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'Farmer K' of Sunroot Gardens pranks local men's wellness group

City of Roses, Cascadia - 19 Sept. 2009 - This morning, shortly after 10am, 'Farmer K' of Sunroot Gardens, an urban survival gardening enterprise, pranked Manifest, a men's wellness group.

'Farmer K' opened the class by handing out cell number and email address, so that everyone could make contact on their own time, at some later date -- not that day -- for reasons that would shortly become obvious.

"My knowledge about cover cropping comes partly from books and talking to other farmers, but mostly from my own experiences and observations," claimed 'Farmer K'. "I am delighted to share everything I can, but I have nothing to sell."

'Farmer K' then noted that the fact that the day's class was not free-of-$-charge was not made known until the issuing of Manifest's email announcement thereof, to which 'Farmer K' was cc'd....
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"'Farmer K' of Sunroot Gardens pranks local men's wellness group"

City of Roses, Cascadia - 19 Sept. 2009 - This morning, shortly after 10am, 'Farmer K' of Sunroot Gardens, an urban survival gardening enterprise, pranked Manifest, a men's wellness group.

Earlier in the month, a member of Manifest had contacted 'Farmer K' about teaching a class as part of Manifest's Fall/Winter Gardening series. Taking into account the Season and the resources that Sunroot Gardens had to offer, it was agreed that 'Farmer K' would play instructor for a class on Cover Cropping for Winter. The class was to go from 10am to 1pm on Sept. 19, and was to include a lecture component, a tour of gardens where cover crops are already growing, and perhaps the planting of new crops in yet other gardens.

Cover cropping is an agricultural practice with many methodologies (and non-methodologies) that varies from farm-to-farm, region-to-region, and season-to-season. In Cascadia, mild Winter temperatures and plentiful precipitation allow for a broad variety of plant species to be grown as cover crops. Whether in a field of acres-in-size or a home plot of just a few hundred square feet, a winter cover crop serves the same purposes, among which are: the crowding out of unwanted, non-agricultural plant species (aka "weeds") until desired vegetable or field crops are planted; the improvement of soil tilth through the production of organic matter that is turned into the soil in the Spring (aka "green manure"); the addition of soil nutrients through the mineral-accumulating activities of particular plant species (such as nitrogen-fixing Legumes); and, the protection of friable soil tilth from the compacting effects of months of rain.

Many plants used as cover crops also provide edible food: i.e., Grass Family species such as oats, wheat, and rye; Legume Family species such as field peas and fava beans; and Brassica family species such as radish. As part of an urban survival gardening effort, cover cropping is arguably essential.

'Farmer K' opened the class by handing out cell number and email address, so that everyone could make contact on their own time, at some later date -- not that day -- for reasons that would shortly become obvious.

"My knowledge about cover cropping comes partly from books and talking to other farmers, but mostly from my own experiences and observations," claimed 'Farmer K'. "I am delighted to share everything I can, but I have nothing to sell."

'Farmer K' then noted that the fact that the day's class was not free-of-$-charge was not made known until the issuing of Manifest's email announcement thereof, to which 'Farmer K' was cc'd.

"Agricultural knowledge is in 'the Commons' of the human race," 'Farmer K' asserted. "It has no place being commodified. Perhaps there were people who would have come here today if there had been no charge."

'Farmer K' did not mention that on this particular morning, the Sunroot Gardens current floating cash balance would not have been able to provide for the $15 "drop-in" charge, had 'Farmer K' been a person wishing to attend.

'Farmer K' then repeated the willingness to share resources, both informational and material (such as cover crop seed), to everyone present, but "not today". These words were followed by the informal sign language for "my lips are sealed", of a mimed key locking the mouth and being discarded, and then, after a little bow and entirely sincere smile, departure from the garden by bicycle.

Two Manifest members found 'Farmer K' a few minutes later at the Division Stumptown handing out cherry tomatoes in three colors and loads of Italian prune plums to anyone who wanted them, customer and barista alike. There, one of the Manifest members delivered an apology, which 'Farmer K' smilingly shrugged off. "There's nothing to be sorry for," 'Farmer K' averred, while drawing a puff of homegrown tobacco from a corncob pipe. "I have no hard feelings at all."

Sunroot Gardens will be sowing Winter cover crops of various types and with various methods (and non-methods) at plots of garden- and acreage-scale for the next two or three moons in the Southeast quadrant of the City of Roses metropolitan area. Folks wishing to learn what they can about Winter cover cropping are invited to join up with any of the upcoming missions as is convenient to their own time and appealing to their own inclinations. An email listserve announces some activities. One can also just call or email and make an arrangement.

SUNROOT GARDENS
sunrootcsa [at] riseup [dot] net
503.686.5557
www.trashfactory.net/sunrootgardens

SUNROOT GARDENS is not a business or a non-profit, and is not affiliated with any political group, religion, or philosophy. It is simply an effort to feed as many people as possible by offering ways to participate in the growing of food. Participation with Sunroot Gardens is without set or established terms, conditions, or limitations, though fresh produce and home-cooked meals have often been offered as an expression of basic hospitality. Sunroot Gardens does not provide a "safer space", in which policing of the self and others is demanded; rather, a "wilder space" is offered, in which everyone is invited to explore their own freedom apart from the strictures of 'Society'. This includes freedom from Society's superficial foil, 'Rebellion'. Being 'against' the Establishment gives it as much power in your own life as being 'for' it.

'FARMER K' is a persona manufactured by the imagination of the beholder and has no actual material, concrete or substantive reality. As in, "I know that guy," in which the speaker is referring to an article they saw in the media, or -- with another degree of separation -- merely heard about. Claims of having met 'Farmer K' deserve equal skepticism, as -- again -- all that is generally being described is the structure of a persona created in the so-called witness's mind. Pardon the paradox, but, for 'Farmer K', there *is* no 'Farmer K'. :-)

MANIFEST describes itself as "a non-profit men's wellness community [that] helps Portland-area men pursue their wellness visions & passions together in more than 40 groups & classes monthly like Yoga, Sex & Intimacy, Work & Abundance, Cycling, Walking, Gardening & Food Sustainability, Meditation, Affordable Housing, and Healing Touch Exchange, coaching, and more." For more information, see: www.manifestpdx.org

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