Organic Vegetable Gardening as Zen Activity

Growing organic vegetables on a year-round basis can, like any other activity, be a pleasureful form of life rather than 'work' or, worse, 'a chore'. At the same time, growing organic vegetables on a year-round basis demands a certain discipline, attention to

the needs of the plants--watering, weeding, pruning, etc. are part of the daily activities that keep your garden going.

Figure 1. In our backyard, we grow a variety of vegetables. Year-round, we supply our vegetable needs from this garden, having learned to eat 'au fil de la saison', that is, the vegetables currently in season. A small greenhouse in the background, and other, temporary covers allow us to extend the season and protect the crop from weather and insects.

Gardening is one of those activities that I engage in on a daily basis, which at the same time is a form of mediation--next to writing, cooking, and cycling. All demand practice, but all yield understanding. This understanding often are not in the form of verbal propositions--which to Derrida is part of the Western (phal)logo-centrism. Rather, this understanding is part of the background against which all my conscious activity occurs and which makes this activity possible. However, gardening, as all my other activities, provide me with resources of reflection, which by its very nature, yields formal, expressible knowledge that directly influences what I am writing.

The garden is a continuing project and by the time you read this, it already has expanded, new areas and plants have been added, a new pathway links the existing ones and the greenhouse in the back.

On the following pages, you can see some of the plants and plantations in more detail.