Tag Archives: Metaculture

Wood and Earth

Winter has finally come around and although it is  our busier time of the year, I took a moment to lay in some garden beds for the next season, at our land in Italy. The weather has been amazingly sunny and warm: we seem to have endless string of sunny days, and the little dusting of snow we had just adds to the beauty of it all. The mountain is majestic and it is so good to be outside all day long in the sun – we are even sweating  most days.

We decided to take a moment break (well I did) and make some raised garden beds. There is an old method that used to be practiced in Eastern Europe and Germany for decades – it is called Hügelkultur, and it calls for burying wood under earth, and layering to create compost, which ensures constant moisture to the bed. It is said that this method can be used in the desert and would not need watering if done right so I thought well we should give it a go, as we sure did water our garden last year in the hot, dry summer.

We have dug a wide long trench. This was quite easy as we used our digger instead of having to do the work by hand and the ground is nice and dry. The commotion drew the neighbouring farmer so we used the opportunity to have him deliver some horse manure.

First step was to fill the dug section with logs and as we have just been clearing the old orchards, there was quite a supply of weeping elms.

Weeping Elm Logs

Filling the trench with logs

 

Horse Manure

Horse Manure

The logs were covered in earth and we piled some straw out of an old straw bale that came from another neighbouring farmer, it seemed it was all just flowing, whenever the next layer was needed someone would happen to be driving along and come and deliver it.

Raised beds covered with straw

Straw covered earth.

The best thing about the straw bales is that they need to be really old or one has to go through a process of maturing them, and the good thing was that the old farmer that came to pick the bales for his horse, was picking up last years bales and some have got in a bad way or might I say, they ended up in a raised bed.

As we were rather rich in horse manure we thought we would lay one layer of that afterwards to help the composting process. The whole Idea of the process except for its compost quality is that once the wood rots, its acts more and more like a sponge collecting water when the earth is wet, and delivering it back slowly once it dries up, or in another sense, as I was telling the local farmers who could not really believe I was burying my wood pile in a nice clear field, it’s a method for having a garden without the need to water it.

Horse Manure being used for gardening

Laying horse manure

As things were in swing and all the local farmers seem to be out and about in our parts, I thought maybe we can kill two birds with one stone, and got one of them to come with us to pick up some of the olive branches of the olives we just pruned. These olives have been neglected for 10 or so years, and there was a surprising amount, and i thought great that would be another nice layer for the raised bed. Back in the day Olive wood was quite sacred, and its amazing smell when burnt made feel like a sacrilege to just throw it in the ground, but somehow we managed.

using olive branches for raised beds

Olive branches delivery

To top it all up we have put the remaining earth, another load of horse manure, and another whole straw bale, seeing that no manual digging was involved I was rather pleased with the speed it all came together, and it was nice education for us and the local farmers, who promised that if my gardening experiments work they would make their own garden the same way.

Abruzzen Shepard

The bed is raised!

It felt funny teaching them how to garden, like selling snow to eskimos, but in a way it is time for new ways to take place, and as the Italian country side is suffering from the lack of governmental reforms more than most and the old day farming methods seems to have been swapped to simply plowing in grain once a year, I guess it is a turn for the good. It sure felt like it was flowing and I hope the abandoned lands and olive groves would flourish again at the foothills of the Magellan. The locals seem to have put a little more effort than usual this year into their fields and I hope we helped in some way to revive the abandoned fields and get the locals to not abandon their plots.

 

How Nomads Garden

In the previous post we spoke about the dichotomy between nomads and gardeners.

Today we decided its time to plough our field the nomadic way.

We found an old plough in the shed and, lacking horses, decided we will use the winch on the back of the truck to pull it along.

814 4x4 winch

Winching cable away from friendly oak

Winch work

Starting over again

Which ploughing

Plough fun

We would winch it one way and them drive it back with the Toyota to start over again.
That’s how nomads garden!

A Nomad’s Garden

A few years ago I attended a workshop with a group of creative people, at the height of which we were discussing the use of the zodiac tent. One of the guys attending was telling us his vision, the girl next to me started holding her womb in her hands, I guess it was so male orientated, she made me laugh with her comments……

At one point the guy said something that registered quite strong for me (although I have no womb if I did I would be grabbing it too at that point). He said “you are either a gardener or a nomad”. I could not believe it, I wanted to hurl my neighbour’s womb at him.

The use of the word ‘nomads’ get quite a lot of abuse. These days the pastoral way of living, which is suited to some places, is fading out of view, the tribal heart is gone. In its place there is a displacement  and we, the white people of the West, constantly feel we aren’t in the right place. Some tribal societies call it ‘the sickness of the white race’….Out of which another type of nomad has grown.

Growing nomads

Growing nomads.

That nomad is the one that longs to find a tribal heart, a connectivity with the greater whole we seem to miss, that sense of belonging to a group of people, to an earth, to a greater purpose.

For the last 18 years I never seemed to be live longer than a year in one place, and at long stretches, I seem to be living in trucks, seemingly looking for a home. At a certain point I realised that, not only I’m looking for a home, I’m looking to create a heart of sorts, a centre for that group mind. A place where we can grow nomads beyond that separation that makes us wanderlust, wandering lost.

 

Overland trucks

Nomadic Trans-formation

It’s another type of gardening I guess, although I still feel Julliete de Bairacli Levy was right when she said that if you move a lot, make sure to plant your lettuces on arrival. Chances are you will be around long enough to pick them, and I do confess that was always true for me, although in my garden I will grow nomads along with the lettuce. Nomads can be gardeners, and this one will grow nomads.

What I’ve been looking for all those years is not just a clear psychic landscape, but a means to bring those people into that experience, that together. We have been lucky enough to find it inside and outside as our daily reality – we live in a group formation, it takes a lot to uphold for sure, but it is gratifying.

Its always been hard to describe this inner outer reality of together, the telepathy, the move out of that individuality that so oppresses our collective unconscious, the world of me, me and me. Instead we live in a small group, where the boundaries of separation aren’t so clear, there is no me, it’s not clear what thoughts are mine and where the others start and I stop. My place in the group has always been the heart, so when it comes to feelings, it seems I live in a network of others. At times I’m not sure there is even a me left in there, maybe it all is their feelings.

It feels strong to have finally found a place on earth, to plant these nomadic seeds into living deeds, working on the first of a series of transformational events that are designed to take the individual beyond the self into the magic of the group body, in the wildest of wilds around the fire, doing the deepest magic, coming back to the tribal heart, through the sorcery of the other self.

We are creating the campsite that takes you away from you, and brings you into another world, where the collective trance of reconnecting as a whole gives birth to an unknown experience, the cure for that sickness of the white race – is the group body, and it belongs to our real selves. Hoping to see some of  you as the garden-nomads too, to work with you into the tribal godhead. To share altered states of awareness as our daily bread.

Some things are maybe beyond our comprehension possibly, but they still do happen. It’s like that story of the Russian prince who one day got a visit from a nomadic sorceress, who said to him “surrender all your lands to me now or face the consequences”. He laughed of course. The next day the Mongolian horde overtook him, killing all his people.