Monday, May 27, 2013

Spring to Summer 2013

That's me on the left, hands on hips deep in communion, listening to my teacher Sepp Holzer  speaking in German.  I  felt like I understood somehow, he is so expressive and animated ..quite hilarious. Completely charming.

  I am at the crossroads again and so are you.

  Spring. It's amazing, nurturing, magical, verdant bliss tinged with winters last tantrums and hints at summers blistering sun. I have these seeds..buckets of them saved and given, these magical pearls of potential, along with visions of multiple Eden's to match. I've done a lot of planting and seen some losses already .. during days away I lost most all my main tomato eggplant and pepper seedlings I do for sales. Direct sowing has been prolific, and so have the slugs and sow-bugs. I lost my husbands camera during my trip so I have very few pictures of the losses and gains.. probably better that way..better to see what makes it to the summer...who ends up being the "winner "this year.

  I spent the very first days of spring back in my old stomping grounds at a workshop. Sounds bland, sounds like something done often. Well I was blessed, privileged, directed, to meet some of the greatest teachers of natural farming/living of our time, Sepp Holzer and his crew. Oh I know it just a slice of reality but what a rich slice it was!
Chad and Sepp under the big tree!!

      Margarete,  Judith and Johnny .. The Austrians who traveled here to the states with Sepp Holzer.
Our hugelbeet built at the workshop!

  My return trip was emotional and I was overwhelmed with relief hope and joy. It was closest to; learning that your dying mother is going to be okay..that the illness can be cured simply AND I can do it.. I can contribute the essential ingredient that will heal her. What I experienced was like attending a mythical feast where every dish was prepared by a master chef. Then I got to have an intimate talk about every subtlety of each dish. That's what it was like.

  Some new thought patterns cascade inspiration.   Mushrooms are the saviors of the deep forest. So having a shady woods on your property is a wonderful asset.  

  Water collection is primary in any design.

  Without addressing the practicality of natural water harvest, your design is useless.  I do not care if you are building a tool-shed,  try to make it harvest water!!

   How do we cultivate? How were we able to survive in days of YORE? With less ingredients , yet better flavor and imagination!

  I love the opulence of this earth, yet the myriad of combinations possible should not become an year long obsession. We have all seen still life paintings and images of  fruit or flower and vegetables. As a child I looked upon these types of images as one dimensional .. a little obvious. I now see these types of paintings as historical and scientific...catalogs of the variances passed along by cross breeding and happenstance. They illustrate the gift of the moment, the reason we celebrate seasons.

  What I'm embracing is what needs to become my rhythm and ritual;  how to harness the season. As we all know the mind makes a promise that the body sometimes has a hard time filling, so much of the abundance I create turns to mulch as I try to keep up. However with very little effort, finding or harvesting a crop of something is nearly always possible especially since I like to eat greens!! Dinner is not what you want every single day, sometimes it needs to be what you already have. In my past I focused on annual plantings, my new focus is perennial food bearing trees, shrubs, and learning about all the supporting plants that nurture feed and protect those larger plantings over their lifetimes. In permaculture this is called a guild and it's how you build a self sustaining food forest..a natural varied orchard. 

  I have also begun to promote Hugelkultur very actively, I am hoping to make a new career designing and installing them as fences instead of milled lumber for privacy. By design it is the very best way to make a living wall that will support itself with water and nutrients. I have two folks lined up who are as excited as I am about the old branches laying around on their property.

  This is the spring and summer of learning for me in my favorite classroom, nature.