Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Alice Feiring, bangladesh, environment, farm, Habibul Haque, Kazi Anis Ahmed, Masanobu Fukuoka, one straw revolution, organic, sustainability, sustainable farming, tea on August 9, 2012 |
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Alice Feiring has an interesting story in Newsweek.
She writes that Kazi Anis Ahmed of Bangladesh, the 41-year-old cofounder and president of a company called Teatulia, was getting his doctorate in comparative literature when his father suggested expanding the family media and construction business into tea farming. The location he had in mind was the barren northwest of the country, not far from India’s tea-growing region.
Kazi Anis Ahmed liked the idea but felt strongly that any farm of his should be organic. Additionally, says Feiring, the family’s “mission was to provide jobs to the region. …
“The lack of agricultural tradition proved a blessing because the land was virginal, not ravaged by the government-supported, synthetic-fertilizer-dominated ‘Green Revolution.’ After reading the poetic One Straw Revolution by the master Japanese farmer, Masanobu Fukuoka, Ahmed went one step beyond organic and tried to do low-intervention farming.
“The tea garden functions on minimal irrigation. They installed a plethora of plants next to the tea plants to feed and aerate the soil. What now exists is a breathtaking vision. The barren area has been transformed into an Eden with a resurgence of wildlife never seen before — recently, a pair of monkeys was spotted. The animals had not been seen in the area for decades.”
Read more at the Daily Beast. (Thanks for alerting me to this lovely story, Asakiyume.)
Photograph: Habibul Haque, Teatulia
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My grandmother Mabel (called Garkie by my family as the result of a gross parental misinterpretation of my infantile diction) sometimes gave tea parties. In one tea-party story, my toddler self ate all the lemons, and Garkie had to keep going to the kitchen to get more for the ladies — my mother apologizing, and Garkie saying, “No, no. I have plenty more.”
A love of citrus is an inherited trait in my family. And since it runs in my daughter-in-law’s family, too, my grandson is doubly blessed, you might say. (I’m eating the lemons in my tea as I write.)
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged alice in wonderland, antrim players, binny rabinowitz, cinnamon toast, how does a poem mean, John Ciardi, tea, teaparty, teaparty museum on August 10, 2011 |
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I care about the original meanings of words. Poet John Ciardi cared even more than I do. A random thing I recall from his book How Does a Poem Mean? is that a person alert to word derivations would never say that a ship “arrived” at an oil platform in the North Sea because “arrived” is from the Latin words “to shore” and a North Sea platform is not the shore.
My office window overlooks the location of the Boston Tea Party. So lately, I have watched the museum rising from the ashes of a fire that destroyed it years ago, and I have been thinking about original tea parties.
When I was little, I loved to use the visit of a friend as an occasion for a tea party in our large attic closet. My mother or a babysitter would make a pot of tea and very buttery cinnamon and sugar toast, and my friend and I would cart it all upstairs with the cups, saucers, spoons, sugar, napkins, and milk, and have a tea party by the glow of flashlights.
Then there is my feeling for the tea party in Alice in Wonderland. That is perhaps the most important tea party to me because, at age 10, I understudied Alice in a local production of the play, which had been adapted from the book by New York television director Binny Rabinowitz.
I think part of the reason I loved that experience so much was because Alice is a sensible little girl who tries hard to follow all the rules laid down for her, but she is surrounded by completely inconsistent, stubborn, unreliable, and unreasonable adults. In spite of the enormity of the task, she keeps trying to help these grownups make sense. I loved the tea party scene, in which my best friend, Carole, was the dormouse (“Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle … zzzz”). Today I’m thinking about the fact that, other than Alice herself, all the tea party participants were quite mad.
Quite, quite mad.
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