Monday, March 23, 2009


I read the LA Times online in the morning to see what's going on in the part of the world where my children live. I also like their crosswordpuzzle. This morning had an article which is interesting, and says a lot about the "spirituality" of Lalaland. It's the latest article in Beliefs about a tour that is given there called "City of Seekers."

In the bit about a meditation center we learn that "Burbank talked lovingly to a cactus, so reassuring and calming that the plant dropped its needles. A cutting from the cactus was planted at the Self-Realization Fellowship and still flourishes, free of spines." I just appreciate it when my plants don't die. The only part of Christianity on the tour is Aimee Semple McPherson's Angelus Temple. My choice would have been All Saints' in Pasadena.  The author of the article ended with "That's what tied Angelus Temple to the other tour venues. Like that cactus at the swami's retreat, many people are looking for a safe place to grow, a place where there's no need for spines."

A spine=free world! It seems to me that many of our leaders are spineless as it is.  At least the staff at All Saints' have a spine.

More that you want to know about spineless cacti:
The Luther Burbank Home and Garden Luther Burbank tried to produce a spineless cactus (the photo above is from the garden) which could provide forage for desert cattle. He did, but the problem is that this cactus needs more water than the desert types, and wasn't useful for that purpose. My kids and I love cactus candy though. Some uses for the spineless cactus:
  • It can be grown as a fence
  • The juice from the pads can be spread on water, like oil, to smother mosquito larva (this makes sense since it needs a wetter climate and that's where you find mosquitos)
  • It can be boiled down and used in whitewash or in mortar.
  • Young shoots can be used in cooking: either boiled or fried like eggplant.
  • The young shoots can be cooked and pickled with spices or cooked into jams, preserves and candy. 
  • It can be used as food for cattle and poultry (Luther Burbank's original plan)
  • Juice from the fruit can be used as food coloring and can be used as a natural dye for yarn.

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