Dark moon, December

Hi lovely reader. You. Thanks for following, for reading, for sometimes commenting. It makes it worthwhile to maintain this, spending a couple of hours a week to gather my thoughts and write something up, and edit to make it all readable. I know, it doesn’t happen every week, sometimes there’s just too much going on. But my aim is to get a little something to you, every Monday or Tuesday, about what’s happening in my Oasis, workerBe Oasis, and what you might want to do in your own Oasis… hoping these notes finds you well. And if we haven’t met yet, I’m looking forwards to meet you and have a good garden talk some day!

Last week, I just had to stop. I was listening to Formidable Vegetable Soundsystem, who’s cd is called “Permaculture – A Rhymer’s Manual and has 12 songs corresponding to the 12 permaculture design principles. The first one is “Look Around – Observe and Interact”:

“Before you intervene

don’t do anything

Come to all your senses

They’ll tell you everything…

…All you have to do is stop

and take a look around”

Ahhhh… I know this. You know this. We all know this but sometimes it just gets lost in all of our Busy Doing. Which seem so much more important. But sitting in the garden, looking at the flowers, the swelling strawberries, currants and raspberries, tasting the broadbeans… this is where I learn. Feeling, sniffing the soil. Is it soft? Moist? How many and which critters can I see? Which trees and bushes does the wind ruffle? Just sitting, observing, without any judgement on things, whether it’s good or bad, just taking note. Bliss. And so, so, SO useful.

This is why I’m starting my garden journal again. Not so much for the purpose of knowing what I sow where and how it grows, as for the simple pleasure of sitting and observing every single day. Another kind of meditation, maybe? With its own sort of poetry…

“Rain 14mm.

Really windy, peach tree swaying

Lots of bumble bees in borage, fewer honeybees

First runner bean 1.5m tall.

A whole bowl of strawberries, 5 raspberries, currants taking colour

Hydrangea stating to open, Feijoa in flower, Rose still has aphids, Sweet williams self seeding.

Many borage seedlings. Tomato seedlings in among the strawberries…

Mulch is thin, birds using it for nesting.

Cats and birds drink in the watering trough.”

Noting when plants start to flower helps keeping track of the seasons and knowing whether the seasons come early or late. Noting rain and wind helps knowing when to water and how much. But just simply Being Present in the garden, I think this is the most revolutionary. What can I NOT do? What is nature doing for me – what’s already happening? The dominant culture conditions us to fix things, be active, do stuff all the time.

Sitting and listening can feel uncomfortable at first. But soon I feel that the garden embraces me, when I stop looking for faults and judge myself and the garden for not doing enough. Nature holds us humans. We’re part of it, weeds and bees and food and wind. All together, each bit being just what it should be.

In the Oasis this week:

  • sit
  • listen
  • enjoy
  • graze
  • dream

And if you feel like it and your garden seem to want it, all the usual things of sowing, planting, mulching, watering. You know the drill now if you’ve followed EdibleOasis for a while. So take a break and see what you don’t need to do.

Workshop Thursday 10/12, 6.30pm: Garden in Time & Space. Your fresh observations will come in handy!

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