Hard Work, Still Beautiful.

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Avatar for JonicaBradley
2 years ago

“Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful,’ and sitting in the shade.” – Rudyard Kipling

I love this quote because whether for flowers or food, gardens are work. A lot of work. Often in unforgiving temperatures or humidity. Often in hard packed dirt. Often a way between bugs and birds and plants and planters. Often a way between gardener and the plants we don't have a use for (weeds).

MyNun, the only nun, who lived at the Buddhist temple where I stayed for a few days in Laos had a garden.

I never saw her tend her garden. I don't know is she had weeds or pests. Her plants were lush and tall, however. It could have been the Laotian climate. The temple was in the middle of a patch of jungle.

I mean, Savannakhet, the second largest city in Laos, was in the middle of a patch of jungle! People living in S.E. Asia know what I'm talking about.

My point about MyNun is I know the Buddhist attitude to life. Don't kill even insects. But aren't plants alive? So is pulling up plants considered taking life? How did she control weeds and pests?

Most Buddhists are vegetarians. But Monks and Nuns eat what the community provides. They are allowed to eat meat of it is placed in their donation bowl. Monks and Nuns concern themselves with the enlightenment of the populace, preforming blessings of every kind. Most won't get paid to work and subsist on donations. I donated a new tile floor for the daily worship area used by MyNun.

I also donated, at her requests several cans of Off! insect spray. She didn't like mosquitos any more than I did, but she would just wave them away. My instinct was always to slap them.

As a matter of fact, the first morning I was there, during second prayers (the first prayers were before sunup around 4:30 a.m. - second prayers were around 7:00 a.m.) They young monk (I called him a baby monk - he was only 14) was leaving the prayers and a mosquito landed on me! I slapped it! I was mortified!!

So, though the Buddhist tradition is to not take a life, any life, and to not eat meat, there seen to be exceptions to the rule.

Though I was considered a novice Nun during my stay at the temple, and though I really appreciate much of the Theravada Buddhism philosophy, I am still very far from enlightenment.

I have fly traps everywhere. Sticky paper and those disgusting stinky ones that are filled with water and purified egg solids that the flies get into and can't get out of and drown to death.

I am at war with all the posts in my garden. I allow my husband to spray which kills the worms and insects big and little. I pull tomato worms off of plants and toss them to the chickens. I even intentionally stepped on these two to do their reproductive cycle.

Mating grasshoppers or locusts

I pull weeds up by their roots. I pick flowers just to look at. I would not make a good Buddhist Nun. But I enjoy my wars and hard work. I love eating fresh foods. Vegetables AND meat.

I'm sure in some countries those two bugs would be considered a delicacy. In Laos, I ate 2 different kinds of insects, a cricket and a bug we call a stink bug.

There different kind of bugs doing in baskets in the home of our friends.

I didn't really enjoy the bugs I ate. Although, the worst part was the little legs that got stuck in my teeth. Apparently, you are supposed to peel the legs off. Like a shrimp.

Since I didn't enjoy eating the bugs, I did not consider the mating insects to be food. They had to die. They were eating the plants I DO consider food!

Insect damaged kale

The last time Keith, my husband, and I were out in the garden together we saw so much bug damage. That's when we decided to spray.

Before spraying, we had to harvest as much as possible, because the chemical used can be very toxic to humans of ingested too soon. Summer plants need to be left uneaten longer than others.

The swiss chard for example. We need to wait a couple of weeks before we can eat that. I keep harvesting it, but it goes into the compost heap.

Baby watermelon too small to pick.

Other garden goodies aren't mature enough to eat anyway.

The watermelon, tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers, for example. Oh! and the second growth cabbage heads I hadn't yet harvested.

Tiny zucchinis

I'm going to just publish this now, as is. I have a much longer outline and a few more photos. I'll include those when I'm back to writing, or write another article altogether.

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2 years ago

Comments

It is kind of funny, when you think about it, that we choose which things must stay and which things must go. Even when I did pest control, rats and mice and bugs were killed. But if I trapped a racoon, he lived.

It is what it is, I suppose. I'd not make a good Buddhist either. lol

$ 0.03
2 years ago

We have a few pots of vegetables in our backyard, well those insects are having a feast 😂

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2 years ago

I wish to visit a Buddhist temple someday.

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2 years ago

They are beautiful. Stupas and temples all over Laos. I was very happy there.

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2 years ago

Would love to be there one day :)

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2 years ago

Zucchinis is my favorite vegetable. Yeah! I believe like you hard work make you beautiful. Locusts are more adopted in your country. Bugs need Contaminated food for survival. Wish you more charm to you.

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2 years ago

Thanks, Zeshan.

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2 years ago

It's my first time to see a photo of grasshoppers mating. The color is different also cause here in the Philippines, I only see grasshoppers that are color green. Hard work really pays off.

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2 years ago

They may be locusts. Which look a lot like grasshoppers. These things are HUGE.

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2 years ago

I always struggle with killing insects, especially mosquitos. They bite, they die! Most meditators struggle with it too - sometimes the bug is dead before we have even though about it! I think it takes a lot of practice and philosophy to not want to kill a mozzie in the room, I tell ya! But they're just as important for the planet as an elephant, I guess.

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2 years ago

MyNun (I never did know her name) taught me walking meditation. That was GREAT! Much easier for me than sitting meditation.

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2 years ago

Pretty cool one my friend Hehehe.

So the bugs had to suffer a loss as a result of the damage they caused

I don’t think we eat bugs here. But there is this insect we do eat “termite” I think. They are sweet and nutritious. But sometimes I get tired of taking them

And the melon fruit looks so cool

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2 years ago

Hard work pays a lot. The result of work is more work. I smiled as I read through this post. Gardening or should I say farming, the basic unit of life for some of us.

I once had such a garden where I grew pumpkin, garden eggs, and jute leaves.

Trust me, pests can disturb gardens. Bush rodents are good at disturbing grain plants while insects are all out to eat up the veggies.

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2 years ago

What are garden eggs?

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2 years ago

🍆 eggplant or Aubergine. We call it garden egg in local English.

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2 years ago

I thought maybe eggs laid by birds in the garden. lol. I don't much care for eggplant. I'll eat it, but I've never grown it. I don't know if it would do well here, or not. Brussel sprouts so very well. Broccoli, too. Might give garden eggs a try. I'm always going to call it that now!

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2 years ago

I think eggplants do well in a garden that has loamy soil. You can add cucumber too. Only that you may need to run a water pipe to root. Cucumber does well where the land is always wet or waterlogged.

Our lands in West Africa can grow Broccoli without stress. Even spring onions does well here too. Apple is a no go area here. I have tried often but it keeps failing.

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2 years ago

I know apples like cold weather. They do well on the east coast of the U.S. It might be the heat there. I'm completely unfamiliar with your weather/climate.

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2 years ago

I'm about to plant lemon seeds. I don't think they will do very well in extreme cold, so I may need to make them indoor lemon trees. The seeds are from my friend in southern California. I know it doesn't get as cold (or as hot) there as it does here. I'll document their progress.

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2 years ago

F! me I nearly spilt my coffee on my laptop haha

I was busy reading then bam, if dogs do it doggie style is that groggy style !

A shame the pests are having a field day, and yes be careful with what you use, as don't want you or hubby getting any side effects!

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2 years ago

Not sure is that's what they mean by "garden porn"...

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2 years ago

Hard work pays mama, the outcome of hardworking is success, at the beginning all efforts might look abortive but the end results of it is celebration... farm or gardener who putting all efforts and workhard SMILE at the very end

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2 years ago

Yes. I love the labor of love.

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2 years ago