Thua Chin and Xi Gua: Good Food and Good Feels in the Asian Food Garden
I swear the gardens love to play tricks on us. No sooner am I wondering if the Asian veggie seeds we planted in June are ever going to produce, when my husband hollers to me from the main food garden to let me know that our Thua Chins (Thai purple-podded, yard-long beans) are not only in, but already a yard long. Wait, what? That happened as if overnight. Or more accurately, I just didn’t check in with that part of the garden for just a few days, and suddenly, there they are.
We have lots of them: anyone interested in some Thai stir fry? We’re definitely going to be saving the seeds from these great cultivars. Also, our Xi Gua (Chinese watermelon) have appeared, and a couple are already mature. They only grow as big as small cantaloupes, with a bright, yellow flesh. So tonight, dinner is a vegan, Thai stir fry with our own Thua Chins, and a bowl of cold Xi Gua on the side. I’m so psyched.
Our green Thua Chins are coming in, but they’re not nearly as long and fat as the purples. Let’s see how they taste. If the flavor is right, they’ll be worth growing again. We’re going to do Asian gardens again next year, if we’re alive and well. And we’ll probably throw some new varieties into the mix. These Asian veggies are giving me great feels.
The Italian sunflowers are blooming all shades of yellow, orange, red, brown, burgundy, and black. The imported (Franchi) seeds are totally worth the minor extra expense. The range of colors is amazing. Our two relatively small sunflower fields look like a summer scene in Umbria or Tuscany. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful. Thank you, Mother Earth!
Memes are cool: I’ll admit that I often surf Instagram for funny memes. But this morning, I found one that isn’t funny, but beautifully simple and true. It was spoken by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, may his name endure forever. It was just this: ‘Love is the absence of judgement.’
How perfect is that? It’s everything we need to say about love. By refraining from judgement, we will as a consequence refrain from abusing and hurting each other, lying to and deceiving each other, fighting with one another, oppressing each other, cheating each other, and killing each other. And by ‘each other’, I refer to all sentient beings, just as His Holiness does.
This encapsulates everything we must do in one supremely powerful act: refrain from judgement. The emphasis on mass consumption as a pathway to happiness will disappear into the mist: consumerist and capitalist systems will be derailed. Racism and sexism will fall away, at last. The suffering of animals will halt: ‘animal agriculture’ will disappear as an industry. The utterly corrupt banking systems will be torn down, dispensed with, and restructured as something completely new. No children will starve or be exploited. No women will be raped and enslaved. There will be no need for religion or religious conflict, baseless dogma, or governing ideology. Terrorism will pass into oblivion. War will be wiped out. The Earth will heal, and so will we.
Sounds like the utopian vision of some head-in-the-clouds, radical hippie. Call it whatever you want. It’s within reach, I know it. It would take a long time and a lot of change, but it’s within reach. We humans are functioning far below our potential. With the rise and generalized acceptance of fanatic views and actions, and the ensuing and daily fear, anger, violence, and death, it’s easy to see that we’ve been backing the wrong horse the whole time.
A fundamental and significant shift will begin once we start to realize that our thinking has been defective and is destroying the planet. If there’s to be any future to look forward to, we can and must redeem ourselves and the Earth. Our potential as a species is within reach. Believe it.
Much love,Barbie xo