10 December 2006


Once there was a well known philosopher and scholar who devoted himself to the study of Zen for many years. On the day that he finally attained enlightenment, he took all of his books out into the yard, and burned them all.
I am often asked by people, "What do you do?".  As if the job defines the person, somehow made more mysterious by my living in the countryside, trying to be slightly self-sufficient.

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I answered, "I am a Research Gardener."

The look of confusion and perplexity on peoples' faces is worth it, since mostly they know me as a computer geek.

Last week I was in Cape Town, visiting friends, among them a Master of organic market gardening.  He was describing how he constantly questions the conventional wisdoms of the organic movement.  Applying simple logic, experimentation and observation to achieve astonishing results.  I said to him, "Ah! So you are a Research Gardener, too!"

Perhaps one day soon I shall burn my gardening books.

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