The Corn is as High as an Elephants Eye

A late start today due to monsoons and delayed flights thankfully gives me time to reflect on yesterday morning. We had the joyous opportunity to work with Michelle and Mason in the New Buffalo garden yesterday. Somehow weeding the corn and planting brussel sprouts made everything connect.

It was a beautiful clear-blue-sky kind of day and the whole team set itself to transplanting and sowing with the same enthusiasm I’ve seen it bring to (almost) every day of excavation. Seeing every bed in the garden with at least one care-taker bending over it to weed or water was a sight to behold. Let’s call the atmosphere bee-hive like and my mood ecstatic. I’d never gotten a chance to work this extensively in the garden (besides a few bouts of watering here and there) and given the closeness of our project to this place that continues to live with us in it it seemed wholly appropriate. I love the connectivity of everything that goes on there: a pulled weed gets thrown to a chicken, who then fertilizes the garden, or even more simply a bed planted with tomato and basil (the pasta plot!) will soon be ripe for primavera. Gardening and farming was an important part of the origins of New Buffalo and it gives great context and a sense of continuity to see how it persists (however different – thankfully). Michelle, Andrew, and Mason (soon to leave New Buffalo for Oregon) have worked really hard to get the garden up to snuff, and the leaps and bounds it’s taken since last year are incredible!

Working in the garden (and getting a nap in at lunch) left me with such a great feeling that setting up the total station in the afternoon, under the threat of giant storm heads, was a snap. ClockPunk, Darryl, Beatrix and I spent a speedy afternoon mapping in various community structures, including a sweat lodge that, while now defunct, clearly shows great concern with cardinal directions (something to ask the hippie informants about!). One thing I love about total station mapping is getting in a groove and being able to shoot a point in about 15 seconds flat. The four of us make a great team within Team.

Which brings us to this morning — with a new crew member Matt and a new project to start. Today we head out to the gorge to start work on the Pictured Tipi site near Pilar. Given that I spent the last year writing on the site I’m looking forward to it — however traumatic revisiting the locus of Thesis Crisis may be.


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