Green Thumb Gardeners

Wanting to live more environmentally friendly and eat local organic produce, grown at your own home?

The Green Thumb Gardeners would like to help you create a backyard (urban) organic vegetable garden. We invite you to begin eating food that is grown right in your backyard (or front yard)! We believe that no step is too small to begin living in a more environmentally friendly way. With all the worry over global warming and reducing our carbon footprint, where better to start than right at home? Beginning and participating in growing our own food is one of the most important steps we can take.

The sun is out, spring is here, the soil is getting warm, this is the time to begin your very own vegetable garden!

Colyn Cameron and Malcolm Dow would like to help you do this. We are trained in organic (and biodynamic) farming and have been actively engaged in establishing urban organic gardens in Vancouver.

On top of this, we both have been working in general residential gardening (including landscape design and maintenance).

What we offer:

  • Establishing a vegetable garden plot
  • Growing of fresh produce (ie. salad mixes, beets, carrots, swiss chard, kale, herbs, tomatoes, zucchini, etc.)
  • Yard care (pruning, weeding, planting, watering, mowing, trimming)
  • Flower growing
  • Compost making
  • Hands on learning with us

If interested please call us at: 778-988-9652

or email us: greenthumbgardeners.van@gmail.com

Call for a free estimate today!

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5 values with Gaia in mind – with biodynamic agriculture as the medium

The Soil is the giving hands of Gaia. It serves itself into plant and animal realms, giving Human Beings the chance to be here on the Earth. The Soil is the place where we can work off our debts to Sun, the Moon, and each other. We actually need to DO something to create lives of value – physically and spiritually, hence, we can dig our gardens.

The industrialization and urbanization that has conquered the last few generations and the new one, was and is partially due to societal destiny, but also greatly due to materialistic greed, which dominated and misused its ‘false’ power to spread this sickness (of egotistical materialism) into the vulnerable minds of far too many. We actually need the Rural, for healthy earthly Life, just as we may need the urban for . . . Culture, Technology, etc.

Healthy community life forms under the conditions which allow Us to meet and ‘see’ each other, without the many possible obstructions raised by the harsher Society (the collective body of negligent social and economic processes that influence individuals). Community can manifest in the spaces where healthy self-knowledge and clear dialogue cooperate, where listening to the other can be as beautiful as listening to the morning birds, even if we have different opinions. Nature actually embodies this kind of listening, and although it may not be conscious of its own listening in the same way we can be, nature also has its life in our efforts to better our being together. Listening is an act the signifies meaning and true sociality that is more profound than what is alone. Community originates where people, meaning, and physical life arrive together, the Farm is the First community.

Food is more than stuff! Food gives rise to meaning, to culture and to connection, to energy and to gratitude. The new cultural impulses must come from the land, from nature, from our place of working for humanity, not only for ourselves. Food can be the platform for a new social presence. Agriculture (as practiced in the majority – with chemicals and the rest of the detriments) is like a half finished, and badly placed, sculpture of humanity. Agriculture is the forgotten culture from which we come.

The physical, the earthly, is as sacred as the non-physical, or the spiritual. Actually, they have the same source. But, when agriculture is seen as the outdated form of physical creation, being moved aside by the world of technology, of ‘useful’ materialism, we loose the actual essence of agriculture. It is not an industry, it is a culture born of the land. We are here on the earth for greater reasons than to serve ourselves endlessly. The earthly life is the beginning of Our becoming sacred. The truly spiritual lies in us learning how to care for the physical.

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The Farmers Today

Most farmers don’t have time to write

even if they are gifted and inspired

something needs doing. 

And, so, as they go out to the fields again

whatever the realities

something must be creating through them.

Does the soil not need cultivating?

Well, that is basically a ridiculous question

as we know who first turned the soil.

We know what we must do now.

Look after the soil.

And , so, today when the farmers go

out to the fields again to look after the

soil

the sun will be burning another mystery

into existence. The cosmos will be moving

through the farmers so strongly because

they are authenticating our lives.

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Something getting old.

Nothing will end here.

Don’t follow the moon,

the clouds are the ones running away tonight!

I cannot see your reflection, Oh Sun! 

I can only sense a new warmth,

rays of forgivenss,

a continuous will.

Nothing ends here.

Only that which resists this change will be dispersed,

but you , Sun, will rise again tomorrow,

and I will go and feed the cows,

spring will burst through this last snow

and we will again change. 

This other way is old and will just disappear.

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The Young Biodynamicists

“Earth, is not this what you will: in us to rise up invisible?
Is it, O Earth, not your dream once to be wholly invisible?
Earth! Invisible!
What, if not change, is your desperate mission?”
–   R. M. Rilke, Duino Elegy – Ninth

Who is the future? What does the future entail? WIll there be any soil left? Who will work this soil? How will we know how to care take the earth? Well, the astounding and almost shocking reality is that you are the future, I am the future, and we must learn to create it together, shared and well-tended, healthy and New!

But, something almost always forgotten in peoples prospect of the future is the Soil. The life giving richness that sends its love through our heels and reflects the cosmic warmth of our universe through its three unique kingdoms (mineral, plant, and animal) – before the fourth (Us). Do we owe the soil anything for its years of providing us essential physicality – for freely gifting us its bundled universality and earthliness? Do we heed the intimacies between ‘us’ and what seemingly lies beneath feet?

I would say, for the most part, we don’t actually. We lack the knowing of ourselves and the respect for Life to begin understanding the subtleties and intricacies of how we are actually physically and beyond nourished by the earth? ‘Our daily bread’ would actually have to be corrected to ‘Our daily Soil’. There is no such thing as ‘dirt’. This term only comes from the overly populated un-natural and un-sophisticated cities of our civilization that regards the great womb of nourishment, the soil, as something foreign and calculable from a clean distance. 

Actually, Soil is the greatest medium for artistic activity in disguise. It disguises itself as something bland, uncolored, neutral, and ‘below’, but really it is the first and last judgement of all artistic – and further cultural – activity. It is also the beginning of much Economic activity. What really doesn’t end up involving soil at the end of the day, out of the things that most of our societies occupy themselves with, mostly material? I am not saying it is the final creative act of man, I am just saying that its involvement is inherent, and its recognition is demanded right now by the Cosmic-Earthly development of Man. 

Of course, once it has gotten going, artistic and all of human activity involves realities and energies much different and more profound than the Soil, but the pervasive negligence of the soil in our time represents cultural ignorance, not just environmental malpractice. It represents universal failure, as our first wonderful gift to support Human life on this planet has been actually disregarded as merely something of materialistic usage by science and business, and something of no interest by most people in western civilization. 

You would be surprised at how much of a difference just going out into nature and experiencing its presence would do for you. Maybe even dipping your hands into a ‘clean’ patch of soil somewhere in there, just for the hell of it! The Earth will rejoice. It is here to be turned and touched, observed and pondered, tasted (mostly through its fruits) and rejuvenated by the Human Being. I am a biodynamic farmer, so i have a relationship to the soil like painters have to paint, but I urge each of us, farmers or not, and mostly not, to just give nature a chance to reveal its splendor, its wit and generosity, its growth and decay, its rhythms, its Life. 

We need to step out of the ‘concretized’, the illusion of safety and human technology, and begin creating again with Nature. It is not a matter of defeat, it is not a matter of domination, it is not a matter of good engineering, it is a matter of New Attention to Life as it really is before us and undesigned by the human mind of plenty (and plenty of BS). So, I ask you, to step out of the ‘concretized’ and out of the mind of plenty and into the world of Creation. A call for the young people of the world to put down your I Phone or your I pod to look at the sky, at the trees, and to hear the birds or the river. We are in great danger of technologically un-creating and ending Life. The powers of the Human Mind are so great, but widely misused! 

“Gardening is not a rational act.   What matters is
the immersion of the hands in the earth, that
ancient ceremony of which the Pope kissing
the tarmac is merely a pallid vestigial remnant.”
–   Margaret Attwood

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMlvvZvXcPY

 

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8.8 – Another earthquake, another disaster, another opportunity

“I came here to count the bells, 
that live upon the surface of the sea,
that sound over the sea,
within the sea.

So, here I live.” 

– Pablo Neruda (Chilean poet – Poem written overlooking the pacific from the coastline of Chile)

The Earth speaks, and we don’t listen. The Earth belts and we think we may have heard a faint noise. It happens again and again and few things change, very little is done to dialogue with the Earth. Last night, an 8.8 earthquake hit Chile, a country that i just came home from three weeks ago. Yes, the event is a disaster, it is a shocking societal event that has changed many lives from one moment to the next. And, like Haiti, it represents something besides the obvious, it represents something more than just the disastrous reality upon these places.
An earthquake is a physical manifestation of “the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth’s crust that creates seismic waves.” But, as we are coming to understand and investigate, not everything can simply be measured and dealt with through the sometimes limiting ‘eye’ of materialistic facts and realities. And yes, “Earthquakes are caused mostly by rupture of geological faults”, but again, this is only physical. So if the Earth does quake, and humanity is threatened, if societies are displaced, and infrastructures destroyed, what are other lessons to be learned besides the simple – ‘preparing better for the next one!’?
The Earth is more than ignored, it is more than forgotten, it is misused and abused. It is intentionally exploited and destroyed. And then this happens, another disaster, and we scramble to rescue our brothers and sisters, and rightly so, we fret over rebuilding the infrastructures that make it all seemingly smooth running, and we try to get back to the ‘norm’ again, with a little more caution of our own vulnerability. Of course, we have a duty to tend to the present moments of crisis, to give ourselves fully to harnessing the wildness of a disaster, but then, what is next? What comes after the dramatic storms of natural disasters have settled? 
Maybe, a real change is needed. Maybe, things aren’t just Ok. Maybe we need to raise New questions and give attention to New possibilities, New callings. ‘Gaia’ is loudly trying to dialogue with us. Mother Earth is bellowing out for our tending, for our attention and care. How is the language of ‘Gaia’ meant to be understood? What is the meaning of these ambiguous events of our time? Chief Seattle said: “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” And similarly, “Carl Gustav Jung suggested that the archetypal mother was a part of the collective unconscious of all humans”. Maybe the web is the collective unconscious. Maybe ‘Gaia’ is an integral manifestation of our collective unconscious. I would suggest that there is a part of us deep inside that is trying to make us aware of what lies outside, but also more deeply at the center of, the mass of constructs of civilization, the manifest Mind. By neglecting our interface with the Earth, we are actually neglecting a deep and authentic part of ourselves that needs to be recognized – and more so, begun ‘acting’ from. 
The Earth has an intention. We can have an intention. We can dialogue with the Earth to create shared intentions. We can continue our patterns of aggressiveness, of living somewhat ignorantly and disconnected, and of constantly facing despair, or we can take an active role in rebuilding and becoming the ‘healthy’ inhabitants of an Earth that doesn’t lie. Biodynamic Agriculture is an example of a practice – a discipline in living – that co-intends and co-creates a new Earth and Humanity out of the experience of Gaia’s Community. The Biodynamic preparations are medicinal remedies for Mother Earth (and all her years through indignity) that not only strengthen and sharpen her true maternal forces but also clarify and activate our Human Will to Create. Biodynamic agriculture is just one example of a practice that is engaging with Gaia in a new way, but there are many ways, simple and complex. A daily prayer of gratitude for the Earth – or a walk into nature, where we can again meet our spiritual resourcefulness, the source of creation, is all it takes in our beginning to authentically co-exist and Unify. And so I end with a poem of rilke. 

Archaic Torso of Apollo

We cannot know his legendary head
with eyes like ripening fruit. And yet his torso
is still suffused with brilliance from inside,
like a lamp, in which his gaze, now turned to low,

gleams in all its power. Otherwise
the curved breast could not dazzle you so, nor could 
a smile run through the placid hips and thighs
to that dark center where procreation flared.

Otherwise this stone would seem defaced
beneath the translucent cascade of the shoulders
and would not glisten like a wild beast’s fur:

would not, from all the borders of itself,
burst like a star: for here there is no place
that does not see you. You must change your life.

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A Cesar Vallejo Poem

“I would rediscover the secret of great communications
and great combustions
I would say ‘storm’
I would say ‘river’
I would say ‘tornado’
I would say ‘leaf’
I would say ‘tree’
I would be drenched by all rains
moistened by all dews
I would roll like frenetic blood on the slow current of the eye of words
turned into mad horses
into fresh children
into clots
into vestiges of temples
into precious stones remote enough to discourage miners
whoever would not understand me
would not understand any better the roaring of a tiger”

– Cesar Vallejo

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