The Cost of Fashion, Overfed Peach Trees, and the Last Basil Planting

Just saw a great documentary called The True Cost. It’s peaked my awareness of where my clothes come from, the conditions under which they’re made, the human price of fashion, shoes, and purses, the role of corporate killer Monsanto in pesticide-laden cotton-growing and clothing manufacturing, the impact of consumer capitalism on people (women laborers in particular), the mind of the hyper-consumer, corporate-driven spending rituals like Black Friday and Christmas, and all the resulting damage to the Earth and its inhabitants.

It’s something I’ve given only superficial thought to in the past. I recommend this film. Let’s learn about, then act upon, the true cost of a $5 t-shirt from Bangladesh or China, or consider the environmental havoc that results from the noxious, chemical-crazy, cancer-causing, horrifically cruel-to-people-and-animals process of leather production. Why in the world are we still wearing the skins of animals anyway? Why are we still living like cavemen? It’s positively absurd.

Tomorrow, my husband and I are doing a sweeping purge of possessions. We’ve put the whole day aside for this. It’s been a long time coming. What’s not sold will be donated and given to friends. The objective is to lighten our load big time, and clear our minds.

Contrary to what modern economics would have us believe, accumulation is detrimental to happiness. Ask yourself if the things you’ve collected but rarely or never use are doing anything at all to bring you joy. I already know the answer. So do you.

I discovered the probable cause of our peachless peach trees. We applied a very high nitrogen fertilizer early in the season. Too much, it seems. It pushed a tremendous growth spurt in the trees, which have become wonderfully tall, thick, and leafy. But it was at the expense of fruit production. When a fruit tree is heaving all its energy into green growth and fattening up, there isn’t much fuel left for reproduction. No fruit. So next year, no fertilizer on the peaches at all.

The last basil planting has been done, and we have seedlings: about 20 plants. These will be our September basils. I gave them magnesium last night to boost growth and greenness. Basil is summer’s calling card. I’d like to make it last as long as possible.

So tonight, I go through the house and make the last sweep before tomorrow’s sale. This will be the big letting go: the things I’ve been coveting until now. They may be nice, they may be pretty, they may have use ‘someday’, but that’s all nonsense. If it doesn’t have a regular function in the here and now, if it doesn’t bring joy every day, then it needs a new home. And we need room to exhale.

Live in peace.

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