– kneeling therapy



… no this is not about a new religion, though if it were I’d probably get several thousand offers instantly from potential acolytes.  What is it about our species?  We live in a time where we are supposedly at our most evolved, and the majority (I’m thinking here at least 90%, though probably higher) are totally serious about believing in stuff that obviously doesn’t exist.  Meanwhile it is virtually impossible to interest even a handful in that which does?

No, this is all to do with my developing philosophy about how we should treat the planet from now on, by leaving it totally alone, doing nothing, withdrawing en masse to one tiny area, and leaving the rest for nature to repair as it alone knows best.  Instead of blindly following all these crazy human-centric eco pyramid schemes that keep popping up, all claiming to serve nature’s best interests, but really just about those who benefit, appealing to our egos more than anything else.  Or, trusting in science, who are even more to blame for getting us into this mess.

Admittedly it is really hard to simply, do nothing.  We are after all the one species which prefers order over chaos, so the social pressure of being the sole garden in a street which looks like a jungle would be intense, in fact the neighbours would probably apply to the council for some kind of cleansing ordinance.  But this is what we actually have to do.  If you were to look down right now from above, at what we have done, this intense patchwork of individual artificial gardens/ fields, surrounded by similar unnatural roads and buildings, then compare it to the same view as if we had never existed, you’d see immediately this isn’t right.  What we have created here is inherently selfish, and that’s because we find it impossible to share the planet with all the other species on equal terms.  Reality is where everything co-exists sustainably, plus continuous new life forms and diversification, not hard-wiring and raping the entire place with concrete and tarmac, even if we currently like to coin our latest gardening/ farming efforts organic and sustainable.

One way to appreciate the rightness of doing nothing is what I have coined kneeling therapy.  This grew out of two things.  First was a spinal hernia, which forced me to garden from this position, and from there, a whole new perspective, the gradual appreciation that using tractors/ rotavators/ brush-cutters/ or even a hoe, means you can’t see or appreciate what incredible damage we are inflicting on the precious world at soil level (imagine it microscopically).  But is it actually possible?  The garden here at El Pocito is 25,000 square metres, that’s an awful amount for one person to get round.  Yet for the last five years this is exactly what I have managed (on top of everything else).  What’s more, working this way has created miracles where all the previous systems failed.  Using nothing more than fingers and a pair of secateurs.  How?  Nature is continuously renewing and updating itself.  By not disturbing this work thousands of new trees have automatically appeared, along with annuals and perennials too, some having laid dormant for decades, others brought in by other creatures.  They are also a lot hardier and resistant to bought seed and plants.  What is happening now would not been possible had I followed any of the conventional or even alternative methods we have come up with.  I know this, because I’ve attempted them all.  But best of all it fits in perfectly with my other philosophy, of sustainability, living without the need for money, because it costs virtually nothing.  Especially compared to what otherwise would be a vast outlay in time/ money/ and personnel to create the same result.  Plus there is also the added bonus of a very relaxing exercise (my back has never been better), and the intense pleasure of watching nature at work repairing our arrogant mistakes.

Ideally of course I’d rather do nothing, why bother.  But I feel guilt at what has been done before so want to try and put right some of the mistakes of previous tenants, albeit treading oh so lightly on the fragile soil.  Why not have a go too?  I guarantee you’ll be surprised at how pointless any other form of gardening (even the most esoteric) seems in comparison.

1 comment
  1. Roger Vaughan said:

    The process is evident between lone Alders, Cherry trees, and Maples. The lone Alder has no natural toxins to ward off caterpillars and neither does the Cherry. If they are located close to a Maple they will then receive the message and consequently develop their own toxins to protect themselves from the onslaught.

    If one has the latitude to allow one’s food forest to evolve independently, the results though certainly not immediate are impressive. In our case our Food Forest has been evolving for around 30 years. Though the crop is not prolific it does provide more than we can consume, and what we can not eat we give to our neighbours. The obvious is the case against mono-cultures and with an evolved complex Food Forest it tends to develop it’s own defenses without any need for soil supplements or agro-chemicals. Obviously this will not feed the Planet but it is a good start towards developing neighbourhood solidarity and awareness regarding the miracle of nature.


    A fascinating article on this subject:

    Learning to Speak Shrub


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