Archive for the ‘Food Sovereignty’ Category

Garden Update ~ Tulips, Trillium, Trout Lilies, and Trees

More blooms from the ever evolving yard! Today’s flowers celebrate the letter “T,” and represent just a small smattering of bee and butterfly delight. Yes, some hungry pollinators have already found our yard. In addition to the wild trillium I saved from a destroyed woods a few years ago, we’ve also got trout lilies from the same woods, along with still massive amounts of dandelions, plantain and wild violet, courtesy of Nature herself. I thought I’d share some of today’s more stunning displays:

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Behind those peachy beauties, you can see the later blooming magenta yarrow, which has become its own tough competitor in the colorful riot to dominate this permaculture haven. Continue reading

Garden Update: Wild Edibles and Spring Flowers

It felt so good to get out in the yard for an hour of work yesterday, before and after visiting with yet another friend harvesting our massive supply of miner’s lettuce. I cannot believe I’ve been futzing and fretting over my extremely poor luck at growing lettuce when we have such wild abundance. I might even call some farmers market vendors to see if they’d like to bring a few bags to market. This beautiful patch was hidden under a row cover, while silly me has been buying organic mixed greens on our trips to various co-ops and natural food stores:

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Miner’s lettuce, also called “claytonia,” “winter purslane,” or “Indian lettuce,” loves, cool, moist weather. A “foodie” green and wild edible, this patch has reseeded itself each year after a few scattered seeds in 2014. Usually a spring crop, Continue reading

Saving Ron Finley’s Gangsta Garden

I’ve previously posted about Ron Finley, aka “the Gangsta Gardener,” the world’s most famous “guerrilla gardener,” but I wanted to make a special post today as Ron and his team fight to save the beloved South Central Los Angeles community garden that has inspired so many people worldwide. Not only has Ron kept urban youth out of gangs and helped turn around health issues that directly stem from poverty — by  addressing the problem of food deserts in his area, he also started a movement with supporters and activists all around the world.

Here’s the TED talk that put Ron on the radar of so many movers, shakers, social justice warriors, and innovators:

Ron Finley’s ripple effect is huge! Along with Colette at Bealtaine Cottage, Ron was a key inspiration for me to accept the 2012 challenge of this crazy, horribly broken and ugly yard in Goshen. As David and I prepare voluntarily to transition elsewhere, Ron faces unwelcome and massive pressure from Strategic Acquisitions, Inc., who have threatened to evict him and destroy the entire Gangsta Garden if they don’t pay $500,000 by the end of this week. I’ve already signed the petition, donated, sent Reiki and also wrote a letter on their behalf to Strategic Acquisitions. Amazingly, they have raised over $318,000 from gardeners, fans, and high profile supporters like Bette Midler and Jason Mraz.

But they need more. If you click through to the latest update, you’ll find quotes from inspired people from around the world, including part of my letter urging Strategic Acquisitions to consider the opportunity for modeling community capitalism. It turns out that Maureen (“Mo”), the campaign manager knows Goshen well! Small world, but she visited here many years ago and wrote to personally thank me not only for my letter but also because she knows that Goshen “needs the love” I’ve poured into it these past 4.5 years.

Ron and his community have poured love into the Gangsta Garden for longer than that, and they’ve built a network of kindness, support and empowerment. This is much more than a garden. It’s a movement, and I hate to see some rapacious corporation devour all that love, nature, better health, and effort. If you feel so moved, please consider signing their petition, donating and/or sending a whole lotta love and Reiki their way. They’ve done a beautiful thing in South Central L.A. and touched hearts around the world.

I find myself crying as I type this, wanting so much to see humanity rise beyond those who would control our food, bodies, minds, hearts and souls. People like Ron and his Gangsta Garden crew have overcome so much and been the change they wish to see in the world. May they find whatever they need and receive fourfold blessings from this ordeal.

Heartfelt thanks and blessings to anyone who feels led to offer your support.

Garden Update: Bursting Forth and Bittersweet

I’ve been so busy with sessions and house hunting, which makes this season’s Dance of Spring a little bittersweet. The literally thousands of bulbs I’ve planted as recently as last Autumn have begun their smiling jigs and Sufi swirls. I still contend that this circle of miniature daffodils I planted around our North Star Cherry tree, visible from the stairwell’s window, was one of the very best gifts I’ve ever given myself:

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You can also see the chives poking through as they prepare to bloom in the season of alliums, while the Elfin Thyme ground cover awaits warmer weather.

As David and I view property after property, Continue reading

Garden Update: First Crocus, Hazelnut Catkins, Sedum, and Bulb Action

While the West Coast has found itself with winter floods, here in Northern Indiana, we’ve had an unseasonably warm winter. I expected that, although even I’ve been surprised by just how warm: fifties to upper sixties in February. With sun! Thankfully, we’ve had at least some rain and a few snow showers, too, but as crazy as this weather is, it arrived as a welcome treat. We’ve taken many long walks on trails and in the woods, and I even spent some time cleaning up the garden.

Yesterday, I noticed a lot of bulbs beginning to poke through. When I took over Haus Am See in Fall 2015, I added another 1,000 Spring bulbs to the hundreds I had already planted around Faery Hof. I didn’t know how many would return this year, as apparently, not all tulips remain perennial. It looks like most plan to reveal themselves again, as I see signs of hyacinths, daffodils and tulips poking their way through mulch and thyme. Last Fall, I  planted another 100 or so bulbs, mostly a wide blooming time array of daffodils and some extra hyacinths.

What a nice surprise to see some crocus, though! These two smiled at me yesterday, as I moved mulch to weed. Normally, the bunnies eat these before I get to enjoy them, but here they bloom — the very first harbingers of Spring:

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Some of the nine sacred hazel trees and shrubs Continue reading

Door Number 17 ~ Elen of the Ways

I create each portal door with very specific local or personal intentions, but it always amazes me how those doors take on a life of their own, lending themselves to larger concerns as time or the door evolves. I painted this “Elen of the Ways” door for “Sustainable Sovereignty” regarding a local situation back in 2014. (It worked here, btw … so well that it left people marveling at the synchronicities and unusual openings.)

It strikes me that we’re at a similar point of tension in the world right now. On the one hand, we’ve got governments run amok, trouncing on rights, privacy, and basic human dignity, often manipulating the masses through humanity’s inherent kindness and desire”to do the right thing.” On the other hand, we’ve got so many simultaneous ecological crises happening that I wouldn’t even know where to begin listing them.

How do we find our way through all the different layers and levels? How do we activate kindness and caring in those who have forgotten their way? How do we balance the rights of the oppressed and the oppressors? Can we find TRUE balance and harmony instead of just flipping oppressed and oppressor? Can we each shift away from “power over” and find and embrace new ways of “power to”? How do we invoke and evoke leadership that protects the Land while also honoring the People of the Land?

I’ve seen 4:44 for months now, and I even “fell” into this door a few months ago, letting me know the portal to Sustainable Sovereignty is re-opening for more than our local situation. Today, I pray for similar miracles on the national and international levels. May we each open our own portals to that healed and healing world that already exists in perfect form, just waiting for us to believe, love and nurture it into being. The Rumi quote on this door comes from this poem:

THOUSANDS OF ROSE GARDENS

The intellect says: “The six directions are limits: there is no way out.”
Love says: “There is a way: I have traveled it thousands of times.”
The intellect saw a market and started to haggle:
Love saw thousands of markets beyond that market.
Lovers who drink the dregs of the wine reel from bliss to bliss:
The dark-hearted men of reason
Burn inwardly with denial.
The intellect says, “Do not go forward, annihilation contains only thorns.”
Love laughs back: “The thorns are in you.”
Enough words! Silence!
Pull the thorn of existence out of the heart! Fast!
For when you do you will see thousands of rose gardens in yourself.

 

Laura Bruno's Blog

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, there have been times in my life when I’ve faced problems so tricky, so “impossible” that the only way out was in. Deeeeeep inside, through the inner rabbit hole, through the spiral and out the newly created portal. In those days, I’d paint a door, and you know what? It worked.

For the past three “doors,” I’ve taken to canvases that portray some sort of doorway or entry point — still portals, but not painted on actual doors. I usually select a local or personal issue as the initial point of need or emotional spark, but then I create the portals as offerings for how such issues play out across the world. “As Within, So Without,” and “As Above, So Below.” I’ve painted portals for healing Lyme Disease, for welcoming a return of the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine

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Winter Greens and my PDC

Just two quick updates here:

  1. Yes, the gardens continue to produce in mid-January. We’ve had such weird weather here, ranging from minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit a couple weeks ago to 56(!) degrees last night. Between row covers and snow, the kale, miner’s lettuce, chard, and mustard are all still providing us with the tastiest of very fresh greens. I snuck out between rainstorms yesterday afternoon to harvest these yums for dinner and smoothies. I wouldn’t eat the chard raw, since it’s a little mushy, especially the stems, but when cooked, this frostbitten chard tastes unbelievably rich and chewy. One of our favorites!

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      2. It’s official: I completed my Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) and am now qualified to offer permaculture consultations, help individuals and communities design permaculture setups, and also teach permaculture related workshops. In order to teach the full PDC, I would need more training and an apprenticeship, because that course covers a massive amount of material; however, I’m qualified and open to teaching smaller, more focused workshops for people who want to learn about permaculture before committing to the time and money associated with learning the full spectrum of permanent agriculture and permanent culture.