A Gardener Who Cares A Lot.

Vandana Shiva, Samdhong Rinpoche, and Satish K...
Vandana Shiva, Samdhong Rinpoche, and Satish Kumar, 2007, Dehradun (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted December 26, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

“Understand that Mother Earth is a living organism just as we all are. For that reason she responds to our thoughts. Once this attitude of oneness and peace is accepted by the entire world, all will work together and accomplish great things. Future generations will see this time as the one where the greatest accomplishments in human history were made.”

– Hopi

After viewing “Four Horsemen” I decided to learn some more about one of the men in the film – Satish Kumar. The film mentioned that he was the founder of Schumacher College. I thought, because the film was about financial and economic issues, he was certainly a professor of economics or finance. So, add another instance where my first impression was wrong.

Mr. Kumar was born in India in 1936, left his family at age 9 for study as a Jain monk, and joined a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi at 18. This was after he read a book by Gandhi on non-violence and land reform. In the early 1960’s he became involved in the nuclear disarmament movement, indigenous people’s rights, and the ecology/environment movements. He lives in England, and has been the editor of Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine for over forty years.  The magazine has gained the reputation as the artistic and spiritual voice of the world’s green movement.

Listening to Mr. Kumar for the first time in the following short interview, I find his enthusiasm for permaculture gardening refreshing, as the growing worldwide movement to ban GMO foods has gained traction in recent months. He was one of many men and women celebrating recently on International Permaculture Day 2013. His suggestion that every school have a garden and classes for food growing is an excellent one. This would instill a greater appreciation for all life forms in the coming generation(s). Not only because the more people are growing their own food the more will demand an end to GMOs, but there will be an increase in the number of people who are living healthier.

“Whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve more of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians together.”

– Jonathan Swift (1667-1745)

Healthier because of consuming good organic food, some good exercise, fresh air, and sunshine. Healthier because of a closer relationship with nature and the Mother Earth, a greater awareness of life’s seasons and circular cycles. Mr. Kumar is 77 years old, healthy and energetic – an example of the health benefits of growing good organic food for many years on a 2-acre garden with his wife. Many are aware of the difference in taste between organic and non-organic produce. Thankfully many are becoming aware of the dangers of eating GMO foods – with an increasing number of cities, counties, states, and countries banning them.

Plant an organic farm next summer

Many people have begun growing their own food in recent years. Most all are happy with their decisions, finding gardening a very enjoyable activity, while being surprised at the good amount of food that is eventually harvested on small plots of land. For those who live in cities without any land for a garden, many people have gone into community farming. People living in urban areas have transformed parking and vacant lots into beautiful gardens, providing abundant, nutritious organic foods.

People are even growing vegetables inside their homes with newer plant-growing technology. So, as Satish Kumar mentions in the interview, “permaculture is the future, organic farming for you.” Make the decision to get in on the future – permaculture gardening.

Perhaps this short post will have “planted a seed” in men and women who have considered growing food in their own gardens – if that seed grows well resulting in some actually doing it I will be happy. Here’s to plenty of rain, sunshine, and a bountiful harvest. Whether your garden is on your land or backyard, a worked and enjoyed community garden with other men and women, or inside your home – please share your surplus with those in need and your neighbors.

“The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for him there.”

– George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

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(Thanks to Permaculture Day @ YouTube)

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