Gardening by Moon Cycles

I’ve been thinking and talking about gardening and farming a lot these days with pretty much anyone I meet and I have learned so much already through these conversations! My mind is actively mulling over the potentials and opportunities that this farming project has to offer.

I find it interesting how, when we put our mind to something or begin to think in a certain way, all of a sudden it is like the answers appear! What we need to know is revealed to us in many different ways, sometimes subtle and sometimes not. Over the last week I have received an incredible amount of information that is helping me to understand the whole process of farming from many new (to me) angles and perspectives.

Yesterday I was chatting with one of my neighbours. After meeting her cat who was shyly circling me at an appropriate distance the conversation turned to chickens… we want to get chickens but are concerned with the local critters big and small (bears, eagles, ravens, wolves, and coyotes) that might want to eat them. We then started talking about gardening and she told me she was just about to transplant a rose bush because the moon was moving into Pisces. To this my ears pricked up … what is this you say? What do transplanting a rose bush and the astrological sign Pisces have in common? When I asked her to explain she proceeded to tell me about the moon cycles and how they influence gardening activities – when to plant, harvest and even build or mend fences!

When I got home I checked it out on the Farmers Almanac site and sure enough, there it was – information about Gardening by the Moon. So exciting!!! I love this stuff.

As I went down that rabbit hole it took me to a site about Biodynamic gardening, a philosophy that “works in rhythm with earth and cosmos” and how farmers that follow this holistic method understand the “subtle ways that the environment and wider cosmos influence the growth and development of plants and animals.” In 1924, the philosopher and scientist Dr. Rudolf Steiner offered lectures to farmers that “opened a new way to integrate scientific understanding with a recognition of spirit in nature.” More to study and absorb!

In the past few days I have heard through various unrelated people and conversations about the organization called WWOOF World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. In their mission statement they explain that this organization is part of a “worldwide movement linking visitors with organic farmers and growers to promote cultural and educational experiences based on trust and non-monetary exchange thereby helping to build a sustainable global community.” Perhaps this is something that we will be a part of in the future once our farm has been up and running for a few years and the infrastructure is in place.

Spring is a time of growth and transformation. We see it in nature with the trees, flowers, birds and animals coming to life. In early spring we can feel on one hand ready for action but on the other still awakening from the quiet time of winter… It is common for people to feel as though a pressure is building up within but they do not yet know how it will manifest – only to be revealed for example once the tight fern frond has fully opened to it’s ultimate form and shape by mid-spring. I for one tend to feel an underlying sensation of impatience at this time of year.

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes and the grass grows by itself.”

Matsuo Bashō

And so for now, I will enjoy the process of doing little and absorbing much. The field in it’s current state is such a lovely place to walk and to be. Watching it change with the seasons offers much information that we will need when we start planting and growing.

The Farm… at Raven’s Perch

The plan for the farm is evolving and after a really amazing site visit with Hailey Troock from Young Agrarians we decided it would be a good idea to take it slow (opposite to my… let’s just do it NOW default way of thinking)… We are in the final stages of our building process and there is still a lot of time, effort and money required on that front so it doesn’t make sense to spread ourselves too thin by tackling this part of the project at this time. Therefore, this summer we will take the time to connect with those who have expressed interest in being apart of this opportunity, and if that is YOU please contact Hailey (info in her blog post linked below). Once fall arrives we will focus on getting the soil prepped and plant a winter rye crop to help build the soil up. By next April we’ll start getting things ready for the growing season!! Then the real fun begins, can’t wait to get my hands dirty!

Of course a lot will happen between fall and spring. We will need to meet up with those who are going to be living on the land and working the farm with us so that we can do some brainstorming and planning on design as well as discuss all the details involved with co-existing on the property as a healthy and happy community of like-minded people.

Over the winter I personally plan on spending a lot amount of time studying permaculture (I’ve had a book on my wish list for a long time that I’ll pick up soon called Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway). I will also be sifting through the abundance of the amazing farming and business resources provided on the Young Agrarians site.

Hailey’s blog post explains our opportunity very well, and includes her contact information if you are interested in applying… check it out!

There seems to be a real wave of interest directed towards farming right now. There is a greater interest in taking control of one’s own food source and I think it is one positive outcome of this very strange and bizarre situation that we find ourselves in in 2020. Here’s a challenge for you, whether you have acreage, a front and/or back yard, access to a local allotment garden or even a balcony – see what you can grow this summer!