"I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze...
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils."-Wordsworth

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Consciousness and the Story of the Solitary Grape

I have been researching bananas for my first issue topic on my blog. In the process I have found that the thing I am striving for the most out of this experience and the concept I want to stress the most is consciousness. How people use or ignore this newly-acquired consciousness is up to them.

I want to be conscious of what I am buying, conscious of the effects of my actions. I want to inspire people to want to know where in the world their food is coming from and how it is grown. I want them to think about how food production affects people’s lives- especially those growing the food. And I want to feel grateful for what I have access to, in order to recognize what many do not have.

I once went to a seminar in which each participant was given a single grape. We were told to eat it as if this was the last grape we would ever eat. In the span of a few minutes I looked at this grape, I chewed it slowly and focused on considering its flavor. This was the part of the seminar that I remember the most. I won’t say it was the best grape I ever had, giving in to cliché, but it was certainly the most conscious I have ever been while eating. I feel like most of the time eating involves shoveling down whatever you require to continue on with your day- maybe while watching tv or reading. Tomorrow I will challenge myself to consider what I am eating in the silent lack of entertainment such as tv or books.

I will continue on with the banana research (which is turning out to be way more involved than I thought) and hope to have enough to create a posting by Sunday. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who is this green girl and what is her mission?

Hello to anyone who has stumbled upon my little blog. I'm starting this up as part of my mission to educated myself and others on the topics of gardening, botany, sustainability and life in general. I am a current botany major interested in taking what I have learned about plant biology and applying it to others fields to examine how we use plants (and other resources as well).

The idea for this blog began while I was reading Wendell Berry's "Bringing It to the Table," for a natural resources class I am taking. Wendell talks about what it means to be sustainable, how we can farm sustainably in the setting of a small family farm and how consumers can affect the farm environment simply through choice of products. I highly suggest this book if you think little about the food you buy or wish to know more. Berry's suggestions are basic in their principles- relying much on older farming techniques utilized before our huge industrial revolution. I will definitely be pulling ideas from this book to examine in later posts.

Having examined my thought processes when I began college and compared them to now I realize how much more I think about where my food comes from and what I am supporting by buying it. Slowly I have learned how to cook and how to shop. Eventually I want to grow my own organic garden, when resources become available. Though I am a botany major I tend to kill things, so it may be a long learning process. I don't know that I can ever claim that I am fully living a sustainable life, but I am making little baby steps in that direction. That's all for now! Whitney

P.S. Coming soon is my first issue post- on the origin and production of bananas.