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Everywhere I go I find a pal

Everywhere I go  I find a pal Everywhere I go  I find a pal

Peter Weinschenk, Editor, The Record-Review

My no-till garden has finally lurched into fourth gear.

Zucchini plants with huge green leaves stretch out with bright orange blossoms across the garden’s leafy mulch. Butternut squash plants send leaves and tendrils everywhere. There are no squash blossoms yet, but they will come soon. The cucumber plants are producing nicely. The Chinese long-beans are finally taking up nitrogen and are green, leafy and spiraling up a section of wire fence.

You could never tell that this is a no-till garden, except that there is little if any quack grass or other weeds. Rye planted as a cover crop mostly suppressed these rogue garden invaders.

My hope is that the decaying rye roots are stimulating microbe growth in the soil and, in the next years, they will take this section of the garden to a new, exciting level.

It has been fun to work on gardening skills as I have undertaken the no-till challenge.

And savoring pan-fried zucchini rounds in olive oil has made this education even more enjoyable.


It’s been a good year for raspberries. We’ve had plenty of rain and sun. My berry plants are loaded with fat, pump, juicy fruit.

I have been picking with a yogurt container tied around my waist. I poke in the berry bramble for the little red delectables. Slowly, I fill my container.

Picking berries is the closest thing I get to Zen meditation. I just get into the zone and pick. No thoughts are needed. Actually, they get in the way.

I just watch my hands automatically find red raspberries, one after the other, and place them in my yogurt container.

Is there a sound of one hand picking?


I am now finishing my archtop guitar made from scratch.

For years, I crafted my guitar from various woods, creating sawdust and chips along the way.

Now, I live in the world of lacquer, thinners, stains and sprayers. It’s a whole other experience.

A first chore was to wipe an alcohol based vintage amber stain over the guitar. It now has a dusty yellow color that you see on a lot of guitars.

A next step will be to spray on a vinyl sealer. This task will be my first experience with a new spray gun set-up.

I am hoping all will go well, but I know it won’t. I just hope whatever spraying mistakes I make will be correctable.

In my years of building a guitar, I have made every possible mistake. I have learned, often painfully, to avoid such errors. I have also learned how to undo these inevitable mistakes.

Many people think that executing a craft project--a painting, a song, a guitar--perfectly is high art. True, it is. A higher art, however, is perfecting mistakes. This takes skill, but also determination.

It is the thing a human can strive for, but what a machine can never attempt.

Contact Peter Weinschenk at pweinschenk@