Monday, September 21, 2009

Be fruitful and multiply



In the Genesis account of creation, God commands the trees and plants to be fruitful and multiply. The miracle of multiplication was brought home to me digging up some heads of garlic a couple of weeks ago. Where a single clove of garlic had been thumbed into the ground in November, there was now a cluster of cloves, maybe fifteen on a head. This garlic seemed different to the larger yellowish bulbs that are for sale in Dunnes Stores and travel all the way from China. The Finglas garlic is whiter with papery purple skins.

This year we are going to try and stretch the planting season. Joey and Seán have planted sets of red and white onions over the past couple of weeks and also winter spinach. I put down some leeks at the end of August. Now that the light decreases and we are for the dark days, it is comforting to think of the onions and garlic underground fixing to multiply.

8 comments:

ROBINSON said...

I like the words here and am looking forward to hearing about the finglas vs china garlic taste results...

cycle said...

Ok .you know Im wondering why you would command a tree to go forth and multipy! go where? I think trees and plants can multiply by themselves anway! reproducing, pollination and
fertilisation,fruit,seeds , at least with the assistance of bees!? The prevailing Christian view in the industrialised world and Northern hemisphere has seen humankind try to do just that though. That oft quoted old testament line used as permission , cultural conditioning, and philosophy behind thinking which has brougth us deforestation, petro fertilisers, monoculture and now Genitic -modification of foods. All of which are now beeing considered as accumulative causes of the disappearence of Honey Bees the world over. Did God forget to mention those Honey bees? Are people doing the God thing, telling plants and trees what to do?. How to do it and when to do it. Also punishing them with the "Terminator gene" if they wont. While for some this linking of ancient biblical text and mordern "nigthmare" science may seem intangibale. I think it is worth considering. what next a "spud eye for an eye, a root for a root"?! I'd rather see a more loving relationship developing myself. Im not saying you cant be into S&M and a loving relationship with trees and plants.I just suggest observing,considering life, ecology.You may see that Nature does wondereful things seen and unseen all by itself. did you know Garlic is actually a perenial plant and can grow all year round?, allowing you to harvest the leaves over and over, cut and come again style. by just leaving the bulb in the ground.
For a cold with phlegm on the chest try rubbing a crushed garlic bulb on the chest. Garlic is a alternative to antibiotics for the flu and winter virus's.

Joseph Feely said...

While I appreciate your comments and worldview I still feel practical "human" steps are necessary. While some people have shifted their worldview to see that Christianity had a dominion atitude to nature and they now see this as anthropocentric and detrimental, they don't reconise that Christianity has also shifted it's worldview to stewardship and interprets "dominimon" as meaning human responsibility not "right to exploit" anyway it was Francis bacon an enlightenment scientist who started this idea that nature is dead and therefore we can exploit. I think Lara is just appreciating the wonder of nature through Christian eyes and if you think that vegtables grow by themselves why don't you come along to the garden and see if this multiplication happens without the intervention of mankind. Food doesn't grow by magic

Lara said...

Hey it's great to see a bit of debate on the blog and some different views. First up I have to clear up a misquote. I didn't write 'Go forth and multiply'. As 'Cycle' says it is an oft quoted line, but I didn't quote it! I quoted 'Be fruitful and multiply'. So in the Genesis account, the tree isn't commanded to go forth. However, IF it was I think it would be a beautiful example of the bible's poetry. For example, somewhere else in the Old Testament it says 'and the trees of the fields shall clap their hands'. This is a wonderful expression of the joy of creation. Having said this I didn't post the piece 'Be fruitful and multiply' to promote a Christian view. The multiplication of the garlic clove brought to mind the line in Genesis.

I agree with Joey's views on stewardship and Christianity and found it intersting to hear about Francis Bacon. I think the current eco congregation movement is a really encouraging example of Christianity in harmony with ecology.

Savannah said...

I love the line 'and the trees of the
fields shall clap their hands' !

......but Im not sure Ben Dunne will be clapping his hands when he sees you criticizing his garlic!! hehe

Péars said...

hi all. Yes it is good to have some discussion. Firstly Im in agreement that Lara didnt quote the bible by saying "go forth and multiply". I must still be reeling from years of the conditioning I was talking about!Of course that particular command was given to humans! Who also seem to need no such command to do so. My discussion was on the use of the word "command" and the attitude behind it. one which Joseph seems to apprecciate some what. Again, that the prevailing attitude amongst the Industrialised north has been created on the guidance of the prevailing religon's view of nature. while I think some within this community have a more holistic worldview and apprecciate the facts that humans are a part of a unique living ecology rather than masters. they seem to me to be very much a small number in comparision . Attitudes are changing. Whilst I may see that Lara was indeed praising nature through christian eyes. I said that if we take the time to observe "you may see that Nature does wonderful things seen and unseen all by itself.". in answer to Joe. I have a garden. nature is self regulating,self designed and selfsufficent. We are part of nature, so nuturing a vegetble is our nature too and easy to do. Yes I think food grows and multiplies all by itself, just go count the dandelions and nettles next Spring! or the berries or apples on trees now! all the vegetables that we eat were cultivated and breed in to garden varities from wild self seeding plants. this has brought us very big and sweet vegetables. It has also diminished the nutrional value( wild edible plants being much more nutrional than their cultivated cousins)lessened disease resistence and created a homogoneous attitude to food.This is the general outlook. 90%of varities of vegetables are no longer grown, according to The Irish Seed Savers. I also encourage people to harmonise with nature/life, garden, harvest wild food, eat tree crops(becuse they are our most permanent crops as well as providing much more). Lara thanks for for your response.even if you did'nt comment on my main point" baout the attitude within a "command" and give more biblical qoutes instead! I wonder If you understand what Im saying? are'nt we just blessed anyway . Enjoy the garlic after all it has no religion.

Joseph Feely said...

First of all I have to explicitly say All life is life from humans to vegtables and I would even claim a relationship with inanimate supposedly dead material such as rocks. To be explict about practice I don't think we should kill slugs I think it is unnecessary as appropriate practice in my view would just remove them to a wild area where they can remain alive, e.g. the canal which is nearby.

Secondly I think the holistic / web of life theory is valid but partial and we have to consider the interiors of all sentient beings and not just the exteriors as in the web of life approach. That said I'm not exactly sure what expliclity Pears means by "Holistic". He may distinguish holistic from web of life. I would be open to hearing a more expansive definition of "holistic".

Thirldy to respond directly to the focus on the word "command". I have some theological framework knowledge of jewish writings in the old testament. so when the old testament says "Go forth and multiply" this does not mean that God said explicity go forth and multiply what it means is: we find in ourselves the drive to procreate and this drive is taken up by the jews to be a principle to live by. this principle is written into their scriptures in a poetic way as God says "go forth and multiply" and it is the same for the trees with "br fruitful nd multiply". The same principle is applied.

Fourthly, evolution from hunter gatherers to horticulturalists was the first significant move man made which allowed him to free up to do other things, like build a community. One might say that hunter gathers had their own kind of community but what I'm trying to highlight is that if someone else is taking care of the security of food supply it frees certain individuals up to think about other thinks. they can then not just think about food, sex, shelter and comfort, but can build a more sustainable relationship with nature - e.g the tribal village and so on. I recognise that their are and have been parts of the world that man has or had not discovered and that nature in these places does not seem to be for the purpose of mankind, however this does not mean that mans responsibliity for cultivating a harmonious and sustainable bioshere is any the lesser.

johnseo said...

Thanks for the gardening hydroponics article, we will add to our hydroponics garden blog, http://www.hydroponicswholesale.com/blog thanks Jeff Hydroponics