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The Cottagecore Coder

Year 2 of Gardening

It’s time for a third post from the Cottagecore Coder!

My first year garden did not go well. Between the chipmunks, cutest things ever, woodchucks/groundhogs, squirrels, and snails, and and and…. Mostly, the house I was living at just didn’t have enough light anywhere I could get away with planting within the HOA rules. The spot I picked had enough light, until the trees’ leaves came back! I am too embarrassed to show you the tiny slivers of beets I grew. The total output of my garden for the whole year fit in a large salad bowl.

Truth be told, I didn’t really mind that creatures were eating my plants because it brought the cutest fluffies to the yard!!! I cried the first time I saw a groundhog run. Those things are so freaking adorable. Squirrel-bears! Groundhogs, squirrels, and chipmunks are all types of squirrels! There are 25 species of chipmunks and 50 genera of squirrles, oh my adorbs! This go around I'm trying cheesecloth as a cover on the plants - there are less creatures here.

When planting my second year garden today in a new place, I was much more aware of and struck by the magic of gardening. It comes naturally, my body wants to do it without me thinking about it, which is a really nice feeling. Putting seeds in the containers made me feel the magic of life, and the magic of gardening. The wonder of giving life, tending to it, while tending to myself. The magic that you can put a tiny seed in the ground and nature, soil, sunlight, some organic fertilizer, grows something delicious you can eat, or that pollinators can eat. It's delightful. It really feels like magic.

Agroforestry people I’ve met seem immersed in that magic. They are the spirit of the trees, or their demeanor is soft and in tune with stacking life on life and being in that.

It’s powerful, this magic. Magic is the word that comes to mind. You feel it, it becomes you. I felt like a fairy while watering my newly planted seeds. At peace, and calm.

It’s a similar feeling as when you eat magic mushrooms, when the doors of the magic of nature open to you and you see the vibrant emanations of life from every plant and creature you see, even the mist in the air. You don’t have to freak yourself out with powerful psychedelics to experience that magic.

While building Bloom Network, which has been a lot of heads down engineering and economic hacker work, unpaid for a long period of time, I’ve been dreaming of living somewhere where I spend a decent amount of my day being a gardener.

A lot of coders have this same desire. At least in the Ethereum community, many of them are talking about it, doing experiments of self-sustainable cooperating living, visiting ecovillages that are farther along on that. Dreaming of cooperatively purchasing property and living in a balanced way together, with a global network of such places to freely travel between. Ethereum even has a phrase central to its development: “The Infinite Garden”. I.e., when you align technological, economic, and cultural innovation toward freedom. The win-win game.

I’m already oggling perennial plants for when I buy property. Very excited about a fruit orchard one day. In the meantime, I’ll learn how to do that in an agroforestry way where there are smaller food and medicine plants amidst the fruit trees.

Honestly my biggest disappointment about gardening so far is that you don't have to water your plants in New Hampshire because it rains often. I grew up in the Great Plains where crops have to be irrigated (at the least the industrial monocrop ones do). Fun fact, I know how to set an irrigation pipe and drive a tractor (it was the first vehicle I drove, when I was 6).

But seriously, how can I spend more time gardening in the summer? I think the trick is maybe that I need to plan my garden so there is always something to harvest and share with people :D. Invite friends over to process or grow so much I have abundance I need to give to people in exchange for FLO (Flowers) :), Bloom Network's community currency.

I could share an update about my coding journey as well, but today I’m in the garden magic and I hope I’ve given you a glimpse of what that feels like. If this sparks your inner gardener to life, consider planting a few herbs in pots in your kitchen by a window, or a backyard container garden - fabric pots are cheap, you can garden out of plastic buckets if you want to, terra cotta planters, or in the ground if you have a yard. Just begin! You won’t regret it.

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