Energy and Culture on an Urban Farm

Today I emptied the chicken coops (mostly) of straw and manure and placed the straw and manure in the existing compost beds at Mezzacello. But I also need to work a full time job. so this is a reflection on energy and culture 101.

It took me three hours to muck the coop today. I was alone and I had to keep the animals happy as well. It’s not just moving stuff from one place to another, it’s also about placing it in the right area.

Read Your Notes

I have notes from last years harvest that I need to reference and adapt this year’s manure and compost to. What beds were fallow or infected? Where am I growing onions or peas?

It’s an easy thing to go to the grocery to buy what you need. It takes planning, effort and energy to make that food happen in real life. Last year I had a sever nematode infection that I would have died from; nothing could grow in half my beds.

Live requires diversity and adaptation. In such a small space as I have to optimize life, I really need to pay attention to what, where, when I am planting. I have help; the animals love to turn the beds for me, and it is really beneficial.

St. Patrick’s Day

This is the culture part. I have to get my day job done. I have friends that want me to come play.

Surely you can take a few hours off?


I have a dear friend whose show is opening tonight and I really want to see it, I have another friend who wants me to come to St Patrick’s Day Party tonight. I want to help my parents with their chores today. Yet another friend has invited us to a chorus show and lunch tomorrow.

When am I to get all of this time sensitive work done? It needs a month to rot down and draw life up into it. I have to get this done.

Time Sensitive

I know it sounds like I am humble-bragging. So many fun things to do. But the work also needs to get done.

In the 19th Century and even in the early 20th Century, people would have starved. This is important work that I need to do, or all the work on my proof of concept is for naught. Reflect on that: starve or be wrong.

Do The Work

I choose to think both ways. My mission is Grow, maintain, sustain, explain. I can’t commit to that – and pretend that half of my time is not committed to life, can I?

Cheating mother nature is a bad call. It’s the tale as old as time, and it is still as true as it can be,

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