Saturday, November 30, 2002



Down the road a farmer has clearcut perhaps 50 square meters of the quarter-acre wilderness (right in the midst of the rice paddies) that must have been there for a hundred years or more, judging by the size of the trees; the growth included varieties of beech, cedar, persimmon, bamboo etc. I spotted it as high quality firewood and mentioned it to Echo, who while going down the road met the guy who was cutting it, he said he was just going to haul it away, that if we wanted it we could take it, so we took all that could be carried, leaving only two large cedar logs and one immense beech log, maybe 5-7 meters long that made me wish I was a wood sculptor, what a fine totem pole or something it would make! All told, maybe two cords of firewood. We also took a bunch of fat bamboo, maybe 12 meters long, dragging it up the mountain hanging a long way out of the back of the van, scraping on the road, what a musical racket it made!! Big bamboo stalks, for who knows what. The bamboo will tell us; it has only a green voice yet, but soon it will be golden; and then we shall see.

Thursday, November 28, 2002


[From the archives]

On the way up the Lake road to Omimaiko, passing through the ancient cedar forest I stopped to visit the little shrine of the sumo wrestler of a thousand years ago, who changed sumo from a ritual involving a fight to the death, to the the sport it is today. There is an ancient stone monument there, with a barely discernible bas relief of the wrestler; and a ritual wooden-roofed sumo ring, painted the traditional colors, right next to the highway, cars flashing by... as I stood there in the residual silence that sudden awareness of such a length of time affords, I wondered what must this spot have been like one millennium ago (though spannable by only 10 centenarians), where the legendary wrestler was born and grew up, became renowned for his prodigious strength, and whence he set out for Kyoto, so far away along the Lake and over the mountain, on rugged paths beset with thieves... I stood there letting my mind fill with the image of this place way back in time from now, the way then but a footpath, nothing around but forest and a few thatch-roofed houses, the Lake as clear and clean as any beginning... it was difficult to hold on to that vision, because the now we have, unlike the nows of old, is so stridently insistent, like a badly spoiled child, with its toy cars and toy boats, its flashing signs, its virtual desires, its places to see and times to go, sun-moon-starcycles pretty much ignored, like old monuments...

[The traditionally painted sumo ring has since been torn down and completely replaced by a never-used parking lot. RB]

Wednesday, November 27, 2002


On Sunday went to Ono with photographer Bill Schwob and his wife Keiko to visit the superb fall gardens of Daigo-ji temple (no photographing) where shogun Hideyoshi used to go for cherry blossom and autumn viewing. It was as always a soul-filler. On the way we stopped for lunch at at Tachibana, one of our favorite soba (buckwheat noodle) restaurants, then paid a visit next door to Zuishin-in, the Heian era (794~1192AD) retreat of legendary beauty Ono-no-komachi. Her house in the temple complex is long gone, but the deep staired well where she used to wash her meters-long hair is still there in the bamboo grove, same crystal-clear water-mirror at the bottom.

Tuesday, November 26, 2002



So a weekend of rain and sudden gusting winds (winds really know how to gust up here in the mountains; we seem to be near gusting headquarters) coming through in the night with their razor-sharp clippers, nipping off all the deciduous leaves and trimming all the dead coniferous twigs, leaving the garden like a million-piece quilt of ruby ivory gold amber patches, the newly bare branches of the cherries and oaks festooned with cedar branch ornaments, all sodden with rain. Like any transition a pretty, yet not pretty, sight. And thanks for the compost.


"If we are to maintain world peace, we must spend more time teaching our children the horrors of war in schools."

Sunday, November 24, 2002



Another weekend addressing THE WALL TASK, at least in part. It's somewhat like going to the dentist: a little bit at a time. I realize that what I'm trying to learn is not HOW TO BUILD A STONE WALL or HOW TO MAKE ROCKS FIT TOGETHER or HOW TO FIND ROCKS THAT FIT TOGETHER ALREADY (the latter is not generally in rocks' nature once they've gone their separate ways), but to share in some fundamental understanding that rocks already possess, and everywhere and always embody quite successfully, but of which I have little inkling as yet, owing to the softness of my being and the nature of my education, my syncretistic abilities being in the abstract, rather than in the igneous, metamorphic or sedimentary.
I have to go and stare at a stone wall masterpiece for a long long time (thank goodness there are lots of those around; Japanese stone builders are equalled only by the Maya) and let it sink in, then begin slowly to pile stone upon stone in a kind of stony grammar, a petrosyntax, in hopes of creating a stylistically masterful drama of epic proportions big enough to embrace my herb garden.
I seek to build it one way, and in learning I cannot do it that way (the rocks will not stand for it, they have their scruples, after all; rocks are not constrained by logic; they understand a much greater fundamental than we humans do), I learn some small thing that only rocks can teach; I focus on that and, that will not do either; that is not the whole of the thing, only a part. Rocks know it cannot all be learned at once, and wisely do not crowd me with knowledge.
But with that part I go on, and try again, and fail again, but when, after a week away I come back to the task, I find I have learned another little bit, it too is now part of me, part of what I know about stones and stone walls, part of what the stones in their limitless patience embody. With that I go on again, begin to build, and fail, and learn another thing, and so it goes on, as bit by bit what I learn rises up like a stone wall. And when that learning wall is at last all learned, it will be but a slight step to build the wall itself.
If I want a wall that is a stone poem in stone syntax, I have to learn the bit-by-bit stones teach me until at last I have a stone wall, not a book wall, not a Bob wall. The finest mortar for a stone wall, therefore, is patience in the builder, blended with integrity. No integrity in the builder, no integrity in the wall.

Saturday, November 23, 2002



Americans drive forward into parking lot spaces; Japanese prefer to back in.

Friday, November 22, 2002


[Full moon and clouds got in the way of the measly trickle of Leonid meteors we got over here in Asia that I was going to write about, so this is from November 1998. RB]

Tuesday night at around 10 and then again at around 11 I went out onto the deck and scanned the skies for a few freezing minutes looking to see if there were any Leonid meteors in our planetary neighborhood, but saw nothing other than the usual novas and galaxies and black holes, coupla nebulas and star-breeding stellar clouds, dwarf stars, pulsars, pretty much the usual skystuff, so went back in to get warm; I didn't really know what I was expecting, a lot of corner-of-the-eye redstreak falling stars per millisecond I guess, and then during the night I looked through the bedroom skylight whenever I drifted back near the wakeful shore, but saw nothing other than countless potentially life-forming solar systems sprinkled in great bubble-arcs cast across an incomprehensible distance by some unknown force an ungraspable time ago, and went back to sleep.

So it was with some misgiving that at the clanging of my specially set Leonid Meteor Alarm Clock I arose from toasty earthbound blankets at the unearthly hour of 4 am and went out into the cold night upon the deck across which blew a cutting prewintery wind, and laid down a futon for my sleeping bag into which I climbed with stellar haste and whence I looked up into the vast and unknown sea across which galleon earth is sailing, bearing all us galactic Columbuses.

I had turned all the lights out, and being up on the mountainside with no other houses around, and no streetlights, so it was dark, and the only light was the stars, the wind having blown the sky clear as fall winds do best, and there above my face was nothing but stars, as close as my nose in a way (what's a billion miles to a star? or for that matter to a nose?); seemed like so many more stars at 4am than at 10pm, eyes fresh from the light of dreams see so much more than eyes fresh from the light of waking, and there are so many more stars in skies than in skylights.

So I watched with freezing face as my eyes plunged into star-level darkness until there were clouds of stars, and then FLASH! A glowing opalescent tube stretched followably across perhaps one-third of the sky; then within seconds, another one and another, good ones, at about a rate of every thirty seconds or so.

One, streaking low down toward the east, seemed to bounce and then flash more brightly, almost as bright as lightning. This went on till around 5:30, when half the universe rolled over into daylight, taking me with it.

Thursday, November 21, 2002


Went down through the old neighborhood of Katata to the water's edge to visit the Ukimido at Mangetsuji, one of the most subtly beautiful I've ever seen (it's in the Omi Hakkei (Eight Views of Omi (Traditional name for Lake Biwa) 'Katata Rakugan' view by Hiroshige)). I'd never been to Mangetsuji before, though I'd seen it from out on the Lake, its famous building (the Ukimido) built out over the water on stilts; what a breathgiving place upon entering it; the gate, pines, garden, the view from the Ukimido, the general ambience, bespeak and beget a spiritual peace known too rarely these days; where are the times when one could have envisioned such a thing as this, and then built it? And then as at dusk you walk along the platform around the weathered building, turn, and, with your back to the broad sweep of the sunset water, look into the thus-greater dark of the Ukimido's interior: slowly, dozens of golden Buddhas shine to life in your changing eyes! Easy to see why Bassho, Issa, Hiroshige, Hokusai visited here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2002



"Unless otherwise specified, all work shall be done perfectly."

Sunday, November 17, 2002



What a splendid and all-purpose, yet sleeper of an herb is lemon thyme, growing there languidly, flowing unobtrusively, even shyly, over the stone wall toward the ground all unattended, each tiny plump green rounded glossy leaf-edge tinged with yellow like a tiny sunrise over a tiny forest; but what gusto this little spirit brings to any dish! Sprinkle it on toasted cheese! Over soup! Into sauces! A pinch among sauted or steamed mushrooms!! The list could go on, as lemon thyme does, as all great things do.

Saturday, November 16, 2002


The Kyoto plant nursery that has property down the road brings to it all the wood cuttings and trimmings from their landscaping business, to turn the smaller limbs and branches into wood chip mulch, kindly piling up the bigger stuff at the edge for me to take away as firewood, and when I go down there a couple days after the last time there is new wood here and there, and if you have a wood burning stove and heat your house with wood alone as we do, it's like seeing piles of money lying there for you to just pick up, but this is real money-- not just pieces of paper with deceased males' pictures on them that governments say they won't exchange for gold-- this is cherry money, oak money, ironwood money, locust money, stacks of it, money you can turn right into lots of heat and light to cook on and dance to. I went down there this morning and got a whole vanload of sweet-grained money, mostly cherry (there is no better firewood) and ironwood, and bucked and split and stacked it all in front of the house, next to the big piles of other money minted for winter. There is pride of a new sort that resides in the riches of one's growing stack of firewood, one's work, the fruit of muscle, the grainy cumulus of effort, the quality and tone and visual heft of immanent heat, the craft of its hewing, the anticipation of its warmth, the sense it affords of the larger security that extends from far within a lifetime to far beyond its edges, teaching the mind to learn of itself thus, through body and spirit, and so to live and grow in accord with the true grain of being.

Friday, November 15, 2002


chill autumn dawn
six crows in the persimmon tree
what a caucus

Tuesday, November 12, 2002


So there I was in the dark of the Japanese night with marshmallow smoke in my eyes, holding packages of graham crackers and marshmallows and chocolate pieces on my lap, a graham cracker half in each hand and waiting slabs of precisely broken chocolate on each knee as excited Japanese boys lunged at me with skewers tipped with flaming marshmallows.

Without recalling in too much explicit detail the number of Smores I must have eaten in my own ante-bilious days of long ago (I haven't Smored for some decades, and plan to Nmore during the remainder of my life), I simply recalled how much those childhood memories meant to me, and how essential Smores had been to those moments of youthful outdoor fireside cameraderie.

I would therefore do the same for Keech's middle-school friends, who had never had Smores in their thus-forsaken lives; indeed, pitiably, they had never even heard of marshmallows! Mine was therefore an international endeavor to set right a vast cultural injustice and imbalance, to bring our nations and cultures and eras and generations and whatnot, childhood feats of nausea etc., closer together around the campfire of life, to share in experiences that would weave our lives into one big chocolaty sticky marshmallow world for the future good of all mankind.

I could almost hear the national anthems being played, with the flaming Sta-puf Man in the background, along with "There was a man who had a dog and Bingo was his name, oh," sung through crammed Smore mouthfuls while the singers swayed from side to side around the brightly blazing fire just before the horror stories began.

In any case, these citizens of the future would not soon forget this night; nor would they suddenly throw up in the car on the way home, ha ha. I would not forget either, how quickly I learned that it had not been I myself who had made all the Smores in those historic times; it had been the attending and well-prepared adults who had made all the Smores, may all blessings reside upon their unsung souls.

I was the solo attending adult now, and not well prepared, and I have never experienced anything quite like the stark fiery horror involved in being surrounded in the forest at night by a horde of urgently flaming marshmallows on sharply pointed, fire-hardened stakes as I reached out to choose and compress just one, only one! one at a time boys! from among them (as the flaming marshmallows shimmered there in the dark like visiting Buddhist souls), topping it with a slab of chocolate and sandwiching it between two tiny halves of a graham cracker in the dark, with my bare hands, by fitful firelight.

After such an experience, oneself does not cry for Smore. Nor can oneself put down any of the many things one holds, for one is sticky. Very sticky. So sticky as to be very nearly one with the universe, there in the dark with marshmallow smoke in one's eyes and warm chocolate somewhere on one's lap in the dark, being poked at by flaming points and deafened by international cries for Smore!!.

Thus a single Autumn night in the life of the intrepid cultural ambassador.

And Happy Birthday, Keech.

Sunday, November 10, 2002



Today the utter fineness of the weather combined with the utter kindness of the upper non-resident neighbor in giving me cut blanche with regard to thinning the trees on his property, mostly opportunistic oak (the old and beautiful oak near the road is where the monkeys shelter under sometimes at night when it rains), several of which I've had my eye on as ideal for shiitake logs (our shiitake logs are now about 3/4 played out) and the rest for firewood. And since the weather has been warmish so the sap is still running, and today was dry and clear and blue and cool, perfect for the task, I felled one of the shiitake log trees this morning and spent much of the day trimming, bucking and prepping. Since the neighbor's property is a bit overgrown with low bamboo it was a quite a tussle doing all that and then wrestling the tree lengths back onto my property. There's nothing quite like wrestling in a bamboo arena with an oak that wants to remain right where it has fallen with all the will for which oak is renowned, which is why in ancient times folks used it for castle doors and shields and roof beams and church pews, among other adamant objects. When the old folks used to say 'stout as an oak' they were speaking from direct acquaintance with one of the great forces of the known world, an acquaintance I have now directly acquired on many levels, starting with my toes. But once the oaken lengths were stacked up in a sunny spot where I could drill the widely spaced holes and insert the spore plugs, how rich and golden and quiet and agreeable they were, on their way to resurrecting, for years to come, as the most velvet of delicacies in the cuisinal world!

Saturday, November 09, 2002


A time-darkened chair of oak, it stood among other chairs of other kinds, empty of all but time and craft, in a warehouse for antiques; a sign said the chair had been made in England a couple of hundred years ago. It was a spoked, round-back chair with arms, a practical chair, its seat a single slab of wood, selected with care that the beautiful grain would be polished to this very sheen by centuries of backsides, and it looked in the physical language inviting so I sat in it.

The chair had been made for the body the way only a lifelong maker of chairs for folks he will see every day for the rest of his life makes a chair. It wasn't a quick production line assembly for a never-known stranger somewhere else in the world; it was the hand-fashioned essence of chair, that the maker himself had been fashioning, by way of his family, for three or four hundred years or even more, until his fingers, hands and heart knew vastly more than just how to make chairs-- the feeling was born into the hands by then, and one man could conjure an entire chair, for the entire body, out of wood with just fire and iron, make it sing with function.

I could feel that song in my self when I leaned my back upon the back of the chair and lay my arms upon its arms, my hands coming to rest where hands had been anticipated with simple grace, the maker saying to me thus eloquently over centuries that he had known how and where my elbows and hands would come to rest, how they would want to rest and how to welcome them-- where hands had in fact been coming to rest for centuries-- are we not one, after all, for here was a chair that was made for the one we each are: not a market unit but a person, with whom a chair should be a private conversation.

It was a chair made to last beyond a life, like a poem or a song, the craft of it to be remembered, another form of the name of the maker, of himself and the grace of his hands to be passed on and spoken of, sung of in wood, taken good comfort in, and I realized I had in all my years on earth never been so well understood by a chair; no chair had ever told me of these things. Every chair I'd ever sat in had been mute, built for a phantom, a non-existent entity, an average consumer. Few go this far to make chairs any more; and if they do, the result is a remarkable not to say purely aesthetic artifact unique to its time and form, costing too much to be actually sat in, more design than chair and so not comfortable to the sitter, who feels less valuable than what he sits in, as though there were truth in a throne.

In my time I have sat in many chairs, that made me feel all sorts of ways-- from the tubular kind with the plastic caps on the leg-ends that chaired the 1950's to bags of styrofoam beads to leather/steel trapezoids on legs to straight-back chairs, bentwood chairs, easy chairs, reclining chairs, and on and on, and this was the first chair that had ever, how shall I say it, welcomed me, personally. The back curled round and the arms curled round and I was really in the chair, felt both embraced and rooted as I sat there, rooted like an ancient tree; there was no postural insistence from the chair, no disquieting tipsiness, no jittery ricketyness, no gangly angularity, no shoddy looseness, no shivery tubularity, no artistic misfitting, but solidity: simple, rooted, oaktree solidity, after 200 years of use!!!

What today is made like that? What today like that is made by a man who, like his father and grandfather and further back, has fashioned his very life into comfort for people he knows and will never know, from whom he seeks respect and appreciation, even centuries hence? Sitting in the chair I could feel in my heart as in my body every measure of the distance we have come from all the things that in their ways once filled life quietly and elegantly to the brim, how things in themselves used to tell us of one another, and show in their use the care that resided in what we crafted, how wholeheartedly we gave of our lives in our creations.

This was a chair that had been made by transforming the beauty of trees through the beauty of hands into the beauty of chairs. How far from there we are, on the chairs that bear us now, when we never set eyes on or even sense who makes the chairs we use, and more and more likely it's not even a who but a series of whats, as the spirit of hands fades from the products around us until there isn't a caress in a carload, and we live unknown by our surroundings is what the chair said, with an eloquence increasingly lost to our time.
[Rewritten from the archives]

Friday, November 08, 2002



This morning before dawn I was screeched from the deeps of sleep by the uncomfortably close-up vast barndoor-hinge squawk of the pheasant Elvis, who was belting them out from inside the dense mountain bamboo below, just the other side of the woodpile. Yesterdawn he had been doing his unlevel best from a reasonable distance upmountain, like a kid swinging on heaven's barn door, squeaking it over and over and over (how the hens find that sound charming I can't imagine, but every year there are lots of pheasant chicks, so there must be oodles of charm in it somewhere, and in out-of-tune violins played execrably). I've been in that bamboo, it's ideal for kids' fishing poles, maybe even light flyrods, and it is dense, I've been far into the depths of that thicket on my hands and knees after good bamboo for garden stakes, and to cut down fast-growth scrub trees that obscure the view and shade the air potatoes that grow in fall like a lacy yellow-silver net across the bamboo tops in places, and I've sort of swum along the bamboo tops after air potatoes themselves, and when you are in or even on there, and not a bird or a snake or a fox but one that needs to be upright, the bamboo rules completely. I can't imagine going in there and calling out to feathered ladyfriends, even as Elvis.

Wednesday, November 06, 2002


Today a blustery cold rainy day, perfect for a long leisurely trip up beauteous stormy narrow coastal roads to the northwest of the Lake and the thousand-year-old silk-producing region where, as we saw in a long 'factory' tucked among the houses, they still produce by hand the finest master-preferred silk strings for koto, shamisen and the Chinese kokyu, silk strings being prized by the masters of those instruments for the feeling and nuance that silk affords, in contrast to nylon and other synthetics (production involves women running far back and forth wetting twisting corded silken strings that are then boiled in mochi (a special 'sticky' rice) paste, then in turmeric!); there is a cosmic lesson here about the natural being far more precious than the synthetic, ask any old master...thence to nearby Kogenji to visit again my favorite juichi-men kannon (11-headed Kannon) with the crazily smiling 11th head (Shiga Prefecture seems to have cornered most of the great juichi-men kannons as a result of the ancient wars, whence such treasures were sent here for safekeeping and here remained, lucky us)...But every bit as interesting to me was the nearby farmstand, where a genuinely smiling and goodwill-emanating farm woman stood selling mountainblossom honey, red peppers, persimmons, large adzuki beans (very unusual), home-roasted peanuts in the shell, yams, pickles, charcoal and some of the very nicest baskets I have seen in these parts. Bought adzukis and a basket woven of akebi vine, and the lady filled it with persimmons as a gift. As we stood there looking at the various goods, persimmons were raining about us from an old man up in the persimmon tree, who was laughing as he knocked down the bright orange fruits with a long bamboo pole as his wife ran around gathering them up. I helped her save a few from rolling into the roadside stream. Later a moment among the old buildings near the temple presented this haiku:

red-painted roof beam
smoke-blackened kitchen walls
peeling potatoes

Tuesday, November 05, 2002


Oh how wondrous are three-day weekends and no matter the brevity of your list, you never get it all done, because there's always a bigger list operative: the cosmic list, that stands waiting immutably for you when in the eagerness of all innocence you walk out the door to begin work on your own personolocal and much less relevant list, such as cutting firewood or caulking a wall, or some such rationally immediate objective. So although I did get a few of my own items done, there were just enough cosmic perturbations going to skew my aim a bit and have the Monday sun set as I was halfway done planting the beans I'd planned to plant since Friday.

But epiphanies abounded: Sunday morning when I awoke I heard a tiny, delicate ruckus going on in the dawn outside my window; looking out I could see nothing but some chestnut tree limbs and a few late leaves in sunshine, all very nice, until on closer examination with hastily de-bleared eyes I saw that the tree was festooned with tiny bark-and-sunlight colored long-tailed tits, like delicate christmas tree ornaments bouncing around, who in their formal wear went hopping from branch to branch pecking at tiny bugs and such, the tree no doubt liking it very much, I could almost hear it say "Yes...YES! Right--there--aaahhh!" over and over again as the suitably dressed and chittering mob passed through on a long and leisurely mountainside breakfast over an extended bit of bird gossip.

Monday, November 04, 2002


Morning Ginger

Harvesting ginger early in the morning in the upper garden where I dump the woodfire ashes all winter (ginger tells me it loves woodash), I plunge my hand (no blind and unfeeling metal tool!!) into the loose soil at the base of the slender green stems to grasp and loosen the whole root cluster so that none of it breaks off and gets lost (a stray piece of dirt-covered ginger root looks an awful lot like dirt), loosening the whole thing with its roots reaching far out into the soil around, I lift it all up and break off the original root-node and put that back into the soil, taking only the newly grown root, the smooth old-ivory-colored portion with the delicate pink buds and the long glassine tendril-roots that are so delicious (surprise!) as tempura, and it is always such a beauteous experience to pull so gemlike an object from the sandy-ashy-loamy earth that I can only hunker there a moment and admire it, turn it this way and that in the morning light before washing it at the hose till it's clean as a polished opal, then in the kitchen chopping off a bit of the fragrant gleaming root-ivory to use in breakfast (splendid texture and flavor the new root has, as opposed to the darker, stringy, spicy-hot older parent-root we of the west know as "ginger"), for a delicacy of flavor that will soon have me digging in the morning for more...

Sunday, November 03, 2002


Went yesterday morning to the flea market by the town library benefiting the anti-incinerator action, great to see all the folks out there buying and selling and finding value and worth in used items, unlike the mood toward such things when I first came to Japan, when used things pretty much equalled rotten garbage and Japan was an antique paradise for scavenging foreigners. So much has changed for the better for all (except the scavenging foreigners), and how much worthier can a Saturday morning flea market be?

All the kids were there too, helping out and learning about direct public involvement, no longer being uniformed in school every Saturday as they used to be. It is quite a thing to see country folk becoming activists, obachans (grandmas) out there in their aprons selling their best homemade pickles, such as sliced daikon (major radish) with takanotsume ('hawk's talons': hot red pepper) rings, in opposition to heavy-handed government, one obachan selling an exquisite long-green-pepper picklepaste I've never had before, visually even less distinguished than caviar, but as rich and flavorful and taste rewarding as any delicacy you can think of to defeat political chicanery, she was running out of the pepper picklepaste but said she'd be selling more down at the hot spring baths tomorrow, so I went there this morning to buy a LOT but she was sold out by the time I got there, only had some long-green-pepper-leaf pickles (!!!) which, to my great surprise, are very nearly as good!

Saturday, November 02, 2002


That Kind of Soil

Yesterday bought materials and today made a soil screen and began screening out the stones and pebbles from the garden soil, the better to accommodate carrots and gobo and the other roots, which aren't happy with stones in their shoes and poking them in the ribs, who is? And how elegant then is the destoned soil, how concentrated and lovely and organically purposeful, cocoa in its musky richness like the finest growth stuff, nascent food, imminently ready to turn into daikon or onions at the mere snap of a season. The still totally stoned soil adjacent looks distinctly unworked, unemployed, homeless, wild, fodder for weeds, derelict troublemaker, mocker of one who aspires to onions. I used to hang around with that kind of soil. I used to be that kind of soil.