December 19, 2010

My Freshly Sown Patch At McRorie Community Garden

“Humanity knows nothing at all. There is no intrinsic value in anything, and every action is a futile, meaningless effort.”

Gardening at our community garden has opened the door to many things for me. I just planted carrot, okra, zipper cream and tomatillo seeds this week. I’m happy because it’s been raining these past few days since and will probably rain more so they should sprout well. I’m planting tomatillos because I love salsa verde. Carrots and okra will grow nicely this time of year in Florida. Nick and Erin gave me the okra and zipper cream seeds! I got the heirloom carrot seeds from a pleasant local organic grocer here in town.

The community garden is more than just a place to grow your own plants. It’s satisfying to visit with people while you work your patch.

One of the people I met while gardening at McRorie, Kane, mentioned he was interested in an way of farming based on the approach of a Japanese farmer named Fukuoka. So, out of curiosity, I learned a little and subscribe to a mailing list about Fukuoka Farming. “The Fukuoka Farming Mailing List was created to discuss Masanobu Fukuoka’s revolutionary method of natural farming. Discussion of Fukuoka’s books, ongoing projects in Fukuoka Farming, creating and dispersing seed balls, and anything else to do with Masanobu Fukuoka, his life and work are all encouraged. This list was primarily created as a place for people interested in Fukuoka’s methods to network and share resources. Let’s help change the way people think about growing food.”

So, I read the list and I like the approach very much. For example, here’s a video demonstrating the approach Krishna takes to farming using Fukuoka’s teachings at his farm, Solitude.

“Dear friends, I am Krishna McKenzie and I started and run Solitude Farm in Auroville, Tamil, Nadu, India. Since 18 years, I have been deeply inspired by Fukuokasan and have worked with intensity at manifesting his vision since i met him some 8 years ago.

Here is our latest video about non-tillage direct sown rice cultivation as per our climate, topography, crops, etc. Hope you like it. Yours, Krishna”

Click here to see where the Solitude Farm is using Google Maps – it’s cool!

This morning, I read this post in the Fukuoka Farming group:

Dear all, I have been wondering. How many of us really, really understand the true meaning of what Fukuoka San wrote, “Humanity knows nothing at all. There is no intrinsic value in anything, and every action is a futile, meaningless effort.” To me this is a crucial statement for attaining true freedom. I think what he meant was, nature is so vast and all encompassing that no matter what you do, ultimately it will prevail. The Dinosaurs were on the Earth for a 100 million years. Humans have been around for between 3 and 5 million years, modern humans for just about 10,000 years and already heading for disaster. compared to Dinosaurs, a flash in the proverbial pan. Warm regards, Sumant Joshi

Sh’mal Ellenberg gave me the patch I cultivate at the garden. My whole experience with the garden happened entirely by accident. I found it while I was wandering around one afternoon on my bike headed for a beautiful trail between Gainesville and Micanopy that crosses over Payne’s Prairie. There are wild horses there, descendants of the horses the Spanish brought over. There are buffalo, alligators and birds there, too! Cool place. But, I had trouble finding the trailhead and happened upon the garden. I met Sh’mal there. He was waiting to meet some people he planned to give his patch to because he was moving out of town. The people never showed up. He wound up giving me his patch! We’ve become great friends. You’ll read some of Shmal’s writing here on Elephant if you look around a little.

It’s funny how things can be connected. Another friend gave me a tattered copy of “The Music of Life”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan one day. I savored every word of it over about a year. Sh’mal coincidentally mentioned to me that there was a meaningful website with a collection of teachings of Hazrat Inayat Khan called “Wahidudden”. Here’s what today’s “Bowl of Saki” said:

The plain truth is too simple for the seeker after complexity, who is looking for things he cannot understand.

— Bowl of Saki, December 19, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

Commentary by Pir-o-Murshid Inayat Khan:

Man likes complexity. He does not want to take only one step; it is more interesting to look forward to millions of steps. The man who is seeking the truth gets into a maze, and that maze interests him. He wants to go through it a thousand times more. It is just like children. Their whole interest is in running about; they do not want to see the door and go in until they are very tired. So it is with grown-up people. They all say that they are seeking truth, but they like the maze. That is why the mystics made the greatest truths a mystery, to be given only to the few who were ready for them, letting the others play because it was the time for them to play.

from http://wahiduddin.net/mv2/X/X_3_7.htm

What holds man back? It is his love of complexity. Life makes for man a puzzle, and like a child he enjoys the puzzle. Truth is too simple for him; he attaches importance to what he cannot understand. If he is told that there is a sacred mountain a thousand miles away he will walk to it. In the ancient days the people were told that if they walked in a circle round the temple a hundred times they would gain much, and they went and felt they had made a pilgrimage. Such is human nature. Man longs for truth, he searches for truth, and yet he wants to escape from truth. Man wants mystery. He wants something that can be put into words. So long as the seeker has that desire he will remain in a puzzle, but for the one who wishes to come out, the door is open. The heart of man is the abode of God. Christ said, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you’…. Man has accustomed himself to think of things that are far from truth. Even in religion as well as in everyday life he is continually denying truth, and so he wanders far away because he becomes accustomed to everything but truth.

~~~ “Complete Works of Pir-o-Murshid Hazrat Inayat Khan, 1924 I, Through Limitation to Perfection”, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

This all lead up to a beautiful little moment of enlightenment for me that happened this morning. In fact, all of this chi from being around inspiring, pleasant people and doing healthy, regular activities like biking, gardening and reading/studying and contemplating thoughts works out for me. It combines to a nice lifestyle. I hope you enjoyed the little diversion! I’d love to read your comments on these thoughts.

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