This iris came up in my yard right next to the entrance in the fence last year, but it did not flower. It was tiny and was a surprise. This year, it’s blossoming and it’s gorgeous. I love irises. The Ypsilanti Food Co-op has a beautiful iris garden just north of their parking lot. There are so many different colors. They’re lovely. I plan to line my fence with flowers, some of them irises, and I’ve gotten a good start this spring already. The peony is coming up, and so are the dalias. On Cross Street, there’s a house with a patch of irises between the sidewalk and the road. I always love walking past when it’s full of blooms.
I’m working on setting up a website/blog for my farm this evening, however, I’m working at Cultivate (it’s a very good place to have a beer during computer time) and online purchasing/public spaces/you know what I mean. So I’m waiting until I get home to finish setting that up.
I’ve decided to plant a public garden in the space between my chain link fence and the road. There’s a wide enough patch of land that I could safely grow a little bit of food without getting too close to the road. I plan to plant a tall growing grain, like amaranth, along the edge of the garden in order to keep it clean from the passing cars. Maybe amaranth, maybe something else, still researching.
That’s the start of me killing plants so that I can grow plants. All of that wood and those bricks have been in my yard since I moved in. Using what I already have and making it work for me is strategy number one in life. And that’s a morel. It was growing in my yard. The glory of this situation is not lost on me.
I spent maybe two hours in my yard this evening after coming home from work and picking up the kids from school. I really enjoy doing that. I find it extremely relaxing and peaceful. I get to work amongst plants like this:
I put these here on purpose. I want to fill my yard with plants that are native to Michigan. There’s a vendor at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market who sells just this very thing and I buy a lot of beautiful native plants from him every year. In fact, this past Saturday, I bought a thirty-year-old trillium from him.
Today, as I was working in my yard, a young man on a bike road past heading east on Forest toward the middle school. He said hi. But he’s not just any young man. He’s the guy who grabbed my ass while I was walking my dog down Forrest a number of weeks ago. At the start of my walk, I made the mistake of saying hello to him. I had gotten in the habit of doing this after working at Whole Foods for so long. I would catch myself saying hello to people on the street as though I were walking through my department greeting people. I have since broken this habit, but still say hello to a lot of strangers. Later during the walk, as I was heading home, he rode his bike alongside me on the sidewalk coming from behind and placed his nasty, entitled, bitch-ass palm on my left butt cheek and squeezed and slapped at the same time. Writing about it makes me want to explode and destroy him. I yelled at him. I don’t know what I yelled, but it involved the word “fuck.” I walked a few more blocks and that little soft young mother fucker rode past me again and looked at me. I yelled at him some more. Something about if he ever touches me again, I’ll knock him off his bike. He would totally fall, too. It’s a little bmx-style bike. There were cars stopped at all four spots of the intersection with windows down. I hope they heard and I hope they looked his way. Well, this little bitch rode past my house yesterday, and I saw him looking at my yard. Today, he rode past slowly and said “hi.” I stared him down like I’ve never stared someone down before in my entire life. I wanted to melt his insides with my eyes. I was standing on the outside of my fence near the road, and I was holding a tall piece of wood. When I recognized him, I began staring him down with a little bit of crazy and a lot of “dude, I’m way stronger than you” because it’s clear that I am.
Later, I practiced aggressive shit that I would say to him if he comes near again. I am comfortable confronting him because I know that I can back it up. I have never spoken the way I do now to threatening men because I knew that I could not defend myself. But now that I’ve been doing the staggering physical labor of farming, I have the strength to protect what’s mine.
This is clearly bullshit. A person, woman or man, should not have to be physically strong to walk through their world safely. We should be able to exit our front doors and be safe in our worlds at all times. That’s what I want. It’s pretty simple. Sure, it feels fucking great to be stronger than I was before. I love it. I can carry more. I can do more. But consent must be explained and taught to boys and girls and young women and young men, over and over. I don’t really know what else to say about this because I’m so frustrated and angry about it.