop vegetables.  Some years I gave my gardening attempts everything I had, other years I merely threw a few seeds in the ground.  To say that I was discouraged is more than an understatement.

Although I had little to no success with gardening, I kept reading, hoping to find some nugget of gardening wisdom that I could apply to my little piece of ground that would coax bounty from the soil.

During one trip to our local library, I stumbled up a permaculture book by Sepp Holzer and was immediately intrigued.  He spoke of gardening and farming methods that were completely foreign to me but appeared to produce tremendous yields.  After studying Mr. Holzer's books for a couple of years and adding other permaculture books, like Gaia's Garden, to my personal library, I slowly devised a gardening plan.

This spring, Sir Knight and I embarked on a new gardening adventure - Hugelkultur.  Basically, we built raised garden beds using bulky organic material (trees, brush, bushes) as the base and coving it in our clay soil, with sod attached, and finished the beds off with good, rich soil.  We began small, with one bed about 40 feet long and 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall.  After we built the bed, we sowed white clover to act as a cover crop and to keep the soil in place until we could plant vegetables and berries. 

Tiny apples on an apple tree


Beginning to turn blue

Mounds of potatoes!

Potatoes looking healthy and happy

Lettuce, poking up amongst the clover

Our thick clover cover
Although the entire garden hasn't been planted (I was ill prepared for a full fledged garden bed), what has been planted seems to be flourishing.  Our potatoes are thick, tall and healthy.  The green beans are coming in nicely and the lettuce is sprouting.  Our blueberries (planted on the top of the raised bed) are bearing already and beginning to turn blue.  Even the trees that we planted in the Hugelkultur method seem to be doing well! 

In addition to the raised bed, we put in a suntrap using culvert pieces.  We used the same organic material, sod, soil method in the containers and planted tomatoes and peppers.  The containers also seem to be thriving with fruit coming on the bushes and blossoms covering the tomato plants.

Tomatoes making their start

Raspberry Brambles

We've been picking berries every morning!

One of the herb beds

Comfrey growing like crazy in front of "Little Shouse"

Although we haven't made it through a full growing season, we are tentatively excited about our new gardens.  In fact, we are planning another, larger Hugelkultur bed to be built this fall so that it will be ready to plant in the spring.

And so, our adventures in gardening continue - with the first measure of success in fifteen years.  And they say gardening is easy.....