Jul 24, 2023Liked by Rhyd Wildermuth

did you know that fancy restaurants use the flower tips of the cilantro in their kitchen? - totally edible and nice on your plates!

I'm your kind of leftist.

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Leftism at least in it’s communist form rejects the idea of private property like a personal garden. Are you sure you have the right ideology.

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Also sounds like a rightism of the garden, as in G. K. Chesterton - I am pasting in below the comment that I made when you you announced the soon release of your latest book. Distributism also advocates worker cooperative enterprises.

What do you think of Distributism?



Though the time to apply it was over 100 years ago. Here is a book recently published about how two generations ago academic studies had indicated the social health of a community was stronger when based on small scale ownership and how that information was kept from guiding regulations and laws . It was here where I live in the Central Valley and the communities studied are near me. Of course Industrial scale agribusiness is now pre- eminent here.


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Gerrard Winstanley said very similar things, but focussed on turnips.

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This persuaded me to purchase a copy of Here Be Monsters.

I've written a bit on several of the themes in this piece.

e.g. -

Livelihood: a new and old idea


Community, Belonging and the Polycrisis


Chris Smaje also writes eloquently on these topics and themes.

e.g. -

Two Lefts


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sing John Ball, and tell it to them all!

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On the other end of the spectrum is the lawn. I visited some gardens in the southern US recently; one of the placards discussed how a well-manicured lawn was a sign of wealth. One could afford to allow expanses of land to lay fallow and have servants devoted to maintaining it.

Now, where you are lucky enough to have land, the state and/or a home owner's association forces you to have a lawn and maintain it. Planting natives, edible plants, or allow it to grow and be host to insects and other life? You'll be fined or someone will mow it for you and force you to pay.

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“What passes for leftism now is mostly just narcissists masturbating to sci-fi fanfic, imagining a glorious future where we’re liberated from the dirt and the bodies that compose us.” (Boom! Rhyd drops the mic)

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Jul 25, 2023Liked by Rhyd Wildermuth

I couldn't agree more with the thrust of this, but...

My experience of "leftist' government is that private land and production is not desired and, even further, is seen as an enemy to collective progress and demonized as selfish and anti-collective.

Why is it that one of the first products of (modern) leftist revolutions nearly always seems to be the seizing of land (and often agriculture) by the state, typically for use in bloated, corruptly-managed state-run agriculture?

Didn't Lysenkoism kill millions precisely because the state decided consolidating agricultural land for use in production experiments run by scientists whose only qualification was "patriotism"- and, in turn, demonizing anyone who questioned "the science" as unpatriotic and selfish (sound familiar?)- as opposed to allowing private enterprise?

Am I misunderstanding?

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Hey Rhyd, I offer instead of commentary the best salad dressing recipe you will ever try. It truly does go with everything. And as far as dressings go, it’s pretty damn healthy! I’m not a big salad eater, but this dressing makes me want salad.

Yeast (“Nooch”) dressing:


½ cup nutritional yeast, not brewer's yeast or baker's yeast

⅓ cup water

⅓ cup tamari, gluten-free soy sauce

⅓ cup apple cider vinegar

2 large cloves garlic

1.5 cups neutral vegetable oil, like avocado, sunflower or grape seed oil

Or quality olive oil (although you’ll need to leave the dressing out of the fridge if you do)


* Combine all ingredients except oil in a blender. Process until completely smooth.

* With the machine running, pour the oil very slowly through the hole in the cap of the blender. The dressing will thicken and emulsify as you gradually add the oil, little by little. 

* Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Also feel free to add yeast or water to find your desired viscosity.

As always, reading your stack is always like a deep nourishing breath. Enjoy the dressing!

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Great writing. I read in the news that the governments were becoming concerned about crowds with torches and pitchforks. They didn’t mean out looking for slugs in the night, which thankfully isn’t illegal yet.

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"What defines anarchism, then, is the refusal of state power, even of the revolutionary strategy of seizing state power. Instead, the focus of anarchism is on self-emancipation and autonomy, something which cannot be achieved through parliamentary democratic channels or through revolutionary vanguards, but rather through the development of alternative practices and relationships based on free association, equal liberty and voluntary cooperation." The garden goal, oh to shift our society in this direction over time, perhaps an asymptotic goal that we never completely arrive at, but always draw closer to.

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Thank you, Rhyd! You can count me among the many readers who have been moved by this powerful essay to purchase a copy of “Here Be Monsters.” In the meantime I have one open-ended question for you: What relationship do you see, if any, between the kind of leftism you envision here and the socio-economic program that typically travels under the heading of “distributism” or (more broadly) “Catholic Social Teaching“?

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Thank you Crazy cilantro dude!

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Oct 7, 2023·edited Oct 7, 2023

While I will never think of my garden as a political act, let alone a leftist one, I love everything else you wrote here.

Tip to those getting started: don't turn it into a job. It's great to watch Grow Your Greens or whoever is popular these days (I bailed on Youtube a long time ago, I've no idea), but don't think your first task is to maximize the health and productivity of your plants. Learn how they work - what they need to thrive, and how they do it - and then apply the theory.

Plan to make mistakes. Plants aren't a total mystery, and you don't have some esoteric curse, but they are a lot more complicated than the Machine would like you to believe (which is why industrial farming has been such a catastrophe...). Mourn the poor things when you mess it up, but don't beat yourself up about it. Living and dying is what they do, mostly over the course of a few months, and you'll get to plant some more.

Just try to learn what you did wrong and do better next time. Before you know it you'll be growing more than you know what to do with, even if all you have is a balcony or patio and a couple planter boxes.

Edit: oh yeah one more thing, you *don't need any fancy expensive gadgets or materials*. That's just the Machine trying to make you feel helpless and dependent on it.

You just need something to grow them in and some dirt. Learn a little about what kinds of dirt different plants like and how to arrange it (some like it wet, dry or well drained, some like it loamy, sandy, loose, packed, and some don't even need dirt - you can look all this up on the internet or get a good gardening book, but I promise it's not rocket science). Use old tins, boxes or bottles if you haven't got anything else (I grew a few herbs in chinese takeout boxes once).

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