Its so therapeutic to stick your toes in the dirt, getting all amongst the grit and grime that we try so hard to rid ourselves of morning and night. Having grown up in a Steiner environment, the father of biodynamic conscious gardening was Mr Rudolph Steiner himself. He was one to prescribe a good dosage of dirty fingers, botany lessons in the field and lots of seeds and harvesting! His aim was to try "put the children in the right soul mood". It was mostly practical work and understanding of the land and the seasons, the goal was to allow the child to to "contextualise the plant kingdom" and understand all the elements at play that assist the plant to thrive through nurture.
He looked at the farm and at gardens as a living entity, a whole organism. He emphasised the true nature of fertilizing regarding the creating of nutrition, the application of homeopathic principles to the living earth. This is all something that rings true to me today, with but a little veggie patch in my city home, I can nurture a living organism, with networks of mycelium working beneath the soil...communicating through their mind-blowing systems. With worms and their unwavering support of the humus and dirt, working night and day to provide. The garden gives us the ability to watch the seasons ebb and flow, spring bearing new life and bounty, winter being a time for renewal and rest.
The gardener is a creator of sorts; one that takes care of the plant kingdom, right down to the tiny root tips, yet the process, (despite nurturing and much effort) is still beholden to the cosmos and the nature. This is like life. It is constantly changing, uncontrollably, a little messy, but absolutely breathtakingly beautiful.
I appreciate the microcosm in gardening, I appreciate the simple, quiet work, whilst bees flit their ways through your gaze, working tirelessly to keep life on this planet of ours. I appreciate the rain that comes and soaks its nourishment through the dirt, the sun and celestial bodies that keep the prana flowing. Plants are densified sunlight. That energy of the provider beams down and manifests itself in the plants we grow. When we garden we solidify that vital, cosmic energy. It is so rewarding to see the seeds pop their little heads above the ground, taking their first gulp of air, a nebula, with all of the universe within, ready to sprout and provide life. To me this is magic.
I'm simultaneously overwhelmed and undeniably fascinated by the garden - I can lose work hours with ease, researching remineralising the soil with rock dust, the power of intention, imbuing yourself into your seeds and garden, the little world within a working compost bin, making nourishing fermented goods in the form of a bokashi bin, companion planting and medicinal plants. The garden is a little world and you can create yours with a square foot or a pot. It is so soothing to let yourself surrender to the elements, yet still nurture with all your power.
For now; for some cosmic gardening tips:
1. Imbue your energy into your seeds, from their moment of planting you should be in harmony and communication with the seed. Do this first by placing the seeds under your tongue for 9 minutes, all the while consciously infusing your essence into these life giving seeds. After that, carefully blow all your energy into these babies, allowing them to understand everything you need and everything within you. Hold them to the celestial bodies, harnessing the energy of the sun and moon and filling their cells with these life-giving rays and pure light. According to Anastasia the seed is able to take on information from the person who plants it, as it grows it taps into the energies provided by the universe to nourish the human.
2. It is crucial to communicate and meditate with the plant at least once, but preferably more. It is also desirable to meditate and touch the plants during a full moon.
3. Walk through your garden barefoot, grounding yourself and once again consciously imbuing your energy and transferring energy to the soil and plants. The main goal is to infuse the garden with your information.
4. Get non-hybrid, non GMO, heirloom vegetables! I love getting my seedlings from a local market stall called Worm Ticklers Nursery, however when I grow from scratch I source my seeds from Eden Seeds in Australia and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds in the US. Both these companies have seed catalogues with incredible varieties of untarnished, untouched by Monsanto, seeds! No suicide seeds here.
5. Companion plant! When you plant with companion planting in mind, you can attract special pollinators which power our planet as well as repel certain pests without the need for poisonous insecticides.
6. Not all weeds should be thrown away! Stinging nettle has powerful medicinal qualities, put some gloves on and harvest them! Brew the fresh leaves on the stove which neutralises the stinging rhizomes. The tea will be a rich emerald green and is an incredibly body tonic. Hang excess out to dry or use a dehydrator and use it as a dry tea for months to come.
7. Rock dust! Remineralise the earth with rock dust, I use a volcanic dust that assists in yield, introducing beneficial microbes into the soil which increases plant nutrients, balances soil and makes nutrients more available to the soil, providing vital minerals to your soil, plants and in the end, YOU!
8. Worms are magic - Aristotle called worms "the intestines of the soil" so making sure there is an abundance of worms in your garden and in your composting bin is so important. Worms assist in making life possible.
9. It is absolutely no secret I am damn obsessed with everything mushroom related, they are beautiful, magic, complex and delicious. Mycology is fascinating and fungi have the ability to pretty much save the world in a multitude of ways. Mycelium are fungal threads that form networks. These little networks are so tiny that just a few cubic centimetres of soil contain enough to stretch for 12 kms. Fungal mycelium enter into symbiotic relationships with plants, helping them get water and nutrients from the greater environment by surrounding and even penetrating the roots. Through Paul Stamets' in depth study, he has been able to establish that mycelium are aware, react to change, have the long term health of their host in mind, and devise complex enzymatic and chemical responses to challenges. A super adaptogen for your soil if you will!
10. Breathe with your garden always. First and foremost, connect with it, work in harmony and flow with it. Allow it to heal you and yourself to nourish it. A garden is a loving relationship.