People need wild places. Whether or not we think we do, we do. We need to be able to taste grace and know again that we desire it. We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers. To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd. It reminds us why, in those cases in which our plans might influence many future generations, we ought to choose carefully. Looking out on a clean plank of planet earth, we can get shaken right down to the bone by the bronze-eyed possibility of lives that are not our own. –Barbara Kingsolver–
There are a lot of straight lines in a market garden. I get it. I get the efficiency and the scale of it and all the logical reasons for it. There is a deep, intuitive and permacultural part of me, however, that rebels against anything straight and orderly in a garden. Its feels somehow too controlling, too boring and too arrogant to try to enforce ‘straight and orderly’ in the wild and wonderful natural world.
The rows in our market garden are (relatively) straight and (sometimes) orderly but insects, dogs, wind, rain, weeds and volunteer veggies ensure that nothing is too perfect. There is also an odd-shaped section of the patch that was, until this week, a bit of a black spot in our vision. We had a sense that this was a place we could be a bit more creative but the weeds outgrew our initial creativity and we let it go a little wild.
On a whim this week we decided to transform this wild space into another kind of wild space. With spades as our brushes, compost as our paint and a flurry of creative energy, we dug over new beds in the shape of a sun with a circular bed in the middle which will be our sitting, sipping and contemplating spot. A spot to pause and breathe, to observe quietly and patiently and to let the wild around us and within us come alive…our wild zone.
Here we will plant perennial herbs, and other kinds of medicinal, edible and simply beautiful flowering plants…for the insects, the birds and the humans to enjoy together. A patch that isn’t so much about productivity and efficiency as much as beauty and wonder. A place we can sit and contemplate Leanganook (Mt Alexander) standing strong and ancient beside us and glimpse flashes of the pardalotes catching insects from under the purslane. Somewhere we can breathe in, remember to look up and see who is circling with the clouds today….
Sas and Mel