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Somewhat related to Farm Wisdom, there’s Field Songs.

Even though there’s usually 3-4 of us in a field doing whatever at any given moment, fields are large, after all, and there’s usually long stretches of silent solitude. I usually spend this time cursing whatever I’m harvesting, thinking about sleep and/or lemonade, or willing hellfire to rain from the skies and destroy all gnats, but when I’m not doing one of those three things, I’m replacing the lyrics to well-known songs in my head with more farm-centric lyrics.

Two recent favorites:
“SquashPants Buttrot”
Squash gets this thing we call butt rot–it’s when the end of the squash where the squash blossom was starts to prematurely rot and take out half the squash. Hence, butt rot. Also, when harvesting squash, the blossom end 85% of the time is somewhat gooey, requiring you to clean up the squash. Usually all you have to do this…is your pants. Hence, squash pants. Just add someone talking about SpongeBob earlier, and my head gives you: “Who lives in a bush that’s bigger than meeeeee SQUASHPANTS BUTTROT! Long and cylindrical, gooey is he SQUASHPANTS BUTTROT!” etc.

Bean Beetle Paradise
Green/string beans grow on small bushy plants that are LOVED by these electric yellow fuzzy bugs called Mexican Bean Beetles. As I was harvesting beans today, one of the plants was effing COVERED in them, which prompted without warning from my conscious mind: “been living most our lives livin’ in a bean beetle paradise. No beans for you next Fri, livin’ in a bean beeeee-tle paradise”

Also, somewhat related, it’s incredibly odd to be walking around the Purcellville Giant when the Ghostbusters theme comes on over the muzak system and literally no one reacts. Did someone accidentally dial in the Halloween station? So weird. “You’re shopping for beer eh? BUSTIN’ MAKES ME FEEL GOOOOOD!”

So weird.

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Completely obsessed with roasting whole, large cherry/pearl tomatoes in the oven tossed w/ olive oil and sea salt. If you’re not destroying a pan of these every night, you’re causing yourself unnecessary deprivation. NOMNOMNOMNOM.

Instructions: wash and dry whole, large (organic, dammit) cherry tomatoes. Toss with olive oil on a foil-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. Roast at 400 degrees for 35 – 40 minutes or until they start to burst. Chiffonade some fresh basil. Sprinkle on top. Destroy.

PS: this is coming from someone that is not a superfan of raw tomatoes. I don’t hate them, but this puts tomatoes in a whole ‘nother category.

…the Tuesday Six is late.

In the meantime, you should check out some awesome Bernese Mountain dogs piling into a truck and then learn about leaving stuff alone with Leighton Meester (this is hilarious, trust me).

The irony, of course, being that the man that encouraged us to fight to make it to 30 without shooting ourselves in the head took his own life shortly thereafter.

David Foster Wallace on Life and Work:
“The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.”

Fight to remember, especially when trapped in line at the grocery store.

Scott Zagarino addresses this year's FGB participants

Scott Zagarino of Athletes for a Cure addresses this year's FGB participants

What does a “volunteer” look like? I think there’s a general misunderstanding about community volunteering and philanthropy among members of my generation.

A person, say, isn’t religious (and may associate volunteering with church service). Another doesn’t like being around the elderly, working on skid row, dealing with animals, children in general, or being around sickness, so these people don’t volunteer for anything, ever. At all.

That’s ridiculous.

I’m a fairly introverted person—I like to be in new and interesting situations, but can sometimes find directly dealing with strangers, or suddenly having someone I don’t know be dependent on me, or dealing with people in despondent positions very stressful. And while I love animals, and people of all shapes and sizes, and helping the environment, hard-line grassroots initiatives that put volunteers on the frontlines of death, disease and environmental destruction are a bit much for my taste. I’m not a protester or a marcher or a picketer or a candy-striper or a soup-kitchen-working bleeding hearter.

But I’ve always wanted to help.

Living in LA, especially, there’s so many opportunities to help out and give back even if you’re not steel-nerved and flamingly extroverted. I started by checking out Heal the Bay and the Surfrider Foundation and became a contributing member of both. Both organizations have monthly beach and stream clean-ups in the LA metro area, offer community education, and throw large-scale fundraising events for the improvement of water quality, not only up and down the Pacific seaboard, but in the case of Surfrider, internationally.

I now participate yearly in “Fight Gone Bad” which is a national Crossfit event to raise money for prostate cancer research, as well as returning veterans that have been wounded in the line of duty. I’ve also participated in AIDS Walk Los Angeles, raising over 500 dollars by myself towards AIDS research one year.

So, like animals, but can’t bear to volunteer at a shelter? Try something like the Pasadena Wiggle Waggle Walk.

Have extra fruit and produce growing in your yard, but don’t know how to contribute it to those in need? Try finding a food co-op in your area such as this one, Food Forward, featured in the LA Times.

The list goes on and on…

Do good, live well, give back. It matters!