Practising Ahimsa (non-harming) in the Garden
People think I know a lot about yoga because I’ve been doing it and teaching it for so long. I do know some things, but yoga is a big subject, so there is still plenty of learning for me. It’s all relative anyway, isn’t it?
I realised today when I attended a day long workshop on growing citrus trees that I actually don’t know much about gardening.
I have a worse confession: I thought I knew more than I do. This implies a certain level of planting arrogance. I wasn’t even going to go the workshop because I thought I knew enough.
I feel like I have to go around our gardens and trees and apologise to them for not giving them a good chance for survival. Some have died along the way, but instead of discovering what they needed, I planted again – same spot, same questionable methods.
Fortunately, we have great resources in our community. There are our neighbours, Stella and Ian, growing biodynamic garlic just down the road. Even with all Stella’s nous, she attended the workshop today to sharpen her skills and connect with a wider community.
The workshop I attended was held at The Tucker Patch, a demonstration garden in Gloucester, NSW. A variety of inspiring projects are underway on the 5 hectares of a former ‘travelling stock route’. You can see an elevated rain water tank that feeds a small dam system to provide water for gardens and orchards. You can learn about green and brown compost, see a recently constructed earth wall, and admire a small sculpture garden created from contributions from the local community.
The Tucker Patch is under the umbrella of the Gloucester Project which is ‘committed to making a difference in response to changing climate conditions and the consequent rising costs of fuel, energy, transport, land and water.’ Instead of waiting for government intervention, members of the Gloucester community are taking action, literally on a grassroots level.
There’s not much point in my trying to make amends to the plants and trees that inadvertently disadvantaged. More useful is my getting back to beginner’s mind and learning how to be a better gardener. It’s never too late.