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hand drawn watercolour illustration of bamboo platform in front of entrance to kitchen at Garden of L.E.A.H.

Soil Healing: An Inner and Outer Journey

  • illustrator Lotte Verstappen's portrait photo
Vivian Lee, Lotte Verstappen11 November 2020

This article is part of our theme-based journazine titled "The Sauce". The inaugural issue focuses on Soil, as we believe that soil is the foundation of all things to come. Print and digital copies of the full issue are available here. Check it out for more stories from the community and how Foodscape Collective's projects have come about.

"The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings." 

Masunobu Fukuoka

Weeding by hand is an endless task in a tropical garden where herbicides are not used and burning is not carried out to clear the land. It forces us to slow down. It is the first task that participants undertake when they come to the Garden of L.E.A.H. — to experience the simple life of growing food, building a mud shelter, and living together in a mindful way.

As the sun and temperature rise in the quiet morning, some questions guide us to be attentive as we pull weeds from the soil: How often do we notice the call of the birds? Are we too absorbed in our thoughts to be aware? How present are we in each moment? How do we feel as we continue with this physical task while the heat increases and our clothes get wet with perspiration? 

After another day has passed and we adjust to the pace, one might also start to pay attention to the imprints of time: How patient and resilient are we in the face of these persistent weeds growing in the garden? What are the thoughts or habit patterns we want to weed out from our lives? How might we align our inner values and outer actions in our daily choices? 

Sorry, but this article is for Sauciers only. Enter your access code or get online access to this issue of The Sauce to read the rest of this article.

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