Friday, August 19, 2011

Farming: Week One

So I have started working at a biodynamic farm, partially to cover the visa requirements so that I can apply for another year of working-holiday in Australia, but also because I think it will be great to be outside and learning something new about how food can be grown.  Biodynamics is something I hadn't heard of before I arrived in Australia, so I am certainly not an expert, but it seems to look at the idea of food production from a very well rounded perspective.  Many factors come into play here: the quality of the soil, planting in accordance to the moon cycles, the memory of water, and keeping toxic chemicals away from anything that will be entering your body.  With the soil, especially in Western Australia, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of building up a level of healthy microbes and nutrients in the earth, as things are pretty depleted as it stands now.  That means that compost is an absolute necessity for anyone who is not interested in putting heaps of chemicals in the ground, that will then go up into the plants, which then wind up in our bellies.   Raised veggie beds are quite popular in the gardening/farming community around here as well, and I don't know much about this yet, but I imagine it is for two reasons: drainage (lots of clay/sand in the soil), and keeping all that compost concentrated to the areas where the plants are actually growing.  No need to work on soil quality where the footpaths are going to be.  Anyways, all this boring talk aside, I spent my week weeding asparagus, planting native trees, and raking compost and then topsoil over the veggie beds.  I luckily got mostly nice weather, although the first part of the week was cold and wet (ie:rain+ crazy  wind=horizontal rain), so thank yous are in order to the very nice friends who have lent me rain-gear.  There are many many complaining muscles in my arms/shoulders/between the shoulder blades/lower back, (what isn't sore would be a better question) but I think my practice will help to keep my body happy.  I am treating myself to a late practice today since I don't have to do anything until later this afternoon, I thought why get up at 3am, when I could let these weary muscles catch up on some rest.  Can I look at that as practicing ahimsa with myself?  And I have a free weekend too! Yahoo!       

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