Welcome to Our 2015 Season!
Engage in life!
At White Rose Farm, we actively engage people--their heads, hands and hearts--in caring for and connecting with the land, the natural world and each other.We offer a place and a space where people can connect directly with life.
We are developing and sharing a model of community that empowers people to work together to restore health to the land, the natural world and each other.
In this upcoming season, the farm will host more programs, educational events and opportunities to get involved. Plans are forming; spring is here, and there are so many seeds to sow!
May the sunshine warm your heart!
Posted by Sally Voris :: Thursday, April 16 :: 7:07pm
At a recent gardening meeting, one backyard gardener asked about planting a garden. He was preparing to dig the soil. Several experienced farmers strongly advised him not to dig, but rather to layer cardboard and mulch over top the soil and plant into it. Research, they said, showed that digging the soil disrupts the microorganisms that create the soil's web of life.
I use mulch and newspaper to cover established grass when I am making new flower beds, but sometimes I pick up a shovel and dig. Perhaps, to paraphrase Ecclesiastes, there is a time to dig and a time to refrain from digging.
It may depend on our primary purpose for gardening. Are we growing food or making a life for ourselves? World class gardener Alan Chadwick asserted that the garden is for the gardener: we see our reflection in the gardens that we create. Theologian Thomas Berry said that the inner world of man and the outer world of nature go together. What if we are to learn about life by gardening? Why not begin in our own backyard?
Anastasia, in the Ringing Cedars series of books by Vladimir Megre, describes how people touch the Earth with love in their small garden plots in Russia. The Earth, she says, is very large, but exquisitely sensitive to loving touch.
What mother does not rejoice when her children return to her with an urge to connect? To appreciate what she offers? Mothers offer comfort, support, a listening ear, a warm lap, a gentle touch. I have seen women who willingly bear the brunt of rage so that it can be transformed and lifted. Our Earth Mother can take our anger and our raw energy and transform it. Perhaps she suffers most when she is not seen, felt or appreciated for what she offers.
Poet May Sarton wrote a poem focused on Kali, the dark mother in Indian mythology. She ended her poem, “The Invocation to Kali,” with these words, “Help us to be the always hopeful gardeners of the spirit who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, as without light, nothing flowers.”
When I dig in the soil, my innards go down into my own depths, my own darkness, my own confusion. While I am working with what is below the surface in the garden, I unearth some truth hidden within me. Grieving, raging, confused, frustrated,I have always found answers shovel in hand. In the process, I have created beautiful gardens.
So I say to this backyard gardener, “ If you feel called to dig, dig. Dig with love! Dig with rage! Dig with frustration! Dig with confusion! Dig! Dig! Dig! Dig knowing that something new will emerge from your efforts. Feel your energy flow into the land; feel the energy of the Earth flow into you. The soil will be disrupted, it will also be energized by your work. You will be enlivened by that flow and nourished by food coming out of your garden.”
Parents know that when their children take on a new task, it might be painful at first. When my son began playing the cello, the squeaking sound of the strings set my nerves on edge. I endured, though, knowing that sweet music would come with time and practice. The Earth can take the cut of a shovel as long as it is done with a desire to connect, to be real and to engage consciously.
Remember how sweet it is to really connect with another person? It can be that way in the garden too. Make love, make life in the garden! If it is time to dig, dig away! Get down and dirty. It is delicious!