Originally published in So, Be It!. A Blog about Perma Culture, Animal & Plant Husbandry and Quantum Philosphy.  You can read the article at the link below.

Why even partial self-sustenance is so important in the present time

There were some interesting news today. The first one regarding the fact, that approximately 58 billion metric tons of soil were lost in the Midwest of the United States since the advent of tilling/plowing. Another one was related to the present price of gasoline and how to remedy that problem by driving slower, among a list of recommendations, like car free Sundays.

Nothing wrong with car free Sundays, right? Then You get more time to spend with Your thriving Permaculture project! But asides from being facetious, there are of course real merits to spending more time and efforts on any size Permaculture project. This is what I want to talk to You about today. To start Your Permaculture project with sustenance on Your mind. Nowhere is it more apparent that You can start very small, actually in a tiny way to get going. Recently I commented on a blog that the most important action any one being can now engage in – is growing a Plant. Any Plant. Just One. Right Now. It’s the weekend and there should be Farmers’ Markets in Your area as well. This is the perfect place to source some seeds. Since You need only ONE seed, You need only ONE pot and the substrate to fill the flower pot. And it may very well be a flower seed that You are planting for now. The main point at this moment is to give birth to a Plant. There are many ways to give birth to a Plant – using the seed is the most common though. Later on, when things are growing well, we will look at all other forms of giving birth to a new Plant.


Descriptive image of car free sundays SG



Starting to grow one Plant is very easy. Especially since in the Northern Hemisphere Spring is already outside. But giving birth to a Plant is often done most favorably indoors – where it is nice and warm, like in the kitchen. On the window sill. Plus, one more days and it will be Spring officially. Many people have started a while ago to tend to their gardens. There is always something to do in the garden. Car free Sundays will aid the efforts to keep the garden in shape and healthy. Even if You are engaged in the Garden, tending to its Soil Biome, the one plant You are supposed to grow has a very special meaning and a very special purpose. You could have a nursery going and I would still ask You for this favor of giving birth to one Plant. It’s the birthing part that is so important. Being the midwife for a Plant right now at this moment.

All sustenance starts with one Plant. However, Your first Plant, or the one that You are planting now shall serve a purpose You might never have considered before, or not given serious consideration: “Plant Consciousness”. There are people who would argue that, if it can’t drive a car – it ain’t conscious. How wrong they are. I vouch for it to be the other way around and will prove it to You. Actually, the Plant will prove it to You. You have certainly heard of the notion that some people have a “Green Thumb”. My Grandma had two of them. But what is really behind the fact that some people are doing very well with Plants? What sets them apart from those who can’t seem to keep a Plant alive? The answer may surprise You – if You not already know, or presumed it to be so: the connection to the Plant consciousness. When I visited Findhorn in the mid eighties, I was fullfilling a dream – finding out why Eileen and Peter Caddy with the cooperation of Dorothy McLean had such tremendous success in growing Plants. It is one thing to read about it and another to experience it. In all the present world affairs You might not be able to travel to Findhorn, but I recommend You read up about it. Not only are the lectures highly entertaining, but much more so revealing of what makes for a loving and caring Plant husbandry.

Dorothy McLean had written a book about “Devas” – the Elemental Beings of Plants. Each Plant has its own Deva, very much like each human being has its own unique finger print. Devas of one Plant species are alike, but individual like humans. Or even more so. Devas are the non-physical blueprint behind any Plant. They are present from seed to fully grown Plant – from birth to death. Even though “death” has a different meaning among Plants. More on that when “compost” will be discussed.



Seeds of Inspiration back cover: Deva Flower Messages, of Dorothy Maclean



There are two parallel paths that lead to a Green Thumb. One is by paying the closest attention to what the Plant does, the other one by connecting with it on a level of consciousness. Yes, people with a Green Thumb talk to their Plants. My Grandma would sing for them, too. And treat each Plant as that specific Plant and not just like a Plant. There is some most insightful literature by Master Eckhart, the medieval philosopher, about the “This and That Being of a Rose”. He was definitely way ahead of his time, for which he got almost fried on the stake. He discovered the two states of being – the being a Rose and being that Rose. Those with a Green Thumb seem to have that understanding built in by default. When they tend to their Plants, they tend to each Plant as being that Plant and the Plant recognizes the difference immediately.

Therefor You could call the one way of tending to Plants the one where paying attention to the reaction of the Plant to Your actions is keenly observed, and the other one, where You tend to Your Plants from the point of knowing that they have a consciousness, that they are this Plant and even without having ever heard about the term “Deva” – that there is “something” You can connect to, communicate with that goes far beyond the vegetative matter.

Imagine both ways united in one love for Plants. That’s what Findhorn had shown me. It is also no coincidence that Findhorn became not only a spiritual center, but grew to a network of spiritual centers the world over. For me, it is the Plant consciousness that aided this development from the beginning. And it here, where I get back to my wish for You to give birth to a Plant. To that Plant. Connecting with its Deva, communicating with it. Paying utmost attention to how it reacts to Your tender, love and care.



Look at this Baby Plant!



When I now return to the initial concept of having Your sustenance on Your mind when You give birth to Your first, or Your next Plant, I like You to incorporate – if You are not already doing it – the aspect of Plants having a Deva, of being conscious into Your tending to it – to them. You will have most powerful allies in Plants that are reognized as individual beings. There are no coincidences, correct? No better example for this fact exists when You look at all the prizes the Findhorn community won year after year for decades at the Royal Gardening and Farmer’s Exhibition (my wording, but You can search for that – there is a competition among gardeners and farmers in the UK every year). Without the use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. Without nothing but the profound connection to the Plants’ consciousness. Can You feel how well You will have placed Your livelihood, Your sustenance in the Devas, the leaves, branches and trunks of our beloved Plant relatives? Just like there are tropical Plants growing in Findhorn – where they absolutely couldn’t otherwise (even though there is a climatic bubble over Findhorn Bay and why is that now…), if not for the loving care they are given. For a many various reasons and personal experiences, I have long come to the conclusion, that Animals and Plants (and maybe even Lava!) are the only beings that return Your love to them always in kind. Loving Your Plants will make them grow in joy, will make them grow faster, taller and bles You with larger harvests You could ever imagine and that even in areas where they usually don’t grow at all. But they will – for You.

And in regards to the 58 billions of metric tons of top soil lost since plowing began in the Midwest (in the Midwest alone that is!) it must be noted that industrial ‘farming’ has the greatest share in this loss. Industrial “pharming” us a cancer to the Soil Biome and needs to be stopped immediately. Maybe this us now the time, when due to illegal sanctions the backbone of industrial pharming is broken. High fuel prices and shortages in fertilizers and chemicals will break unsustainable monocultures. All people on earth can easily be fed by family farms that engage in Permaculture. That do not treat their Plants as unconscious means to an end, but as friends, companions and relatives. With Permaculture/vertical Permaculture, returns in excess of $ 100,000.00 per acre/per year are absolutely possible. Provided You adhere to the principles of organic Plantculture and Plant “co-ops” – the co-operation of Plants.


Helena-Sophia Exel is a writer, blogger, photographer who loves plants, animals, volcanoes, and administrator of the German independent media outlet The OffGuardian.



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