A few weeks ago when Oscar Arias suggested I interview Yuna and then Carmen E. Brady mentioned her in the interview she did. I learned a lot from Yuna’s responses and you will, too, probably. Find Yuna on Twitter and on Tumblr.
I noticed you have some writing on your blog but you also do a lot farming. When people ask the worst question, “what do you do?”, what do you usually say?
when people ask me what i do in the summer i tell them i am a farmer and when people ask me what i do in the winter i tell them i am a seasonally unemployed artist. sometimes i tell them i have a twitter. idk.
can you describe “permaculture farming” and where did you learn to do that?
so, permaculture farming is the wave of the future and it is also just a fancy word for sustainable farming, something everyone in the past was forced to do because we hadn’t invented machines, infrastructure and social systems specific enough to allow for the specialized labor force we have today.
fun fact i learned on wikipedia 50% of the world still sustainably farms their own food. cool. permaculture farming also means growing with nature, using the slope of the land and the local biodiversity to the farmer’s advantage rather than destroying it to start a monoculture on flat, irrigated and chemically fertilized ground. permaculture is really good. there are some cool resources to learn more about it on my tumblr and oops also here they are again:
the one straw revolution, an introduction to natural farming pdf:http://www.appropedia.org/images/d/d3/Onestraw.pdf
miracle farms commercial permaculture orchard video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3riW_yiCN5E
sepp holzer’s mountain permaculture farm video: https://vimeo.com/20918655
greening the desert with geoff lawton video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzTHjlueqFI
i started work on an alternative farm a year ago and it is so different than the other farms i have worked at as a youth in the summers of high school and university. here a short farming cv follows:
[apricot orchard (age 14-15)
peach orchard (ages 16-19, 21)
vineyard planting (age 18)
field crop planting (tomatoes/peppers/eggplants, age 18)
apple/pear orchard thinning (ages 18-20)]
these jobs sucked tbh.
this farm i am on now was once organically certified but the organic certification process creates an unsustainable economic dependency between food producer (farmer) and corporations that sell: seeds, plants, organically approved fertilizers, organically approved pesticides, organically approved fungicides etc. etc. etc. organic certification requires that a farm pay for the certification and recertification each year and it does NOT permit the use of seeds collected from previous years but it DOES permit the use of some chemical sprays, and plastics and animal fertilizers. most organic orchards are run like conventional monocrop/monoculture orchards and are NOT sustainable. organic is a short term scam imo. my farm has been farming according to nature for close to twenty five years (24?), this means we don’t use even organically approved sprays or chemicals, animal fertilizers of any kind, or black plastic coverings for our ground crops. it’s pretty rad. pretty non-poison farming.
now more than ever the farm is doing some really cool water collecting things because i’ve been so worried about the impending water shortage, climate change and also droughts that are sweeping the earth. So we’re doing some really cool water collecting things. (like raised on contour no-till garden beds if you’re interested in specifics).
on our farm we try to grow lots of varieties of fruit and lots of different kinds of fruit as well as a varied and steady amount of ground crops leaning toward perennial vegetables that require less labor and also lots of herbs and flowers. annually we grow these things to varying degrees and amounts:
edamame soy beans
flowers for floristry:
lily of the valley
but it changes from year to year you know how life goes.
what does it take to make great ‘art’?
everything can be something when seen from the right perspective a sociologist would say.
also i think great art exists everywhere and you don’t make it but you show it to people and also maybe you do make it and you are always making it or also you are it and you show it to people by making it i.e.: yourself i.e.: your body/the residue of your body i.e.: the act and residue of being alive. idk.
also i think the best art happens when people who make art admit that they have made art.
also its true everything is subjective so i have no idea what makes your great art just mine
what does it take to me a great farm?
a good farm listens to nature and farms according to the moon and the sun and the contours of the land and the direction the wind blows the most. a good farm collects the water the sky gives it, a good farm is copses of trees to stop the wind and deep ponds for fish and shallow ponds for frogs and light refraction and humidity. a good farm is an ecosystem that supports itself and the farmer because the farmer has built it with care and insight and respect for the power that the sun and wind and water and dirt actually deserve because they actually control our lives actually.
A few people told me they really like your tweets. What makes a good twitter account?
number one i’m pretty excited that a few people like my tweets.
number two i think a good twitter account has and inspires a lot of honesty and empathy, good twitter isn’t selling you something, good twitter is telling you something kind of secret but kind of open, like i think good twitter is confession twitter but also obvious twitter because maybe confessions seem kind of obvious or obvious things need to be confessed. like love and shit and bodies and stuff.
Just noticed the chad comix on your website, that seems like a really good idea. the weird office politics + stock photography. What gave you the idea to start that?
oh hi my chad comix comics are something i started when i was pretty depressed and living in the city and feeling unemployed and sad creative but not like energetic or motivated (took me actual literal MINUTES to remember the word motivated fwiw tbh jsyk). i think i got some ideas for sad office banter about sad life things and googled stock images of people in offices so i wouldn’t have to do much work re: drawing re: lack of motivation. the people in the stock photos kind of informed or reinforced the characters. chad and diane seem like pretty understandable people and offices are sad and metaphors for society and stuff. thank you for noticing chad comix.
What art or writing or whatev are you currently working on or would like to work on? What subjects or topics are motivating you to create?
i’m currently working on this story i have about what happens before the end of the world, it’s going pretty good, i think. feel like it’s kinda writing itself tbh.
i’ve been writing a lot of poems about nature and humans and finite resources and sometimes they read like sad love poems and i’m okay with that i think. i think about global restructuring a lot, i think about perspectives and social inequalities and reified forms of control a lot. a lot of that is probably going in the story i’m writing too.
another show i have been rewatching frequently lately as an adult is an obscure french-japanese animated german produced and british english overdubbed television show about the human body. it is a twenty-six episode series on the human body with each episode specializing in some specific function of the body (eyes, ears, muscles, bones). as a child my mother recorded the show from a local public broadcast television station onto a vhs tape with SLP (super long play) and fit 13 episodes on two video cassettes that i wore thin as a bb child.
my mom did not know the name of it and wrote “the body show” onto the vhs tape and i it took me a while to find it as an adult and yeah i’ve been rewatching. it’s very detailed and accurate but also weird and it’s a lot of good nostalgia for me as well as a newfound appreciation for the information i learned about the human body as a kid and kind of didn’t fully understand the importance of.
also currently an episode of gossip girl is playing on a computer in the room while i write this.