Posts Tagged ‘Organic Gardening’

How to Eat Sea Kale

I’ve got lots of photos for a Garden Update, but I’ve been too busy working in the garden to blog about it! Our friend Jerry was helping install some things for us today, and looking at the backyard and sweeping his arm out, he commented, “This is the terrestrial equivalent of beach front property.” Minutes later the train went by and deafened us with its supposedly no longer allowed horn. “And that would be our fog horn,” I laughed. 😉 Until that quiet zone takes effect, it always reminds me of Admiral Boom in Mary Poppins.

Anyway, while I get caught up on cardboard boxes, wood mulch, and the still arriving bulbs and perennials, David and I have been loving our sea kale. We very much enjoy the leaves sauteed in a cast iron skillet with Egyptian walking onions and then served over quinoa — so much so that we’ve not even tried the broccoli like flowers. This plant is almost too pretty to eat, except if I don’t harvest it, then it shades out my lilies, squash and Veronica. So eat it we do! For those unfamiliar with sea kale, here’s a great article detailing all the many ways you can eat it from raw to cooked, any and all parts. If you grow nothing else, this perennial veggie will reward you with lots of food before late spring and summer greens really get rolling. Enjoy the article!

Chives, sea kale, elecampane, grape vine and the beginnings of good bug mix flowers.

Chives, sea kale, elecampane, grape vine and the beginnings of good bug mix flowers.

The Organic Effect

Thanks to Kieron for reminding me to post this short, simple and demonstrative video:

“Want to know what happens in your body when you switch from eating conventional food to organic? Watch this! The study was conducted by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL, and the full report is available here: https://www.coop.se/organiceffect”

Trillium and Other Garden Updates

It’s snowing in Goshen, so what better day for a Spring Garden Update?! I’m most excited to report that the trillium some friends and I rescued from a woodland turned GMO corn/soy farm are doing well in their new home. They returned, along with the beginnings of some rescued trout lily, Jack in the pulpit and what looks to be Dutchmen’s breeches. The trillium came up first:

Rescued trillium

Rescued trillium

I need to apologize for the blurriness of some of these photos. It has been insanely windy here for days! My poor peach tree needs to find a more sheltered home, because these Indiana winds are just crazy. They seriously seem to be coming from any and all directions, and like me, my little peach sapling does not like wind!

In other news, preparation for an intentional “Battle of the Invasives” has begun in the easement area, front street-side. With all the trucks that drive by and a brown field not too far away catty corner from us, across the street, I don’t really want to eat anything from this front area, nor do I want to continue weed whacking it once or twice per week. The faeries hate that weedwhacker, and I’d much rather create beauty than become Laura the Destroyer. Actually, I suspect all the deep wood mulch with its mycelium layers will remediate any toxins, but I’m still dedicating this area to beauty, butterflies, birds, bees and a “Battle of the Invasives.”

In addition to a tough as nails and gorgeous Robinhood Rose hedge set to arrive soon, I’ve got groundcover juniper on order, serviceberry trees from the city, and three Rose of Sharon bushes from my friend Patricia’s yard. The vast expanse of mulch will (hopefully) fill quickly with various floral groundcovers, including an Asian day lily promisingly named, “Little Invader.” I’ve got perennial (and spreading) daisies, yarrow from unwanted locations around the yard and other beds, creeping Elfin thyme, poppy seeds scattered, a hummingbird and butterfly seed mixture for naturalization, hyacinths, and some non-invasive perennials like Gerber daisies, dianthus, and soon to be planted hardy gladiolas.

daianthis

daisies

The serviceberry trees are in bloom but difficult to capture with my camera, so I’ll show you this little guy, an experiment literally just stuck in the ground six feet from a dwarf apple tree. I bought two serviceberry bushes that never took last year, so we’ll see if this “impossible” (according to the city arborist) attempt will do better. I cut off a hard wood sucker from one of the front trees and stuck it in a strawberry hole. We’ll see what it does. If you can imagine this on a much larger scale, you’ll get a sense for how pretty the two trees look out front. You can see it here with hyssop, the ever present dandelions, strawberries and numerous other parts of a large backyard polyculture:

mini-serviceberry

mini-serviceberry

Also out back, we’ve got Quince and Elder with a bright floral crop of milk jug planted medicinal herbs holding down cardboard that desperately needs more wood mulch:

Quince and Elder

The front yard looks more presentable, with both the cherry and 3-way Asian pear tree in bloom, along with a few remaining daffodils and some chives that should take off this year:

April 2015 cherry tree

Tulips are just starting to bulge — a little crossover bloom with the later daffodils:

Tulips and Daffodils

Out back, a crate full of stinging nettles finally found a new home in an enormous tree-sized pot filled with compost, potting soil, rotting leaves and –on the bottom for drainage– broken chards of the terra cotta pots I lazily left outside for the winter. Yep, they really do crack as they freeze and thaw! At least they’re serving a new purpose. I love nettles, but I felt bad planting them into a yard we don’t own. I also didn’t want them to escape to neighbors who might treat them with toxic RoundUp. Meanwhile, they were busting out of the landscape cloth lined crate from two years ago. If I didn’t act soon, we’d have nettles regardless of whether or not I planted them. Enter: the tree pot, a generous, deep, sturdy container to let them grow lush and tall. I’ll just need to make sure they don’t go to seed.

stinging nettles

stinging nettles

Inside, I’ve started lots of annual seeds, which needed to go back to the warmer basement under fluorescent lights today since the porch is now too cold again for peppers, tomatoes, and other tender seedlings. Outside, though, the perennial veggies and cover crops are starting to show:

sea kale, Egyptian walking onions, garlic and an edible legume cool weather cover crop to fix nitrogen into the soil.

sea kale, Egyptian walking onions, garlic and an edible legume cool weather cover crop to fix nitrogen into the soil.

happy chives leading the beneficial bugs bed

happy chives leading the beneficial bugs bed

So there you have it! Potato seeds arrived yesterday, which means tomorrow will involve learning another new task. I’ve never grown taters before. In fact, I almost missed the deadline to order the little seed potatoes. On Saturday, something reminded me that a Master Gardener in this area always plants his on Good Friday, and I thought, “Doh! I guess I better order the seeds.” I have potato grow bags and various amendments. We’ll see how it goes. Clearly, the Mad Scientist Gardening continues, and the crazed plant lady here just ordered even more fruit trees, fruit bushes and mushrooms on a Spring Sale from Raintree Nursery. If all goes well, I should finally have the medlar tree that has obsessively haunted me for years. LOL, sometimes you just need to plant a weird tree to stop it from whispering in your ear all year!

And now I need to put on another layer. Despite all that garden talk, it’s still windy and cold in Goshen.

New McDonald

As Whitney Houston said, “I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way.” In addition to these children’s adorable performance, I very much enjoyed watching the adults in the audience. Methinks some dinner table discussion may have changed after watching this rendition of the classic children’s song. Well done! (Thanks, Sophia!)

Favorite Permaculture and Gardening Resources

Blog readers and local gardeners keep requesting a list of my favorite permaculture and gardening resources. This is probably not a complete list; however, these represent some of the books, strategies and research I’ve read and/or experienced:

BOOKS

Gaia’s Garden, by Toby Hemenway, is the usual go-to book for at home permaculture. The second edition has much more info for urban and suburban settings.

The Edible Front Yard, by Ivette Soler, is also very good, though it’s not permaculture, per se.This book emphasizes beautiful, edible ornamental vegetables, bushes and trees, coupled with expert tips on good landscape design, including color, structure and plant suggestions. A must-read if you plan to garden in your front yard, since this book will help you avoid raising the ire of lawn-loving neighbors.

The Backyard Homestead, edited by Carleen Madigan, has information on how to do just about everything related to growing and preserving your own food, raising livestock, making herbal medicines, pruning fruit trees, and more. It’s really a one-stop shop in terms of straight up information with lots of charts, calculations on land productivity, as well as specific suggestions regarding varieties and attractive, edible plant combinations.

Four-Season Harvest, by Elliot Coleman is the go-to book for cold frames, greenhouses and season extension. He shares a phenomenal amount of knowledge, which I am only just beginning to absorb. Thinking in 4-D (with the time factor) brings gardening even more into the range of multi-tasking. Coleman covers cover crops, latitude, daylight hours, chill factors and more. If you want to garden in three seasons and harvest in four, this is the book for you.

Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, by Niki Jabbour, is another excellent book to help you strategize for maximum harvest, despite climate challenges. I own both Coleman’s book and Jabbour’s book, as Jabbour’s seems less intimidating, and I like her excitement.

All New Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew, is considered a must-have by many people who garden in raised beds. I own a copy, and I appreciate the work he does to make gardening accessible for everyone. Based on my experimentation, “Mel’s Mix” for soil really does make a difference. I just don’t like orderly, rigid, square boundaries, so his gardening style doesn’t particularly suit me. I prefer the looks and growth advantages of round, tiered beds, and I also like making free form raised beds via sheet mulching (also called Lasagna gardening) and wood mulch (also called the Back to Eden Method). If you like tidy raised beds, then The All New Square Foot Gardening will prove a worthwhile book to own. If you just want some knowledge about soil, general information on raised beds and trellis ideas, then I’d suggest borrowing this one from the library.

Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space, by Derek Fell. I borrowed this from the Madison Public Library while trying to garden an extremely small space against a chain link fence. We now have a huge garden; however, I continue to implement many of Fell’s delightful suggestions. If I still had a small space, I would own this book for reference.

FILMS/VIDEOS

Back to Eden: This is the film that sparked my own interest in wood mulch gardening for rich soil and dramatically less watering. You can watch it for free online by clicking here.

Permaculture and the Sacred: a fascinating talk given by Starhawk to the Harvard Divinity School. You can watch it here.

Free Introduction to Permaculture Organic Farming Online Course with Will Hooker from NC State University: This is a 38 video series, filmed in an actual ag class at NC State. You won’t get credit for having taken the class, and you’ll need to bear with student interactions and class-specific questions; however, these talks are loaded with information!

PERMACULTURE DESIGN CERTIFICATE COURSES

This is a tricky category, because I have not personally taken anything beyond a weekend introductory course in permaculture. We did participate in a real site design and planting, and we learned a ton; however, this Friday-Saturday-Sunday event did not count as the 72-hour PDC course.

The Permaculture Design Certificate Course is a specific collection of teachings that enables anyone completing it to become a professional permaculture teacher or designer. If you have not taken the course, you are not legally allowed to charge for services that use the word “permaculture” in their description. Of course, you can still study and implement permaculture prinicples on your own, and if anyone wants to learn from you, just don’t call it “permaculture” instruction or design! Terms like “holistic gardening,” “radical companion planting,” “systems gardening” or “relationship in Nature” could all touch upon aspects of permaculture, depending on your interests.

On the other hand, everyone I know who has taken a permaculture design certificate (PDC) course considers it a pinnacle and paradigm shifting experience. Choosing a course depends on your priorities and interests. In some ways, it would be ideal to find a local-ish teacher so that what you learn applies to your climate and location. Any PDC course will encourage you to study your own plot of land across the hours and seasons, though, so you could also select a teacher based on personal resonance.

I’ve often thought I’d want to study with Starhawk‘s Earth Activist Training, if I ever opted to do my PDC. I like that she has studied in the Feri (Faery) tradition and I appreciate the ways she interweaves and grounds her spirituality into everything from gardening to relationships, ritual and politics.

My own major resistance to doing a PDC course is, ironically, that I don’t want to spend much time away from our yard. I read voraciously, and I generally dislike classes (unless I happen to be teaching them). By doing a highly disciplined, self-directed study, I can learn as I go — running outside to evaluate immediately how what I’ve learned might apply to our yard. Traveling to a class also involves transportation, which usually involves fluorescent lights, noise, odd food and sleeping arrangements and noise. While I can handle those things, I’m in a nesting phase and don’t really feel like traveling unless I feel deeply called to a particular area.

If you find yourself in the same boat of not wanting to or not having time to travel for your PDC, blog reader Alan Enzo of http://permacultureeducation.com let me know of an online training that follows the exact criteria of original permaculture design certifier, Bill Mollison:

“Technically, all PDC courses should cover the exact same 72-hours of material. This is how the system was laid out by the founders, and what makes our PDC course special is that we take this seriously.  We do not add our own ‘stuff,’ metaphysics, religion, psycho-analysis, or anything else.  Some Permaculture teachers out there do, and this is not how Permaculture was meant to be disseminated.
We take pride in teaching only the official 72-hour curriculum as set down by Bill Mollison. 

[A]nother major difference between our PDC course and most on-the-ground courses – Students get an intensive design experience with personalized instruction from highly-qualified instructors.  

“In most residential PDC courses, 3-4 students work together on a fictional design, for just a few hours, and present it to the group.  There is little time for reviewing the students’ final designs in this situation, because there are usually many other students waiting to present their group designs, and the process is rushed through.
“In our course, students get experience creating a real, integrated, working Permaculture Design, with expert guidance, feedback, and suggestions along the way.  Our graduates leave with the ability to go out there and design for others, or to teach, consult, start a Permaculture-based business, etc.”
Please note: I have not taken this course, so I cannot comment on the content or teaching, other than appreciating the rationale for sticking to the original information. That’s what I do for certification courses as a Reiki Master Teacher — teach the basics as originally taught, allowing students to customize after the fact. In this way, I know they have received all the required training for valid certification and will be able to discern what’s original teaching and what’s add-on. I also like that someone can take this PDC course from anywhere and use his or her own project as a real design. I have no financial interest in this, but Alan has offered a $50 discount for my blog readers if anyone chooses to sign up. Just mention the discount when you contact them.
OTHER RESOURCES
The Faery Realm — no, I am not being facetious! Faeries love to help people who help heal and protect the Earth, so they arrive as natural allies for anyone open to receiving their help. Click here for some Quick Tips for Interacting with the Faeries.
Local Gardeners, Tree Cutters (for mulch and information about tree health), Farmers at the Farmers Market, Community Gardens and more….
“Permaculture” refers not just to “permanent agriculture” but also to “permanent culture.” The systems approach looks at how everyone and everything interact together in complex, mutually beneficial systems with “stacked functions.” Everyone and everything serves a key function, and permaculture aims to uncover unexpected gifts and relationships. Left brain, right brain, social, solitary observer … it all goes into the mix, so reach out to the world around you. If you read or do nothing else but more deeply, consciously engage your local environment, you’ve already begun taking steps towards permaculture principles. If you add that new knowledge and skill back into your garden, then you’ll have food and beauty to boot!
Cheers!

Zany Mystic’s 3/29/14 Interview of Laura Bruno Now Archived

In case you missed last night’s interview, you can now listen to it at your leisure by clicking here. In another fun conversation together, Lance and I discussed the Garden Tower Project, urban gardening, vermicomposting, human evolution, EMF pollution, inspirational projects around the US, GMO’s, organic farming and the globalist agenda, orgone energy, plus, my own take on the current energies in the world. We didn’t begin the interview with a plan, but we both loved how things turned out. Enjoy!

Happy Spring!

Pink geranium

Happy Vernal Equinox 2014! It’s a sunny day here in Goshen, Indiana, perfect for planting some cold hardy spring greens in the cold frame. I’ve given myself a mini-vacation this week, finally doing a 3-Day Cleanse, which just happens to finish today. I’ve meant to do the cleanse since January 1, but I haven’t had the right window of zero obligations beyond my own scheduling. This week presented itself and once I started, I realized the perfect timing. Spring cleanse and spring cleaning!

In what may have been the gardening equivalent of grocery shopping before dinner, I spent the past two days plotting our various gardens with a newly “hired” garden faery muse. She’s really switched up my plans for the yard, but I love all the new directions, as well as the extreme variety of crops and flowers we’ll have. Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is my new favorite seed company. In rereading parts of Gaia’s Garden for the third or fourth time — but for the first time I have a cold frame and already prepared and highly varied planting spots — I realized we could get some major polycultures going here with the right combo’s of seeds. I love these old varieties, most of which offer detailed customer reviews about flavor, performance and appearance.

As a perfect spring present to myself (and Goshen, since I’ll be demo-ing it to our community), I also learned that my just-ordered Garden Tower shipped out today! I’m so excited to grow fifty plants in four square feet of space. We don’t need the extra ground space, but I talked to three of the guys at The Garden Tower Project (Colin, Joel and Tom), and I just love their enthusiasm and vision. They designed the Garden Towers after visiting Will Allen‘s Growing Power. The towers include a built-in vermicomposter (for worm castings) and use only eight cubic feet of soil to grow all those plants. I see so many possibilities for communities looking to provide winter food security in solar-panel- or wood-stove-heated greenhouses. I am not an affiliate or anything like that; I just feel called to model what’s possible for those with limited growing space.

Garden Tower partner Colin is the son of Ann Kreilkamp (exopermaculture.com), who synchronously just posted about the Garden Tower she brought down to her family in Louisiana. Click here to share more spring gardening joy!

Cheers and a Happy Birthday to my nephew, Anthony and my Schizandra and the Gates of Mu character, Haru (Japanese for “spring”).

Inner City Permaculture

This is one of Starhawk’s Earth Activist Training (EAT) projects in the projects. So inspirational!

Planning This Year’s Garden

We’re approaching garden time in the Northern Hemisphere! I just bought an indoor grow light system that we can start in our basement. Last summer, I found that it was too hot to plant many of my fall/winter crops, and with this winter’s brutal temperatures, I want to give my plants a longer indoor start before spring planting. A very sunny window also helps. I started tomatoes, chard and kale indoors last year, but this year our indoor plants have claimed that Southern window space as their own. Here are some good videos and links to whet your appetite.

Click here to estimate your last frost date, so that this video makes sense. The video also includes information on which plants do well with an indoor start and which ones do best waiting for in the ground planting. If you have a cold frame, then you can begin growing earlier and continue later into the fall.

Tips: using cinnamon and/or chamomile tea helps to ensure that plants don’t “damp off” or get fungal growth from the indoors conditions. This video offers some basic seed starting tips:

Preparing to garden in droughts by using ollas (oy-yuh’s):

Why You’ll Want a Garden This Year

Long term blog readers know I love my organic garden and all the adventures and delicious produce it provides. I generally like to focus on the positive motivations of gardening: fresher produce, grounding with the planet, chance to observe and commune with Nature, greater independence and cost savings. This year, though, the world –particularly the US — faces some potentially major food shortages. All of the greatest food providing regions in our country and many others around the world are experiencing either severe drought, unprecedented snowstorms, or major floods. You can read articles like “How to Beat Coming Killer Food Shortages” and “California Drought Threatens Entire Country. Three Pictures Show How Bad It Really Is” to find very sobering maps, photos and statistics.

I’ve already suggested people on the West Coast build orgone chembusters to break up the geo-engineering chemtrails exacerbating the situation. You can find substantial evidence for weather manipulation if you look for it. Some theorize that “someone” is trying to keep the Fukushima radiation cloud from hitting the West Coast, but even assuming this as a “benevolent” intention, the fact remains that most of America’s food comes from California. After hearing that the Fed’s won’t provide them water (or worse, are trying to allow private companies to claim available water!), farmers have decided to plant far fewer crops or none at all. Fruit and nut orchards face devastating consequences from the worst drought in 500 years. Prices will skyrocket as the longer term effects play out — unless other regions step in to fill the void.

Every crisis presents opportunities to grow and thrive. With the technology and know-how now available for growing in small places and growing indoors in off-grid greenhouses, people looking to fill a definite need would be wise to investigate ways to produce organic foods in their area. Next winter will likely highlight the worst effects from the California and Western droughts, since the rest of the country doesn’t tend to grow food in winter. We have about 9 months to shift that dynamic, and we would be wise to do so. Those reading from other countries would also be wise to explore ways of becoming more self-sufficient, especially with an eye towards fall and winter. California exports a lot of food to other countries. If you value food, you’ll want to find ways of replacing those imports into your own nation.

People without their own land can join community gardens or team up with neighbors who have yards but don’t garden. Offering a share of produce in exchange for the land brings benefits to both parties. People who have a little space can learn from this earlier post about maximizing vertical growing space. The Organic Prepper article I linked to in the beginning also shares great information on intensive gardening. Those who have land but not much sun, can look forward to a future article I’ll post on tips for gardening well in moderate shade. For getting the most out of very small spaces, I suggest tiered raised beds like the InstaBed Cubic Foot Gardening system or The Garden Tower Project.

calendula

I used three of the InstaBed’s last year, and the black beds raised soil temperatures enough that we had tomatoes far earlier than anyone else we knew. In retrospect, I would suggest building those in concentric circles rather than the “cascade” setup and also splurging on the extra soil mixture to fill the beds completely, rather than backfilling them with compost. Ours sank a lot! We did, however, have highly, highly productive plants. The InstaBeds work better for backyard gardens, as they look less attractive until your plants cover the black plastic. The Garden Tower Project, by contrast, offers a complete system –vermicomposting, gardening, fertilizing and extra compost creation — and looks especially attractive in the terra cotta version. You could totally display a Garden Tower in your front or side yard! I plan to order one myself just to demo for our town. Maybe some locals will decide to buy them for winter gardening or an off grid greenhouse by next fall.

Those who already do garden and who love to garden: please consider planting extra this year. I’ve composted and mulched our entire front yard as an experiment but also because I anticipated the coming food shortage. I intend to plant edible ornamentals far beyond our own needs, just in case neighbors can’t afford their own food. If we don’t need all that produce, then it will still look pretty, or I can donate to food banks, but in the event we need an urban farm … um … we’ll have it! LOL, but seriously. I’ve layered up so much compost and wood mulch that I hope the front won’t need much, if any watering, especially after all this snow. You can’t put wood mulch right next to veggies, as it will rob nitrogen, but in between plants, the wood mulch stores many times its weight in water, slowly releasing it to the soil as needed. Leaf mulch works great closer to each plant, and the more organic matter you add to your soil, the more water it will hold.

All these tips represent practical, 3D things you can do, and I highly recommend doing any or all of them. Even if you can’t become 100% food self-sufficient, you’ll still save money on produce and eat fresher food. On more metaphysical levels, those in drought areas can pray for rain, make offerings to the water spirits, and/or do rain dances. I’ve shared before just how effective rain dances and working with the Elementals can be! Every time I mention this again, more people tell me their amazing stories of Nature’s response. We can also work with the plant Deva’s, asking them to nurture our gardens and farms. Organic and heirloom plants work best for this, since Nature and Nature Spirits don’t dig on GMO’s! At all.

Companion planting and certain “stinky” flowers will help with unwanted bugs. Marigolds and red geraniums not only look pretty; they also repel unwanted eaters. Various herbs and flowers like lavender, borage and zinnias attract beneficial insects that eat the eaters. By working with Nature, you can let Nature do much of the work for you. Gardening need not take massive amounts of time. Work smart and sacredly, not hard. 🙂

On an even more metaphysical/magical level, you can practice generating “supply” with your mind. This takes instant manifestation up several notches, so that you can actually create something out of the ideal in your mind. Thanks to Ariadne Stardust for the suggestion to read Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East by Baird T. Spalding. David owned this set when we first moved in together, and I’ve reached over it every day to answer the phone since we moved to Goshen! Whether or not you believe the adventures occurred exactly as written, the techniques work. I’ve long practiced versions of them just on my own — manifesting things I need within moments to days of visualizing and requesting. Someone either gives them to me, I find them on super-duper sales, or sales clerks remark that they’ve “never seen this item in inventory before. It’s not even in our computer!” Hmmm, well, fancy that. 😉

I don’t tell this to many people and no one believes me when I do, but I will share it here as relevant: I once created seven $10 bills out of thin air. They literally appeared as crisp, new $10 bills inside a previously empty hat. It freaked me out so much I never did it again that way, but I know for an experiential fact that we can supply ourselves with what we need. Emphasis on need, not for party tricks. My late friend Leigh went through a period of extreme poverty before she passed. She would often go to the grocery store with no money in her purse, select everything she needed to purchase, and when she checked out, she’d find exact change in her purse to pay for her goods.

While married, I went through a period in which money flowed out more than it came in, and I remembered Leigh’s experiences. I would select whatever we needed without tallying up the cost. Every time, it always came in just under what I had to spend — even if that took 75% off sales to make it happen. It always did. I also frequently found unexpected $20 bills in pockets or wrapped around credit cards, which I know did not exist until I needed them. I share these details here not to brag, but as testimony that we have many ways of meeting our needs. Whether food or money to buy food, the principle remains the same: tuning into the pure image of what we need and then allowing the Divine Spirit to respond and create through us.

I truly believe all the challenges facing our wold today offer opportunities to return to our Divine connection, spiritual tools and natural abilities. Faery tales — great repositories of truth — describe so many situations in which people with pure hearts receive even the most impossible gifts. People say with scorn, “Oh, that’s just a fairy tale, a myth,” in order to dismiss something as ridiculous. I could not disagree more. Our weakness, disconnection and “need” to struggle are the biggest lies ever told. Faery tales, folklore, ballads, and myths — real ones, not Disney — give us clues and wisdom for a return to more magical lives.

Blessed Be, and be the blessing!