Ronald Bunston: Whimsical Gardenings    
 Whimsical Gardenings0 comments
1 Mar 2008 @ 16:56, by Ronald Bunston


I'm assuming that most of this audio radiance is living in cities. My sympathies. This backwoods memory from abdicated Mennonites and mongrel Mohawk farming families was displaced by the exponential growth of cities over the last 50 years. That was further swallowed up by the green revolution with all of the reflected madness of agribusiness. My programming comes from a world that no longer exists.
In memory it held many of the elements of sustainablitiy that we seek now in the "new age". It was a sustainable, environmentally and culturally symbiotic culture. Perhaps we're also some bit of our grandmother's bones..a homeopathic element that can rebuild in an awareness of the unfolding civilization in a multidimensional reality.


I am troubled by cities, and the factors which presently hold them together.
We're shaping in our retirement the things we know will help others who form the platform for that "new civilization" unfolding in the trauma of change.
We're 50 years of construction and farming skills working with folks who are scratching their head in the agribusiness disaster. Two more family farms have shut down this last month. We folded ours 4 years ago and rethinking the redefined opportunity to build from scratch while ignoring the government and business pathologies that steered so many into this crisis.
We're living in a small town, planning for other farms for the 2008 season: raised bed gardens, greenhouses, perennial crops and orchards.
The snow is piled 8 ft high around the edges of driveways, parking lots; a sign of good groundwater with low bug hatch and a good spring start for food gardens.
I'm dreaming of having ducks again and at least one goat for a pet and a small working mare, maybe even a Roan Morgan, to help with an abandoned orchard we recently found of over a thousand trees.
But as with so many gentle troubled souls I read here, the abstract politics of the moment are a disturbing black cloud to otherwise whimsical dreams about ducks and organic gardens.
We expect that we can refocus those gentler dreams on any one of the dozen or so abandoned farms we've been looking at over the winter.
We think we've tied it down..120 acres, ponds, bush, salveagable wrecks of buildings, close enough to still be of some use to the seniors living in town.
Community scale farming holds the potential to be the testing ground for the needed blend of the new age with perennial rooted truths..in the context of urban and suburban needs. All we really need to make it work with that setting is an outhouse and a woodstove..and a dog of course.
The unsavoury but crucial details of the looming energy crisis are relevant in any business plan regardless of the poetry and metaphysics. Folks will still need the regionally based support elements of food, energy and shelter. No civilization operates for very long on a shortgage of any one of those three elements.
The best thing anyone could do in the moment is to grow food for the community. Build a passive energy sunroom from old windows. The rest will fall into place.
The crisis we all face in the transition to the New Civilization, the symbiotic culture, the "go green or die" is the oft repeated truths summed up by folks like Buckminster Fuller, and countless others.
I've been working for 53 years. The most puzzling aspect of a short exposure to international development was learning the self evident truths behind "control politics". I've written whole books about it over the years. In short, culturally imbued pathologies infect the human genome. The "New Civilization" therefore will be required to consider this carefully from the ground up and from the top down. Ground up, means gardening.
The gathering momentum is feeding that new civilization...the "Blessed Unrest" of Paul Hawkens moving talk last year at the Bioneers conference. We all face the trauma of the collapse of the carbon based economies, climate shift, unstable financial fantasies (like the sub-prime meltdown) and the simmering civil war in the U.S. that has been unfolding since the VietNam era.
Community partnering, community gardens, passive energy systems and whimsical therapeutic gardening adventures like the Edible Lawns movement and the SPIN Farming people all point to the self evident solutions for folks in extended families. Gather the wagon trains, allegorically speaking, into the necessary small self sustaining modules that will form the platform for that unfolding dream.
An elder from our displaced Haudenoshaunee family roots once remarked when we were speaking about young men in wars..that "stress is like fire..fire is what melts stones into steel..if you have been through such stress as you speak about you must be steel..."
With all that, dreaming and planning gardens is good medicine for stress.
*** ron b. ***


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