Life is a bowl of cherries

It’s cherry season!!


There are two sweet cherry trees on 28th Street, and my they have grown. One of them was in the fire we experienced November of 2017, and got pretty charred on one side because the redwood shed burned to the ground, and they were close together. The trees also suffer from ants setting aphids on the leaves. Sometimes the leaves curl beyond recognition, especially on the tips. And man, they really want to grow tall. I keep ’em pretty short with summer pruning. Despite these problems, the cherry trees are fruiting and surviving.

There’s something about cherry trees–I associate them with luck, maybe because of a slot machine toy I had as a child? When I look up into a tree and see those happy red cherries dangling up in the canopy, my heart opens up. Especially when the sky is so blue, and the leaves are so green. What a crazy color combo.

While we were picking cherries, I was thinking about what I had read in an online class that I just signed up for. The class is one of a series of online lady permaculture teachings. This feminine angle is crucial for me–I’ve had a knee-jerk reaction against permaculture because in the aughts when I was learning more about it, it was always taught by some white guy. I’m sure a white guy can teach a permaculture class but why was it always a white guy? It made me feel weird. So the free class I signed up was just what I had been craving, the thing that had been missing from the teachings I had experienced before: it’s called Emotional Permaculture. It’s taught by Heather Jo Flores, of Food Not Lawns fame. What I love about her and this project is they are coming at permaculture from a female perspective, where the emotional landscape is just as important as your garden landscape. Here’s a quote from the course:

In the current culture of political and environmental chaos, it is more important than ever that we cultivate a personal ability to not only endure catastrophic conditions, but also to find joy in the process. 

My kid, Frannie, climbed up into the tree and picked a bunch of cherries. I have a photo of her from six years ago when the trees were first planted. franwithcherrytree

My friend Jibril, who caretakes the garden now, said he got quite a few cherries too, before the birds did. As we drove off, I thought about Flores’s words again: we are enduring and finding joy, even though there has been–and always will be–pain too.


5 responses to “Life is a bowl of cherries

  1. I am happy to hear you are still getting to enjoy the boundy from the cherry trees. What lovely photos, especially of your daughter! I treasure the early photos of my garden with my kids when they were little, gobbling up blackberries or making mud pies. They grow too fast, both kids and fruit trees.

  2. Man, I am so bummed that instead of treating people with equality, you’ve joined the social justice warriors. Who the hell cares what color a persons skin is or their sex if they know what they are talking about? You are such an awesome writer and I’ve found inspiration in so many things you’ve written, why go down this PC road? I don’t understand what any of this has to do with gardening/farming. Everyone should be treated equally, not specially. By treating people with special rights, you eliminate factions of people and create more division . Does having the knowledge no matter what sex or race even matter anymore? Cheers for getting back to the earth but the editorial SJW input isn’t necessary, in my opinion.

  3. Marian Smith

    I am thrilled to see you posting again!

  4. Claudia McConnell

    Hi Novella
    Great to read your blog again ! And you are taking the same permiculture course as myself. The online classes are awesome. Stay well
    P.s. i like the SJW 😉

  5. Hi Novella!

    I’ve been thinking of you lately— we’re about to get some chickens for the vegetable garden we tend with Sylvie in Fort Greene Park a couple blocks from where we live. Much love to you, Bill and Frannie!!

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