The magic of nature is all around us. We need to develop the eyes of a child again so that we can tune in again and bask in her glory.
Planting the garden this weekend (on Mother’s Day) has joyfully brought people together. The community gathered around the new creation, and of course helped with the work, offered ideas, and just hung around.
Life is really about relationship, isn’t it? What else is there? But as we grow out of childhood most of us get focused on ourselves, relating to ourselves—what we want to become, how we want to earn a living, etc. Life isn’t so much fun any more, it’s work. Our relationship to others can become more of a means to satisfying what has become our first love, ourself and its goals and desires. We lose the purity, the lens of a child. We don’t look with amazement at nature any more. What we feel is that we no longer have the luxury of time.
When we talk about nature we often talk about the creation. Life creates more life. When we think of Nature as a creation, we wonder about a creator, which brings us to the religions of the world that address the question—who am I and how did I get here? Christianity, as expressed in the Bible, is a love story between God and His/Her creation. Buddhism is a love story into the self/Self through techniques of calming/quieting the mind. Again, developing the view of a child as expressed in Zen Mind, Beginners Mind. Christianity focuses on the Other, Buddhism leads to the Self.
So planting the garden bought out the community in me. Brought me into relationship not only with my neighbors, whom I’m just getting to know, but with nature-the big and magical neighbor all around us. A neighbor who give us the magic of life.
So I present to you our baby garden.
What is a bit hard to see in these pictures is that we have planted within these three beds baby plants from the Genus Allium—some onions within the central herb bed, some chives, shallots and leeks in the two flanking beds of vegetables, to keep the pests away. We didn’t plant any garlic, the most powerful of the Allium family, as its planting cycle is in the Fall.
The use of alliums as repellents has a long history, going back to Egyptians who used onions to repel snakes. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder wrote: Garlic has powerful properties…it keeps off serpents and scorpions by its smell (Block 2010). Fortunately we aren’t warding off snakes and scorpions here in the Northwest, but birds and bugs for sure, and garlic and the alliums apparently work on these as well. We will see.
The Genus Allium is comprised of 600 to 750 species and is one of the largest genera in the plant kingdom. The presence of sulfur containing compounds is a characteristic of this genus and the cause of its smell and pest control properties.
Garlic is the strongest-flavored edible Allium. It is relatively fragile; bruising will trigger the chemical reactions that release allicin, which is the essence of garlic. As a chemical, allicin is both unstable and reactive. These two qualities make it remarkably effective as an antibiotic, antioxidant and anticancer agent. Next week we will go further into this wonderful plant.
To get the maximum conversion of the precursor molecule alliin into the reactive/antibiotic like molecule allicin, we recommend taking our garlic capsules with food. Allicin is produced when the reactant alliin and alliinase come together with moisture. Stomach acid neutralizes alliinase, therefore the buffering effect of food, which raises the pH, minimizes this. You can also open up a capsule in water, let it react forming allicin and then drink it. Allicin is not sensitive to acid and also kills H. pylori.
The Last Quiz Answer: Meredith Turner from the Farm Sanctuary said, Though our sheep and goats get along fine with each other, we rarely see any particular interest between members of the two species. Dorothy [the sheep] and Chico [the goat] weren’t rescued together, and they live in a herd of more than 100 sheep and goats. People who have not spent time caring for these animals have a hard time telling them apart, especially all the sheep. But Dorothy recognizes Chico from the other end of the barn. They seek each other out, and when they meet, they exchange adoring greetings by rubbing their heads against each other. They spend hours each day grooming, playing and snuggling together. We don’t know how it happened, but these two are obviously smitten. (Daily Green)