One Piece Episode 153
You'll start with getting a pen and a piece of paper and keep it right next to your bed. Now write down everything you're thinking that's bothering you. Keep writing for a full 10 minutes until you've really written down everything that's on your mind. You can ask yourself these questions that I've learned from Brooke to help you. What am I worried about? What scares me right now? What do I wish was different? What is hurting? What am I struggling with? What is my problem? Make sure to write down everything that is in your mind and don't worry about it making sense or flowing in any particular order. Just by getting the thoughts out of your head and onto paper, those thoughts begin to have less control over you.
One Piece Episode 153
DAN WARD: Yeah, absolutely. So I spent about 20 years in uniform as an active duty officer, an engineer, and a program manager. And, you know, pretty early on I noticed an interesting pattern, that most of my frustrations and failures were when I was part of a cast of thousands, and we were spending decades and billions to develop some new shiny piece of wonder tech. And then all my biggest successes and my proudest moments in my career were when I had a small team and a tight budget and a short schedule.
Jane: Plants, podcast, Perrone! It can only be On The Ledge! On this week's show I'm joined by Claire Ratinon, food grower extraordinaire, to talk about her new book, 'How To Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving The House' and we also talk about the knotty issue of racism in horticulture and I answer a question about a Crassula ovata whose leaves have suddenly got very small. How mysterious! Just a warning, this show is usually a swear-free show, but for one week only, and in order to discuss a particular post of Claire's, I've rated this show as explicit because the f-word does pop up a few times. So, if that mortally offends you, you may wish to skip this episode, but otherwise keep listening because Claire has stuff to say that you need to hear.
Jane: Those of you who follow me on social media, specifically Instagram, may be aware that I was having a little bit of a moment this week about the price of certain Sansevierias and promised I was going to say something about the price of rare plants in the podcast. I'm not going to do that this week because I want to give full breathing room for my chat with Claire Ratinon, but next week I will be devoting a whole episode to talking about rare plants. What is a rare plant and when does our pursuit of rarity begin to tip over into something that is a little bit ugly and not so good for the house plant industry? I'll be getting into all of that next week. If you've got any thoughts on the matter in the meantime, do drop me a line.
Thanks to those of you who have been in touch about last week's leaf botany episode about silicon with Dr Julia Cooke. I had a really interesting email from a listener called Dave. He wrote: "In the US we can buy silicon pre-blended into compost. It comes from Wollastonite, a natural mineral that releases silicon at the right level for absorption. I work in research and development at the mineral supplier. We have companies in the UK bringing this to the market but I can't say who." Ooh, interesting! Dave also warned the liquid silicon products that are often used in hydroponic systems do need to be used with care because they're very concentrated and have a very high pH, so you have to use them only at the recommended dose and not any higher, otherwise you might kill your plant. He says this explains why mineral-based supplements are being researched and brought to the market because they're "a slower-release form of silicon", so you're not going to end up overdosing your plant. He goes on to say that there are two natural minerals that do this - Wollastonite and diatomaceous earth, which some of you might be familiar with because it's sometimes mixed into potting mixes as a way of dealing with pest problems. So, there we go! Silicon is coming to a house plant supply shop near you by the look of it. I'm really fascinated by that news and I want to hear more. So, if anyone else has got an inside track on silicon and specifically who is doing this kind of work in the UK, I'd be interested to hear from you.
Also, a big shout out to three people who have decided to pay annually to become a Ledge-End on Patreon. That's Kayleigh, Joanna and Rebecca. They've all pledged their support to On The Ledge via our crowd funding platform and they've unlocked a whole year of extra episodes of An Extra Leaf. This is my Patreon-only podcast. You can only hear it if you donate $5 a month or more. I do a free podcast that goes out four times a month, so I don't feel too bad about charging an extra five bucks to hear more of my dulcet tones. Do check that out in the show notes if you too are interested in becoming a Patreon and if you're an existing Patreon and if you want to swap over to an annual payment, that is totally possible too. Look out for a message coming to your inbox soon which will explain how to do that.
When the Black Lives Matter movement started gaining more visibility and momentum in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, I felt called to share my perspective on it because what seemed to be happening was that we were taking that lens of the importance of the visibility of black people and people of colour more broadly, of every domain. This is my world, growing food, growing plants, horticulture, agriculture. That's my world and so that's the place where I felt like I wanted to speak. It was what I wanted to speak about and my experience of it and in it. So, I wrote this piece that I shared in my newsletter that was called "I don't belong here". It was a real outpouring. It came from a real gut and heart place. It wasn't necessarily something that I expected to be shared quite as widely as it was and it was something that I just felt I needed to say. I don't even know who I was expecting to read it. Maybe nobody. I just felt like I needed to say it. It ended up being a piece that was shared quite widely amongst both my friends and colleagues and some institutions. It ended up in the New Statesman and it did the rounds around Q and RSPB and some people had picked it up and shared it with their colleagues. It ignited a lot of conversations. A lot of people were reaching out to me to say that they read my words and it resonated with their experience as a person of colour and other people said: "I had no idea that you felt this way, or that anyone could feel this way. I never thought of nature as somewhere that isn't a place that's safe for everybody and I never thought it could be exclusionary in any way." So there's lots and lots of conversations happening. Then there was a day, I think it was 2nd June, where there was supposed to be a social media "black out" and we could have a long conversation as to whether that actually meant anything but there was meant to be a social media black out followed by a few days where the social media was intended to amplify black voices. Those accounts that were run by white people and dominated by images of white people were supposed to quieten down for a few days, in particular on that Tuesday, to let the stories and voices of black people rise to the surface. I looked around and I saw so many horticultural and agricultural grow your own gardening accounts all just carrying on as if nothing was happening. I looked and I just thought "Wow. Either you don't realise or you don't care and both of those things are really upsetting for me because you don't realise that it means that you don't know that someone like me, and people like me who are in your world, exist, or you don't care that we exist." And I was really upset by that. I just thought what's the harm in piping down for a couple of days and showing that you actually give a damn about the lived experience and the words and the sharing of black people for a few days. You didn't have to post that picture of a flower and you didn't have to post that picture of your beans. You could have just stopped for a few days and paid attention and taken it as an opportunity to listen and learn. So, then I wrote a series of stories where I said this and I found it really hurtful to see that there's so many people who think it's fine to carry on as normal as though it wasn't an important and impactful week for a lot of people. I ended it with - I only say this because you've given me to permission to swear. It sticks in my throat a little. I hope that's okay.
Jane: It's been really encouraging on On The Ledge to have overwhelmingly positive reaction to stuff that I've said about Black Lives Matter. I'm just trying to think. I had one review and one message from somebody whose argument was basically: "I just want to talk about plants." Again, I'm trying to address the fact that you can't really talk about plants without talking about where they come from and slavery and all different kinds of fascinating topics which I'm hoping to get into in future episodes. You can't separate plants off from any of this stuff. It's part of the rich tapestry of plants. Some of it is painful but we need to look at it to understand them fully.
Claire: Yes, thank you so much for saying that. That's my greatest hope, is that book is useful: it's useful to people who want to get started, because it is a very much a beginners guide, it's a real "from scratch" guide to how to grow in whatever space you have available to you. My hope is that it's accessible. One of the things I think is really amazing about growing in pots and containers is that you can put them at a level you can access them. So, you don't have to be somebody who can kneel down and put their hands on the ground, as wonderful as that process is. If that's not accessible for you, then growing in containers is an alternative. It's an answer to that. So my hope is that it's accessible in various ways and that it will encourage people who thought that maybe they couldn't do it to give it a try because it also doesn't require you to seek out a piece of land that you can then cultivate. You really can start right this second. Hopefully, it's an accessible enough introduction to getting started. We could go into able-ism but we won't do that. My hope is that it shows that it's possible to do this even if you have access support needs that prevent you from being able to garden in the ways that we see in the magazines and on the telly and in the collective imagination. There's going to be gardeners with different needs and they should be gardening too. So my hope is my book will maybe help that happen. 041b061a72