Over at the DG, I write about my vacation to the Deep South.
Here's an excerpt:
"For my spring vacation, I decided to take a road trip.
It had been about five years since I’d seen my Southern friends, and so I mapped out a route that would take me to Birmingham, Ala., where I lived and worked for several years after graduating from college.
But my first stop was in Virginia, at my friend Heather’s. I met Heather in Albany, when we lived on the same street, and I was excited to see her new house, where she’s putting into practice many of the things she’s long talked of doing: gardening and raising chickens, and building sculptures in a large backyard shed. Before I arrived, she asked whether I’d be willing to attend a mushroom party hosted by a member of her sustainable living group.
'What do you do at a mushroom party?' I asked.
'Cultivate mushrooms,' Heather replied.
She explained that she and her friends were hoping to grow their own shiitake mushrooms, and that this entailed drilling numerous holes in logs, nailing small wooden plugs colonized with mushroom spawn into the holes, and sealing the holes with wax.
I agreed to go, mainly because when I hear the word party, I imagine something fun, with music, drinks, snacks and interesting conversation. Instead, I found myself performing physical labor for about two hours, my ability to converse with people limited by the loud buzzing of drills and pounding of hammers. Once the logs were inoculated, Heather and I began carrying them over to a pickup truck and tossing them onto the flatbed.
'Just like old times, huh?' she said.
'Yup,' I said.
Click here to read the whole thing.