Our present situation during the COVID-19 Pandemic offers the opportunity to think about things in a new way as we work to reorganize the production of everyday life to limit contact points for the spread of the virus. Questioning what are the minimum and essential practices right now drive my thinking.
Under The State's current criteria of essential service
Is the spraying of herbicides (round-up)
"...application of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and minerals..."
Yet mulching has been pointed out specifically as
"Not essential. You will be shut down if you mulch."
This is the four hundred year history of the capitalization of the trades.
The skills and practices of craftspeople and tradespersons
are transferred into technologies -
Transformed into machines that save human work.
Mulch and mulching is a horticultural practice
that covers bare soil and prevents weed germination.
However, now, as the dominant forms of practice have shifted from gardening to landscaping over the past 50 to 75 years
Mulch at this moment is interpreted as "cosmetic practice"
And the spraying of Round-Up
"...pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and minerals..."
Is considered "essential practice."
In my work
the application of mulch is done as weed control
and the personal work and craft of its application
is the aesthetic.
Certainly we only make this critique as an opening to understand our own cultural history and development.
The critique isn't aimed at The State
But our culture as a whole
Whose discourse and practices have been subsumed into McDonald's like ways of thinking.
From Matthew Dore, the "I" voice of Buffalo Horticulture and "The Buff Hort Project."