Musings: The Garden of Earth
Almost any garden, if you see it at just the right moment, can be confused with paradise. — Henry Mitchell
In the beginning, it is said that humans were birthed into the Garden of Eden — a lush, utopian land that provided for all their daily needs in perfect harmony with little toil. Eventually, however, humans were expelled from the garden as uncooperative guests and banished to their new lives tilling the soil to meet their endless needs. Many eons later, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young immortalized the yearning to return to our lost garden paradise, singing Joni Mitchell’s cryptic lyrics, “We are stardust, we are billion year old carbon, and we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.”
The garden is both grounded in dirt and infused with all the mysteries of the universe. Living as we do, smack in the middle of the big garden we call Earth, we are scarcely aware of all the vital organic activity taking place through the vast networks of molds, bacteria and other elements all around us, keeping Earth pulsing every day of our lives. As for the native birds, insects, bees and butterflies whose survival is in peril, without their invisible garden work pollinating and eliminating pests, entire food crops would fail and we would starve.
Yet consider how thoughtlessly we trample with our muddy boots in the garden we inhabit, unconcerned for any of those vital links we might crush. Clearcutting forests, stripping mountaintops, genetic engineering, and poisoning our soil, air and water supplies with pesticides may give us short term production gains and immediate corporate profits, but they also undermine our efforts for growing healthy food now and into the future. We eat what we grow and we are what we eat. As the trend increases towards corporate agri-giants controlling ever larger shares of our farming and food production, we can be sure we will be eating what’s most profitable for them, not what is healthiest for our bodies or Earth.
One way to sidestep this corporate control over your health is to grow and prepare more of your own food. With a few good books, some friendly advice, practice, patience and a commitment to doing the labor (we’re not in Eden anymore!), anyone can plant and grow their own food, flowers, herbs and more. Getting involved with the dirt in your yard is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself — and for Earth. You will be getting your daily dose of vitamin D-enriched, full spectrum sunshine and fresh air, and you will connect physically with Earth, which has the power to heal while being healed. In his book Spiritual Growth Through Domestic Gardening, author Al Fritsch, S.J., notes that just as physical touch heals the human body, the key to healing Earth is to touch the soil, feel how warm or cool, moist or dry, shallow or deep-rooted it is. With your caring touch, the great heartbeat of Mother Earth registers and reverberates even the most miniscule healing vibration around the entire planet.
It’s the garden that supplies you with all the colorful, fresh, vitamin and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables that keep your body its healthiest. Eaten raw, they are nature’s perfect food. If you are purchasing store bought produce, choose organic whenever possible to reduce your body’s toxic burden. Buy local to enhance freshness and eliminate the extra waxes and chemicals applied to produce being transported many miles.
Juicing fruits and vegetables is an ideal way to get all the raw produce nutrients you need, as well as add extras like flax seed oil, protein powder or wheatgrass to your diet. Since juicing guidelines vary widely from individual to individual, experiment by trial and error, do your own reading or seek out the advice of a nutritionist or raw food expert to find the best juicing recipes and juicer for you. A powerful prescription included in most alternative medicine cancer treatment programs, juicing is one of the fastest ways to help the body heal naturally from the inside out. Expect to see results. Growing your own produce is another way to help bring healthcare back home.