Barefoot gardening

I found myself out in the garden again this morning. It often happens like that; I don’t intend on doing any gardening, but find myself amongst the lettuces early in the morning in my pyjamas, or dressed somewhat inappropriately for work. So this morning, I ended up weeding a whole lot of wheat out of the vegie garden, without shoes.

At first, I didn’t pay much attention to my lack of footwear, though as I continued to work, I realised just how awesome it actually is to garden barefooted. Without trying to sound too New Age here, there is something wonderful about being able to actually feel the earth beneath your feet, and connect with the soil which is very much alive, providing nourishment to the little seedlings, which in turn will nourish you. In Western culture, it is very rare that we exerience this physical connection to the earth, as unfortunately we as a society have deemed it unacceptable to walk around in public barefoot. (Such a shame.) It may just be me, but getting your feet dirty is also quite fun. It reminds me of playing in the mud in kindergarten, or the feeling of the sand between your toes at your first trip to the beach for the summer. Also WOMAdelaide.

There are actually some tangible benefits to barefoot gardening though. Earlier in the year, I completed my Permaculture Design Certificate at The Food Forest. Amongst an amazing line-up of tutors, I was lucky enough to be taught by David Holmgren; co-originator on the permaculture concept. Something he said during the course which I remember just now, is that walking around barefoot is actually a wonderful tool for observation. (For the uninitiated, observation is a key principle of permaculture design and practice.) Literally feeling the ground beneath us, allows for detection of subtle changes that we mightn’t otherwise notice. The change in soil moisture across different garden beds, and the temperature change in spring indicating that carrots can be planted, are just a couple of uses for bare feet.

Though of course, always keep safety in mind. I definitely wouldn’t recommend using tools around bare feet, and be mindful of small, biting critters who might feel threatened by your presence. But when feeling a little disconnected from nature or life, taking a stroll without shoes can only be a good thing.


Changes and Challenges

This blog has been neglected.

This is sad, and I am going to give it some love. I am also setting myself a challenge, and this may just give me the motivation to follow through with it.

So here’s the back story.

I am making radical life changes. Like, completely shifting most of the things that currently define my day-to-day life.
I am leaving uni, my family, my home of 21 years and my friends, and travelling around Australia. I might be gone one month, six months or more, and I have no intention of attaching a timeline to what I am hoping will be a journey of self-dicovery. I am also leaving in one month.

So what has this got to do with gardens, cooking and craft?

Basically, I don’t have a lot of money. I have sufficient savings to start travelling, but in the mean time, I am pretty much living on $132.16. This is an issue, because I don’t think that will get me very far this next month.

So what has this got to do with gardens, cooking and craft?

I am determined to make some money at a market, selling bread, baked goodies, or something crafty. This is something that I’ve been wanting to do for a very long time, and now seems the perfect time to make it happen. I don’t have a job, therefore any income – so any cash I can make from other means would be very welcome, and at the moment this is the only means I can think of. Busking is not an option.

So there are two markets I’m thinking of. Uraidla – first and third Sunday of the month, and Verdun – second Sunday of the month.

But what can I sell?

Tonight’s challenge is to attempt (and hopefully master) vegan cinnamon scrolls.

I shall be reporting back either elated at my success, or utterly despondent.

To be continued…