I’ve begun to call the land behind my house my “real-world minecraft”. As I don’t have a budget to clear this land (or anything else actually) I try to use what’s available within the land to accomplish what I need.

For example: there’s a lime tree which grew too tall to collect its fruit, yet its trunk is too thin to climb and I don’t have a ladder. The limes fall when they’re past ripe, so I’d like to pick them from the tree, but they’re too high up.

What am I to do if I can’t buy a ladder?

First I thought: I ought to build it. There’s enough logs and sticks to build a primitive ladder. But then I realized I can’t lean it on the tree, so it would need to be self-supporting. I could perhaps pull it off, but I would need nails, which are affordable, but by now I had made the commitment to spend zero money on “in-app” purchases.

Why spend so much time collecting lemons when they cost next to nothing at the supermarket? Beyond the fashionable answers (it’s organic, it’s local, it’s fresh), for the caregiver there is a spiritual responsibility towards accepting the gifts that the land provides. It is participating in the cycle of giving and receiving that plays out in the relationships among humans and with nature. (A ladder)[https://www.ccel.org/h/hilton/ladder/formats/ladder1.1.pdf] is also spiritually meaningful.

I chose to give the tree a good shake so that a couple of ripe lemons fell down. Not a sustainable solution, but good enough for now. Then I made agua de limón, which I served to my guest, a man who will advise me while building an MVP carpentry workshop when money comes.

The first product of the workshop will be a ladder, of course.