Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Global gardening

an array of vegetables and fish, Vientiane, Laos

I bumbled onto a cool device called Feedjit visiting a fellow blogger's site (thanks, Beverly!) It tracks where people who are reading your blog are located.

Muang Sing market, northern Laos (near the Chinese border)

I enjoy making blog posts (for myself) because it helps me keep track of what I've noticed in my own garden (or the botanical garden where I work) and what I'm currently thinking about in terms of gardening and nature, worrying about our current drought, and what I'm needing to plant next in the vegetable garden or the meadow, etc.

Otavalo market, Ecuador

But as someone who loves to explore distant parts of the world (my gardening companion shares this enthusiasm and he takes the travel photos), I'm delighted to hear from someone in Japan, Malaysia, or the Philippines (in addition to anywhere in North or South America or Europe or Africa or Australia or elsewhere in Asia).

sugarcane and buyers, BacHa market, northern Vietnam

It's humbling to realize that someone in Egypt somehow stumbled onto to a post that I made -- it makes being part of the global community so much more real. We all depend on plants for sustenance -- and the connections and understanding and ease of obtaining those things differs.

My gardening companion and I have been fortunate enough to poke around markets, natural areas, and gardens in a number of places -- the markets and home gardens provide inspiration and encouragement about growing a diversity of other vegetables, but more importantly, help us get a better sense of the interplay between food, culture, and the resources and work that it takes to grow an abundance and diversity of food.

Bulati market, Tanzania, Crater Highlands

breakfast at the market, Otavalo, Ecuador

selling peas, Otavalo, Ecuador

squash and edible gourds, Mysore, India


  1. Too funny, I just re-read this piece to discover if the photos were yours (I wish I could travel)...and I discovered my name! LOL

    You do good work...the things you write about encourages us all; you convince us to try things we might not, your stories teach us to let go of the stuff that doesn’t work and to relish the stuff that does, your photos remind us we are all neighbors.

    I’ll tell you something though…the four-year photo-journal of how you transformed your yard is somewhat formidable! Yeah, you do good work, alright!!!

    Thank you,

  2. Beverly,
    Geez, thank you so much for the kind comments -- it touches me to read them. I'm glad you do find my stories encouraging -- it's what I try do in 'real life', so it's basically my natural voice.

    Now we didn't transform our yard overnight -- we've now been here almost 15 years. But it doesn't take long after you start planting. That's my message!

    And we may be plant people by background, but we definitely weren't 'expert' gardeners when we started out -- far from it. I'll have to put together a timeline gallery one of these days.

    Part of the story is in my presentation about Gardening for nature on my 'official' website ( Lots more travel photos there, too, by my gardening companion (aka my husband)!



Please share your thoughts. I enjoy hearing from fellow nature observers, as well as whomever else drops by.

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