Adventures and misadventures in France.

Archive for September, 2013


Only the edible kind.

Only the edible kind

I had several pet fish in college. Allah, Siddhartha, and Simpleton were delightful roommates and travel companions during many long train rides home in their special travel cooler.

Somehow, despite years of successful pet ownership, I’ve never managed to keep a plant alive. I’ve attempted to follow proper watering instructions, provide ideal sunlight and soil, but inevitably I’d go on vacation or find a new hobby, and the plant would end as a brittle clump of weeds in the garbage can.

Finally (finally!) I’ve found the solution : edible plants. The promise of eventually eating something I’ve spent time and attention to grow has provided the motivation I’ve always lacked.

So today, I have a little pepper plant that we picked up in a gardening supply store. Max is convinced it’s only for decoration, and that it’s probably poison. That funny leafy green plant beside it is pineapple.

Over a year ago, I found some ridiculous Pinterest article with instructions on how to grow your own pineapple plant using the stem and leaves from a supermarket pineapple. So I followed the instructions, unhinged the leaves and dropped them in a pot from my latest plant failure. Surprisingly enough, it began to grow. When I moved to France several months later, I sacrificed precious luggage space to illegally transport the plant into Europe. Here’s what it looked like a year ago. And this is a a fruited plant I recently saw in the United States Botanical Garden. I’m hoping that within a few more months I’ll be able to grow a snack.



Rural life has its benefits. By circumstances or by choice, I’m far removed from current events and politics.

But inevitably, the largest international news stories are difficult to avoid. The civil war in Syria is not a recent event, but an ongoing situation finally catching the attention it deserves.

This map and article help to clarify not only the conflict in Syria, but also explains why it matters. For anyone else living under a rock, I would encourage you to take a look.

9 Questions About Syria You Were Too Embarrassed to Ask

by Max Fisher for the Washington Post

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