Tag Archives: diversity

One Branch of Many

A heartfelt comment on diversity from a non-speaker with autism:

Why do you think people like us were made, were born

Mankind expresses itself finely in variety
We are one branch of many on a long lots-of-leaves diverse and wonderful beauty tree

I know that each leaf has a value and meaning to the life in itself. So our mission is to prove it. We have launched out of the door. I am wondering and looking forward to what outside the door looks like.

via the Wretches and Jabberers movie

Starchy Perennial Plant Ally: Sunchoke

A long term steward of the northeast, Sunchoke aka Earth Apple aka Jerusalem Artichoke aka Helianthus tuberosus. This plant is a sunflower species with a starchy, potato-like root that propagates itself (usually easily) from year to year.

In the video below, Ben Falk harvests and discusses a 400sq.ft. area that grows sunchokes year after year, with minimal maintenance, while building soil. This year’s harvest offers 90lbs of starchy “J-choke” tubers, leaving some in soil to regrow the patch for next year’s harvest. He notes using them as pureed soup after some slow cooking, as well as pickling and lactofermenting them. I have only had them a few times. When I cooked them I cut them thin and stir fried them, cooking them for a while and adding other veggies and seasoning into the mix. They are dense plants and feel like a good staple, able to significantly help mitigate ‘the hunger gap’ as Ben says regarding strains on food supplies and ecology. I look forward to growing, harvesting, and cooking more of this perennial plant ally.

I give thanks.

The Importance of Diversity in Life

Among the regenerative and degenerative landscapes I’ve seen, diversity is a key factor in what kind of landscape one is. Agricultural landscapes annual (e.g. corn, soy) and perennial (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts) can restore or degrade ecosystem services depending on the diversity and complexity of the agro-life sytem. Eclectic interests keep one interested, diverse plant communities keep one resilient and rich (e.g. Biodiversity promotes primary productivity and growing season lengthening at the landscape scale Oehri et al. 2017). Life itself is a diversity, an emanating Tree of Life with unique branches to each one’s own.

It’s true that great practice in one specific area brings great fruits. Whether an excellent organic farm operation or a kick practiced 1,000 times, a la:

I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times.

Bruce Lee

Monopolies in business are a bitter-sweet example of this: bitter in how vulnerable and skewed the system can become; sweet in the fruits of specialization and the economies of scale if you’re on the good side of the skew.

However all the better that many kicks and maneuvers are practiced many times. On one level this applies to one’s own life in terms of adaptability and engagement with many aspects of life. On a spiritual level it is balance and vitality in the diverse branches of the Tree of Life. On another level this applies to the collection of many lives lived covering a diversity of ways: products in markets; species in ecosystems; geographies to live in; all the colors, shapes, sizes, and ways of life; forests.

Forests. What a vital instance of diversity in all our lives. Supporting, regulating, providing, and cultural. We humans are, after All, descended from arboreal creatures. Here’s to growing home!