Bedlam Farm Blog Journal by Jon Katz

21 June

The Idea Of The Garden: These Photos Are In Honor Of Them. Confessions Of A Flower Parasite.

by Jon Katz

Unlike many garden or flower lovers, I can’t say I like gardening; I don’t. I do love gardens and the flowers that grow in them.

I don’t have the heart, stamina, or concentration for the nitty-gritty dedication and sweat of the true gardener.

Instead, I am a garden predator and opportunist—the curse of the photographer—and I love the images the garden produces and what it stands for.

I do plant and grow many of my flowers, but basically, I’m a flower parasite; I feast on the work and creativity of other people.

Gardens are mystical, accessible places of beauty, peace, inspiration, and reflection. I feed eagerly on other people’s hard, dirty, and often thankless work. And I respect what the garden is and stands for.


I loved being a reporter, but reporters do not have the time or will to create the beautiful gardens I now love to exploit in my photography. I just ordered a new book I am anxious to read and write about— The Garden Against Time by Olivia Laing.

It’s coming sometime next week.

It’s time I took gardens more seriously in my life and photography. Laing’s new book will help.

Critics say Laing advocates the garden in her book as a powerful idea—a repository of natural beauty, a democratic ideal, and a source of writerly inspiration. My flowers have certainly inspired me.

Writing in the New York Times Book Review,  A.O. Scott cautions readers not to expect “a historical survey of gardening, much less a practical guide,” describing it as “an inquiry into the idea of the garden — its history and poetics, its relationship to sex, imagination, and power.”

I’m in.



Flowers for love.

Flowers for art.

Flowers for inspiration.


Flowers for sex.


The Head on the back porch has grown some hair.

21 June

Good Never Expires – Sarah’s Weekend List: We Need Three Kinds Of Ramen Noodles, $6.00, $7.16, $6.98. It’s A Basic, Healthy And Simple Meal

by Jon Katz

This weekend’s rush also cleaned out the Pantry’s stock of Ramen Noodles, a basic dinner for many people looking for food support.  It’s easy to store and cook and nourishing. The good news is that these Noodles (packs of 24 for each purchase) are among the most inexpensive foods. A few dollars can help a lot of people.

If you can help, it would be greatly appreciated; I’m choosing noodles as our weekend food for the Cambridge Food Pantry:

One: Maruchan Ramen Pork Flavor, 3.0 Oz (Pack of 4), $6.00.

Two: Nissin Top Ramen Noodle Soup, Beef (2 Ounce Pack of 24), $7.16.

Three: Nissin op Ramen Noodle Soup, Chicken, 3 Oz. (Pack Of 24), $6.98.


(Last week, the pantry ran out of peanut butter, which was chunky and smooth. Now, they have them on the shelf for the Saturday rush. See a bit of what you sent.)


Yesterday, Sarah also made a request for help  getting canned chicken:

Swanson White Premium Chunk Canned Chicken, Breast In Water, Fully Cooked Chicken, 4.5 Oz Can (Pack of 4), $7.93.

And the ever-popular dishwashing liquid:

Gain Ultra Bleach Alternative Dish Washing Liquid Dish Soap, Honey,  Berry Hula, 21.6 oz, one bottle, $2.86.




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