Posts Tagged ‘World Famine’

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!

Wild Foraging and Weeds: Why Wild Things Make My Heart Sing

Anyone who follows me on Facebook, walks in the woods (or anywhere!) with me, peruses titles on my growing stack of library books, or visits our backyard may possibly have noticed a teeny tiny obsession with all things wild. This is not something new, but it has most definitely intensified since October 2010, when I took an Urban Foraging Class on my first visit to Madison. In years past, I delighted in dandelions, lambs quarters, nettles and purslane, with the occasional sorrel mixed in for good measure. My friend Cecilia showed me a wild strawberry bush and fig tree in Petaluma, and we spent some blissful times gorging ourselves on Nature’s bounty. Perhaps it’s the faery in me, but I’ve always loved weeds, especially clover that attracts honey bees and Leprechauns … as well as forget-me-nots and all things foresty.

In addition to the woods, medicinal herbs have also held a space close to my heart, especially since I first began my Medical Intuitive practice while doing an apprentice trade with a Seattle herbalist of 50+ years (no longer practicing). In exchange for me “reading” his clients, he taught me what he knew about Chinese, Ayurvedic and Native American Herbal Remedies. We both learned lots and his clients benefited from our joint efforts. In my pre-“I not only believe in past lives, but I offer past life readings” days, he would assure me that I must have spent many lifetimes working as a healer because I seemed to just “know” all the remedies. I’ve gradually learned more on a conscious level, and I’ve obviously gotten over my reluctance to attribute any past life infiltration of knowledge! Still, one thing I missed in working with him was the experience of actual plants. All the herbs he used arrived as powders. The most I interacted with them was by taking them internally or counting capsules for his clients. I appreciated the ways he helped me heal from my brain injury, along with the training, but part of me longed to connect with the plants themselves.

Fast forward ten years: living in a house in eco-friendly Madison has provided me with a yard, unsprayed bike trails, and a community of people interested in permaculture, organic gardening and wild food foraging. I’ve since attended another urban foraging class, as well as a Wild Edibles Dinner, hosted by Kathleen Wildwood of Wildwood Institute. The gourmet, multi-course meal was foraged and prepared by the owners of Moonwise Herbs, and it truly inspired me with more community, delicious, deeply nourishing food, and a greater appreciation of the abundance all around us.

As a Lazy Raw Foodist and newbie gardener, I love so many things about wild foods! For one thing, they grow without effort. Instead of weeding the garden, watering the soil, and carefully fertilizing seedlings, you can just let the weeds have at it. I find this comforting, as I watch how slowly my cultivated seedlings have sprouted and begun to grow, in vast contrast to the abundance and fast spurts of dandelions, lambs quarters and wild violets. Our backyard came with lots of bulb plants like hostas and lillies, but I’ve also found wood nettles, bee balm, garlic mustard (great for pesto!), what appears to be plantain, clover, creeping Jenny, wild lettuces, a transplanted stinging nettle, ferns (for fiddleheads), various now potted mints, and some possibly edible leeks. We also inherited three raspberry bushes, two elderberry trees, and some burdock from a permaculture enthusiast who needed to trim back her bounty. These all look happy and vibrant among my kale, chard, chives, strawberries, herbs, nasturtiums and marigolds.

Much happier than my poor tomato plants! Dear me, if I based my gardening experience on the joy of some of the trickier specimens, I’d feel so discouraged that I just might quit. Instead, the weeds provide wonderful greens for smoothies and salads, as well as “proof” that our tiny, unplanned yard can provide abudant produce. If I expand my “garden” outward to include nearby bike paths, I find Juneberry trees, more elderberry, giant dandelions, large burdock and cattails, which I have yet to try. I hear that cattails offer all parts as edibles during various points of the year, but still want some help identifying which parts to harvest when. Our landlord, who lives behind us, also offered his crabapple trees and cherry tree during harvest time. These produce much more than birds and the nearby humans can handle without canning, freezing or dehydrating. Supposedly the crabapples make an excellent cider, and I’m happy to experiment when the time comes.

The Wild Edibles Dinner featured a dessert made from Japanese Knotweed berries, which some of you may recognize as a primary ingredient in Resveratrol supplements. Indeed, David Wolfe has mentioned Japanese Knotweed as a major immune system support for people suffering from Lyme Disease, and I used these to help my ex-husband recover from his Advanced Stage Lyme. There’s a saying among herbalists that Nature provides whatever you need nearby, so I find it interesting that Japanese Knotweed has become a massively invasive species in Wisconsin, where Lyme Disease also runs rampant. I’ve heard the same thing about teasel root growing fast in Oregon and other areas with a LD issue. I don’t have LD, but I must say, that Japanese Knotweed crisp rocked! So much so that I’m going to call the folks trying to eradicate it from a nearby park to see if I can harvest the unsprayed berries.

I love how Nature seems to “know” exactly what issue someone has and synchronously provide just the plants necessary for healing. Anyone who reads this blog knows that I consider humanity to be in a crisis state right now. From government to corporate to environmental abuses to the restriction of all herbs in the EU, we need to wake up and shift! Planet Earth does not require humanity for her survival. In addition to taste and medicinal properties, I love the resilient and unstoppable qualities of weeds. We are what we eat, and we could do much worse than weeds. In fact, weeds balance disturbed or unhealthy ecosystems. Things like dandelion, comfrey and burdock grow extremely deep roots, drawing minerals up to renourish depleted soil. Weeds spring up when the Earth needs healing. By eating more weeds, we can become, on a cellular level, Earth healers. By eating wild things, we become wild, too — more easily able to free ourselves from outmoded societal conditioning that destroys communities and our sense of connection with each other and our environment.

Harvesting local foods frees us from dependence on oil and the transportation system used to bring us the produce we take for granted. It also frees us from having to pay for food. Although I have plenty of money to buy groceries, I recognize BigBanks, BigOil, BigAg and BigPharma as major culprits in all things wrong with our world right now. I would love to live completely outside the system, and I keep researching ways to increase my own independence (and interdependence with more preferable groups). In the meantime, collecting weeds, wild foraging for edibles and seeding easy-to-grow organic plants at home, brings me step-by-step closer to greater harmony with the Earth and my own Nature-loving soul. Learning how to survive on wild items also lets me relax about potential world food shortages caused by poor weather conditions, disasters or disruption of food transportation.

I’m nowhere near my final goals, but I begin each morning marveling at the abundance and beauty all around me. I find it fun. The spunky part of me who’s familiar with Codex Alimentarius and Agenda 21 also gets excited to think of myself like a weed. In a world where governments at best fail to protect their citizens and at worst are actively creating weather, environmental and pharmaceutical conditions to destroy, starve or poison large portions of the population, eating weeds and wild things is my way of celebrating strength and life. Just TRY to eradicate dandelions! Just try to get rid of wild violets and garlic mustard. Even with the most intense chemicals and poor conditions, new ones will no doubt pop up. I have lambsquarters growing in my patio cracks! Feeling that resilience and expansion in myself makes me giggle. I also feel deeply nourished and joyful.

If you decide to forage, I strongly suggest connecting with experienced people in your area. You’ll also want to make sure the no one sprays or pollutes the plants you’d like to eat, and identification does matter. You’ll want to learn the key differences between wild edibles and poisonous lookalikes. If in doubt, don’t eat it! Personally, I find the learning curve exciting. Yes, it takes up a lot of my current time and energy, but I consider the process both recreational and restorative. In a world of change, those who cling to the old may perish, but those who adapt, thrive. I intend to flourish, regardless of circumstances, and I feel ever so grateful for the challenges that brought me more in tune with Earth and some beautiful humans and animals on this planet.