Archive for May, 2011

Ice-cream between performances Or: Who is that hobo in the bus stop?

May 5, 2011

apricot honey icecream mmmmmm And look no watch! (Truly time out!)

How is everything going here?

Been selling stuff that’s officially ‘Organic’ since March 2010.  Outlet is a flimsy shed bought on-line. Income is accounted for by customer honesty via a money box tray donated by my most loyal and supportive customer.

Not delivering the boxes because an average of £5 a day takings, before costs taken out, was not a lot considering the slog and investment that went in.

I was saying yesterday, in my support worker role, that my garden is not a god to be worshipped and obeyed, though I accept that in practice, that was how it seemed.

<says aside, ‘funny how disconnected-from-the-land preachers might have condemned me for that, while going for the cheapest possible groceries for their meals of fellowship! What kind of spiritual ‘leisure’ did the slaves who grew it have?’>

I am committed to an agreement to apply to be in the Organic Farming Scheme for the next year and a half. I’m due one more inspection on that count. This means that I can then qualify for European Union money, channelled via the Welsh assembly Government (WAG) Or as I dub them, War Against Gardeners which almost covers the cost of certification. If I thought that I was not ever going to become profitable enough to justify this certification before the 5 years were up, I could pull out and stop claiming and pay back all the money I’ve had so far. (Certification costs over £470 annually now.) Or I can make sure that all 6 of the decent carrots I grow and all the brassicas I’ve grown and composted and all the rhubarb that I’ve grown; about 50 plants, to keep the Treehouse supplied if they wanted it after all, are all grown according to the Organic Regulations as stipulated in European Law, and monitored by the private control body, Quality Welsh Foods Certification Ltd. This way I get approval and can complete the Organic Farming Scheme application in the SAF which all farmers have to fill in each year.

I feel like a 15 year old biding my time at school until the legal leaving age!

However, I still enjoy doing the growing and finding that a few days a week I have sold some of the produce. I am not giving up.

The many oaks I grew from acorns in the year I started the business are in new leaf. One or two casualties of the long dry springs of the past 4 years have to be accepted with a philosophical shrug. The Welsh poppy seed  Catie and I scattered in the dry soil around the newly planted saplings have, here and there, resulted in bright orange and yellow sunspots amongst the long grasses.

I have no salads in the shop today because instead of harvesting I’ve been messing around trying (in vain) to update and illustrate my other blog: http://www.jowdy.wordpress.com

I now work as a support worker for adults with learning disabilities three late afternoon / evenings a week. I sometimes managed to get in some deliveries before an afternoon shift.  But I didn’t pursue more orders.

Support work is exhausting and draining. Not because of the people we support usually; it’s the organisational hierarchy and red tape that’s paralysing. The ‘challenging behaviour’, as its nicely called can be traumatic sometimes. All credit to the current manager that we don’t get spat on, kicked and pushed around routinely as once we did. As a consequence of the job overspill into life and time off there is not the same degree of focus and drive available for the business. To a degree the ‘battlecry’ has died in my heart. That is probably why I lost my market with The Treehouse in Aberystwyth.

I was indignant for several reasons towards my employer and The Treehouse. More the latter, who didn’t warn me when I told them of the imminent readiness of various crops, that they wouldn’t be wanting them after all the risk and work had been undertaken by me!

I felt a similar sense of being slumped in a bus-stop like a half witted ‘hobo’ when the teaching didn’t work out. Again, I am wondering why I’m here with no ticket to ride!

But really, need I get work satisfaction (and I admit, parental approval) from work that pays? If the world doesn’t value what I do that possibly indicates that I’m working against the world’s values and therefore, for God’s?

I have been taught that I am a rebel, perverse and I know I am idealistic. This makes working for employers really painful for me!

Can anyone hear me out there?

The thing is I am only a rebel against what is wrong, and perverse about co-operating with ways of doing things that enforce abuses of power: Keeping the status quo for the sake of those who don’t want to have their motives or comfort zones challenged.

Being holistic in the way I think, this will be hard for me, but I need to compartmentalise my life and thinking. Work…for money only, nothing to do with my vision or ideals!

Then I can live and I’m going to try playing!

I have lots of things I love doing. I like to paint and write, sewing and gardening are also useful hobbies. When I get the rare chance, I like to cook new things. Though with cooking and sewing and making flowers-a-growing I am beginning to sound like a Bob Dylan song, worse, a woman trying in vain to please someone who never will be pleased…I am good at understanding others’ pain…for Heaven’s sake! And that is veering off playing in the sense of enjoying childhood, which is where I think I’ll head.

By the way, Owen, or any of my many readers who are colleagues, I warn you now: Just because the business has unravelled it doesn’t give you free reign to unravel me too; an inevitable consequence of making me do ‘sleep ins’!


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