The Simple Life

In honor of National Simplicity Day, Saturday, July 12, I thought I’d simply give you a few of my favorite quotes about simplicity …

“The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and to have courage when things go wrong.”
- Laura Ingalls Wilder

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“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
- Leonardo da Vinci

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“And I learned what is obvious to a child. That life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day should be spent finding beauty in flowers and poetry and talking to animals. That a day spent with dreaming and sunsets and refreshing breezes cannot be bettered. But most of all, I learned that life is about sitting on benches next to ancient creeks with my hand on her knee and sometimes, on good days, for falling in love.”
- Nicholas Sparks

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“Simply consider the lessons I was taught by the campfire. Every time I was on fire detail, the situation and challenge was different. But every time, the rich reward was the same as we simply sat and enjoyed our consuming creation. And there was one aspect in particular that never failed to intrigue me, and that was the process of seeing the single small flame of the match spread to the kindling and then the twigs and then the smaller branches and finally the larger logs. It didn’t dawn on me until years later, but this was the perfect metaphor for the creative process.”
- Disney executive Michael Eisner, for the American Camping Association

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Glass Gems

So, you tell me:

Is this jewelry?

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Photo courtesy of Nativeseeds.org

Or food?

Honestly, I believe it could pass as both, but the gorgeous “gems” you see are, indeed, edible.

This is an heirloom variety of corn, aptly named “glass gem.”

According to Native Seeds, a nonprofit seed conservation organization in Arizona, the roots of the Glass Gem variety can be traced to an Oklahoma farmer with a calling: corn.

“Barnes had an uncanny knack for corn breeding. More specifically, he excelled at selecting and saving seed from those cobs that exhibited vivid, translucent colors. Exactly how long Barnes worked on Glass Gem—how many successive seasons he carefully chose, saved, and replanted these special seeds—is unknown,” reports Stephen Thomas of Native Seeds. “But after many years, his painstaking efforts created a wondrous corn cultivar that has now captivated thousands of people around the world.”

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Photo courtesy of Nativeseeds.org

The kernels of Glass Gem are ideal for popping or grinding into cornmeal, and thanks to the efforts of conscientious seed savers, you can buy and grow your own. Seed packets are currently available at the Native Seeds shop.

Native Seeds encourages everyone who grows Glass Gem corn to rejoin the ritual of seed saving by setting aside your favorite selections for replanting the following year. “Share seed with your friends and neighbors, organize a seed swap, or start a seed library in your community, they suggest. “As Carl Barnes has taught us, all it takes is one person to create a more colorful, diverse, and abundant world—one seed at a time.” Continue reading