Complementary Gardening – The Energy of a Vacant Lot

© chriscondello 2013

“Clover Sunset” – Summer 2013 – Hamnett Place Community Garden – Wilkinsburg, PA

So… I am in the process of writing a book… The name of which is yet to be determined… I actually like that… Yet to be determined… The book is a gardening book… It will include original photography… Poetry… And artwork… Though I see all my gardens as art… I guess my goal in writing this book is to make you see like that… You can be the judge… This is a piece of a chapter… It is currently unedited… This is just a preview… I may post another tomorrow…

Life and the events surrounding it create energy fields that accompany those who live it. These energy fields are a physical manifestation of the metaphysical realm that are commonly misinterpreted. The overall tone of this energy is a variable based on many factors, but is typically a snapshot of an individual’s emotions and spirit in life. Many people believe that this energy goes with you whenever you die. I personally believe just the opposite. I believe the energy remains here on earth. It is never destroyed and therefore has a continuing role in the lives of those left behind.

Soil, is a product of nature and death. Living organisms must be sacrificed to make it rich in nutrients. Metaphysical energy is similar in that it needs to be created by life. It requires a human to store it within themselves, and ultimately transfer it to something else. In its most basic form, the transfer of DNA into the soil when we are working with it is a physical connection from our bodies to the earth. When a human being touches a plant, a transfer occurs that not many people even think of. Our skin wears off onto the plant, and the plant rubs off on our skin. This direct connection is only scraping the outer layer of the concept, the depths of which are only limited by your beliefs.

Vacant urban lots are interesting in that they very often contained a house at one time. A home is an energy magnet, and most people immediately feel it upon entering a home. The energy that is found is a direct result of past events and emotions. A home that is one-hundred years old has built up a massive amount of energy. When a home is demolished, the energy remaining does not go the way of the house, it is rooted in the lot. This energy cannot be destroyed, and I don’t believe it has the ability to travel. So the energy just waits for someone to come along and do something with it, and that someone is you.

To facilitate rapid population booms, our urban centers developed rather quickly. Lots that were originally intended to include one house, were quickly sub-divided and often had four houses built instead of the intended single. Neighborhoods were eventually built so tightly, green space became almost non-existent. Flash forward to today and you will notice that although many of these urban neighborhoods still exist. You will still see the scars of past bad memories dotting the landscape. A home burning down, or a bank foreclosure are not happy experiences, therefore the energy created is rarely positive. This is not a reason for despair, negative energy can always be converted into positive energy through gardening.

Urban gardening is just one method of achieving this energy change. In my own experiences, this energy change has the ability to help people forget the events that lead to the bad energy in the first place. Abandoned homes and vacant lots often sit unused for years. These monuments of negativity are a part of the reason many of these neighborhoods can’t get out of the rut they are in. Blight and abandonment carry very negative energy. A home does not become abandoned for good reasons. Likewise, an empty urban lot often has a story to tell as well… And that story is never a good one…

Gardening is one of the few positive influences an individual can have on the negative energy created by blight. Though much of the general population believes the only way to change a blighted neighborhood is through demolition and rebuilding, or remodeling. One of the most important aspects of permaculture, is the inclusion of all species. Humans always seem to feel that they are the primary element, when in fact we are just a tiny part of the system as a whole. The empty spaces that pop up in our urban landscapes are there for a reason. This reason will vary, but in most cases over-crowding is evident. When a space does open up, it is of paramount importance that we claim it for nature.

When an abandoned house is demolished, the second and third floors are stripped and thrown in a dumpster. The remaining structure is crushed into the basement, and then covered over with cheap fill. For this reason a vacant lot is something of a graveyard. The memories and energy from the original structure have not left. Although the physical material has been buried, over time it is distributed through leaching and dust settlement. A vacant lot is sacred ground, and should therefore be treated as such.

When we walk on the remains of a home, we are walking on the residual energy of everyone who has lived there. At the very least, remnants of their DNA are present in the house. Therefore by extension, you are practically walking on a grave. Now, I’m not trying to say that it should be treated with the same respect as an actual graveyard what I am saying is that one needs to consider this to understand the true magnitude of what urban gardening can be. When you take the time to look at all of the individual connections, both physical and metaphysical the true meaning of gardening will become apparent.

The nutrients required to sustain life come from the decomposition of living organisms. Although soil can be created by the weathering of objects like rocks, the soil never truly becomes rich in nutrients unless decomposing organic material is added. This occurs naturally, and over time can turn even the most inhospitable soils into healthy loam.

Vacant lots are similar in that the soil used for fill is commonly the cheapest material available. The plants that do initially grow, are designed to thrive in inhospitable conditions. Many of these weeds flourish in recently disturbed clay soils. These plants are typically extremely fast growers, and although they are perennial almost always die back in the winter. The resulting plant material decomposes, and the following year the process repeats until enough nutrients have built up to allow a different cycle of vegetation to take its course. This process can take years, and if left to its own devices will eventually culminate in a forest… A small forest… But forest none the less…

As gardeners we can interrupt this cycle at any point. Although it is possible, I personally believe the best results are attained by letting a lot rest for a number of years before any kind of gardening is concerned. Any time food is to be grown, a settling out period of a minimum of ten years is what I recommend; followed by a rigorous round of soil tests and the proper remediation. If your intention is to grow only ornamental plants, you could probably skip the settling period and go straight to planting beneficial plants and trees.

It is very important to take note of what stage a lot is in before you begin working. Oftentimes, if you are working immediately after a demolition, the soil will be very hard and compacted from being run over by heavy equipment. You see, it takes time for nature to work through this type of soil. Although we can quickly power through it given the right tools and money, it can be done with a lot less effort if we just let nature do its thing.

Time or the availability of vacant lots will not always allow us the ability to wait for nature. In which case we just have to roll up our sleeves, and dig right in. If organic material is not available on site, then you will have to bring it on site from elsewhere. Leaves, grass clipping, kitchen scraps, hell even newspaper can be utilized to begin adding organic material. The bad energy created by a vacant lot wont ever go away, but it can be changed. This change always begins in the soil, in order to heal the energy of the lot we must first heal the soil. Everything that grows in this lot will grow from the soil, it should be treated as you would treat your own home.

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 33 – Pineapple Sage

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“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014…

The temperature right now is a cool 0 degrees… Wind chill of -20… And I have been awake since 2 AM because the cats were restless and disturbed… Immediately after waking up I could feel the “ripple” in the ambient energy around me (This may make me sound really crazy – I promise I’m only a little crazy)… Something wasn’t right… We were not alone… The cats knew it… And I knew it… I just understood it a little bit better than them… They were obviously afraid… But I find it interesting… Almost comforting to think there is more to life than just the physical…There is more to this life than just you and I…

Despite the lack of sleep… I am in a good mood today… How good of a mood you might ask… Like “Pineapple Sage” good… Anyone who knows me knows I am a fan of all things Salvia… I even love the word “Sage”… What a great name… Sage… I also like Lavender… Maybe I’ll combine them… Lavender Sage Condello… I like it…

Salvia elegans… Better known by the common name “Pineapple Sage”… Lesser known as “Tangerine Sage”… Is by far one of my favorite plants… It is one of those garden plants that I could not go a Summer without planting… I grow it right beside my front porch… When the neighborhood kids visit… I like to have scented herbs for them to play with… Gardening is meant to be hands on… And kids learn with their hands… Herbs and children just make sense…

Insignificant for most of the year… Pineapple Sage grows nothing more than foliage for 90% of the growing season… It is photosensitive… Meaning it flowers when the hours of daylight decrease to a certain point… This occurs as summer stretches into fall… This plant will double in size once it begins to flower… The end of the season stretch is what signals to me that the blossoms are not far away…

*Bright lights… Including street lights and porch lights… Can interrupt this light cycle… This can result in the plant never coming into bloom… Similarly… This plant can be forced to bloom by controlling the hours of light and dark… Not that it provides a benefit to you or the plant… But 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark will trick it into thinking it is fall and force it to stretch and bloom…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If you want some science – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvia_elegans

New To writing and never had to cite sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring when I start writing more… My source (where applicable) is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

Remember to tip… My Bitcoin digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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A Plant A Day Till Spring – Day 1 – Snowdrops

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“Galanthus Close Up” – Spring 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

Today is the winter solstice… Today marks the beginning of Winter… To celebrate the occasion… I am dropping the first post of what I hope becomes an annual series… Each post will be devoted to keeping the cold winter days warm through daily doses of the garden… Now… I don’t know about you… But I get pretty depressed during the cold winter months… One of the few things that gets me through this time of year is dreaming of the flowers of spring… This year I have decided to share those dreams with the rest of you…

“A Plant a Day till Spring” will highlight one plant a day, starting on the winter solstice (December 21, 2013)… And ending on the vernal equinox (March 20, 2014)… If all goes to plan I will be starting with old Snowdrop photos from 2013… And ending with new photos of Snowdrops in 2014… This year winter is 89 days… So technically… I only have 88 more posts to go…

I am not planning a standard format with these posts other than featuring one plant each day… These posts will be in addition to whatever else I post… And could include anything from permaculture information to original poetry… The intentions of this series is to share the warmth… And share some knowledge…

Galanthus

“Naturalized Galanthus” – Spring 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA

Galanthus… Meaning “Milk Flower” – AKA Snowdrop… Fllower in winter before the vernal equinox… All Species are perennial, herbaceous plants that grow from bulbs… Each bulb produces two or three leaves and an erect, leafless scape, which supports a single flower. The seeds produced by this plant have a small fleshy tail containing substances attractive to ants which distribute the seeds…

Snowdrops naturalize easily… The bulbs will self propagate in the garden… This can be easily facilitated using a propagation technique known as twin-scaling, which is really nothing more than slicing bulbs up into smaller pieces… New bulbs will form in profusion on the exposed parts… This is basically a last ditch effort to survive… I accidentally found this method after slicing through a clump of Snowdrops in my own garden… I left a bunch of the split bulbs on the surface and much to my surprise they started growing hundreds of new bulbs… A quick Google search later and I had found twin-scaling…

Annually I look forward to the neighborhood Snowdrops… I speculate some of the patches are at least fifty years old given the age of many of the houses… The patch shown in the photo above is behind a hundred year old Victorian home on my street…

I look forward to this patch of snowdrops more than any other flowers around… The energy that is associated with it spans generations… And as I spread them around the neighborhood… My energy grows as well…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

New To writing and never had to site sources before… These “Plant a Day Till Spring” posts are simply intended to kill time until spring… My source is Wikipedia.org… The photography is all my own… And I am adding my own information… But much of this is just related from the web…

This website and all of the information presented within is provided free by the author… Me… It is my sole opinion and is not representative of anyone other than myself… Although this website is free… I sell prints of my photography here – www.society6.com/chriscondello – or you can contact me directly with questions at – c.condello@hotmail.com – Although it isn’t a requirement… It helps…

I also accept Bitcoin donations… My digital wallet address is – 1JsKwa3vYgy4LZjNk4YmPEHFJNjPt2wDJj

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The Guerrilla Gardening Guidebook – Sunlight

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“First Rays of Sunlight” – Stone Cairn – Frick Park – Pittsburgh, PA – Another renegade activity I take part in… Natural sculptures made of stones found on site…

Sunlight

This post is part of a larger body of work titled ”The Guerrilla Gardening Guidebook”. For the introduction and table of contents please click here

Urban environments can be thought of as a collection of microclimates, one of the greatest determining factors of these is the sun. Plants require sunlight to survive, so gardening often becomes a hunt for the best sunlight. Knowing a few little facts about the sun can help you determine where the best light in an area will be.

The earth spins around the sun in a counterclockwise motion. If the earth was straight up and down the sun would be 90 degrees to the earth at all times, the result of which would be no seasons. Because the earth tilts 23.5 degrees, in the winter we are tilted away from the sun, and in the summer we lean towards the sun. The sun rises in the eastern sky, and sets in the west. During the summer months, the sun passes directly overhead. During the winter months, the sun will be much lower in the sky and to the South. March 23rd and September 23rd are known as the vernal and Autumnal equinox, this is the day the vertical sun crosses the equator.

Walls that face to the south will act as heat traps, the reflected sunlight heats the ground, and in turn will heat the area at the foot of the wall. North facing walls on the other hand can experience nothing more than indirect light most of the year, this side of a building will stay frozen much longer than the south facing wall during the spring thaw. The effects of this can raise your USDA hardiness rating a zone or two on the south facing wall, and possibly lower it on the north wall. The reflection of solar energy is known as albedo and can be harnessed for use in the garden, this is a subject I have already explored in a previous post… You can find my post here- Albedo and Absorption of Solar Energy

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“Sunlight Through Pineapple Sage” – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – The first peaks of sunlight photographed through my pineapple sage… This salvia is photosensitive… Meaning it blooms only after we reach a certain amount of hours of sunlight… In this case around 12 hours of light and 12 of dark… AKA – Fall…

East and west facing walls are a little more complicated, even if both walls get the exact same amount of direct sunlight. The first thing you will notice through observation is that the soil at an east facing wall is always drier than the west. The wall to the east has the benefit of warming throughout the course of the entire morning, although the west wall is also warming, it is happening much slower. By the time the sun starts warming the west wall, the ambient temperature is up, and the east wall does not loose heat as fast as the west after nightfall. Because of this, you can often get away with plants typically suited for full sun on the east side of a building, and plants suited for full shade on the west.

I have published several other articles about shade gardening, for that reason I will not be writing about it now… Instead you can check them out from these two little links – Gardening in the Shade – Woodland Mimicry in the Urban Garden

Determining the type of sunlight you are working with will not take all day. Now that you understand how the sun moves across the sky relative to the current season, you will be able to map your gardens sunlight without even being on site. Just remember the sun rises in the east and sets to the west… The sun will be high in the sky in the summer… And low and to the south in the winter… Eastern sunlight is always better than west, and south facing walls create a warmer microclimate than walls facing other directions… Easy as pie…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

This site… And all the photographs and information presented within are provided free of charge by the author… I am not affiliated with any product or business… Only myself… Writing this blog takes a ton of time… If you find any of this information helpful, please consider purchasing a print from my online store… It is obviously not a requirement… But it helps…

I sell prints of my photography here – http://www.society6.com/chriscondello Or you can contact me directly at c.condello@hotmail.com for commissions or locally/personally produced prints… Thank you for reading…

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The Black Sheep

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“Black Shroom” – © chriscondello 2013 – Keystone State Park, PA – I know… It’s not a black sheep… But it is a black mushroom… Guarding its pasture of moss… Waiting…

Green thumbed vagabond… I am the black sheep…
Writing this poem while the rest of the world sleeps…
No clue where I’m going… Only goals and dreams…
At one time my thoughts were nothing more than schemes…
I opened my mind… Opened my broken soul…
Told the gate keeper to go fuck his toll…
I’m completely prepared to storm the walls…
I’ll only stop when the empire falls…

Peace will one day be the law of the land…
Nature will be on the same level as man…
We will no longer harvest her organs and blood…
Stop trying to control the necessary floods…
When we talk about peace… We forget about the earth…
We are essentially at war with the place of our birth…
Actions on one land… Can affect the next…
A fact that leaves people completely perplexed…

I am a black sheep… I lay out my sin…
I have yet to find a place I feel I fit in…
Not smart enough for the non-profits… Prophets a joke…
If I had the authority… Their balls I’d revoke…
I don’t have a resume… That’s why I write this blog…
Hoping one day it will get me through the fog…
And give me a reason to live… Ground to stand…
Hold my head up high… Because I did something grand…

Maybe sell a few photos… Make a living from this work…
Finally see something that could be considered a perk…
I know that this black sheep is on the right grass…
Perfectly acceptant of my place in the lower class…
But not afraid of the call if it comes… They’ll find…
Upper middle class dreams in a poor mans mind…
But what this poor boy lacks in the girth of his fold…
I make up in spirit… Worth my weight in gold…

plant black petunias and question everything – chriscondello

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I have photographic prints available to purchase online… You can find them here – www.society6.com/chriscondello –  It is by no means a requirement… But it helps… If you have a few minutes to check them out… Please do…

Practical Permaculture – Changing Spiritual Energy Through Gardening

moonflower

“Moonflower” – © chriscondello 2011 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – A night flowering plant… Highly hallucinogenic in the right quantity… Deadly poisonous in the wrong quantity… Can be very dangerous around children… Almost always resulting in fatal consequences… But I have to say the night blooming qualities of this plant… Coupled with the sweet scent… Makes it one of the more powerful plants as far as my garden is concerned…

Allow me to trip out on a topic for a moment here… Energy… Good energy… Bad energy… Natural energy… I believe it is all around us… We all can perceive these energy fields… But most of us are in such a damn big hurry every day that we simply don’t take the time out of our day to listen… Personally… I perceive them as waves… When those waves flow together… Harmony and peace are created… But when those waves work against each other… Dissonance and strife result…

I noticed this energy as a child… But having used heroin for the better part of my adult life I only recently started feeling the waves again… About a year ago I started to notice my perception of them was getting stronger… Almost hyper aware… Sometimes physically debilitating and rarely pleasant… I was actually pulling the weeds out of an old garden located in the backyard of a hundred year old house that is now apartments… I remember getting dizzy… And then physically ill… I had goose bumps… And was absolutely positive I was coming down with some horrible sickness… Interestingly… When I walked back into the alley… The feeling went away almost immediately… I smoked a cigarette… Drank some water… And went right back to work…

Now… I’m aware that this makes me seem like a crazy man… In retrospect… Everyone thinks I’m crazy already… But the moment I walked back into that particular backyard the sickening feelings came right back… As if they never left… I could feel waves of energy colliding into each other… They were coming from every direction without a rhyme or reason… Almost incoherently… The only thing that I could comprehend from my experience in that moment was that something really bad had happened on that property… Or something really bad was going to happen on the property… Either way… I left immediately…

The entire experience of that day left me searching for the energy again… Everywhere I went for the better part of two months all I did was search… Interestingly… I found what I was searching for everywhere I went… The problem was no longer finding the energy… But figuring out a way to stop feeling the energy so I could avoid going crazy… I soon realized now that the door was open… It could not be closed… So if I couldn’t get rid of the feelings… I would have to change the negative energy… To good energy… And the only way I could possibly comprehend doing this… Is with gardening… After all… Gardening is the only language I really speak well…

MissDaisy2

“Zion” – © chriscondello 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – The type of flowers that you plant in a spiritual garden are not important… What is important is that the flowers you choose raise your spirit… If a flower makes you feel good… Than it is positively affecting your spiritual energy… Which in turn positively affects the energy around you… And that my friends… Is the sum of what a spiritual garden actually is…

So where does this energy come from?.. I personally believe it is created through the interactions of life and death… The physical and the metaphysical… Both posses the potential of good and evil… And both are present around us at all times… Although I believe we are intended to perceive these energy waves… I think most of us simply don’t take the time to learn how to perceive them… Yet alone understand them…

If a human being is murdered… Does that act of violence leave an impression in the energy fields surrounding the location?.. I believe it does… Furthermore… When an extreme act of kindness occurs… Does that leave an equally strong impression of a different type?.. And if it does… How do these energy fields react with each other?.. Beyond that… Can I change a bad energy field?.. And can I change it through gardening… Something I personally consider a highly spiritual activity… My answer is yes!.. Of course I can…

Humans are not the only living organism in our environment that give off energy… Plants and trees do as well… I have felt that energy for years… I had never even thought twice about it until I started to prepare to write this post… And for the most part… Plants all give off good energy… The only time I have noticed a plant giving off bad energy was when it was suffering from a problem… Only after I remediate the problem in the plant does the energy change back into a good field… Gardening sometimes makes me feel like a god in this sense… After all… I can fix just about anything nature throws at a plant or tree… It’s you pesky humans that are tough to figure out… Always talking back… Giving lip… My plants don’t do that…

Now… I’m not claiming to be able to change the future… But I am claiming to be able to change the energy of a particular location through the act of gardening… Not just the look of the space… But the energy of the space… I have no references… I have no degree… I simply have the ability to feel the waves of energy in a particular location… And change them when necessary… Which if you live in a community like Wilkinsburg… A community that has been plagued in violence for the better part of the last 25 years… Changing the metaphysical energy of the entire borough is of paramount concern…

The particular mood of a communities people can be directly related to the conditions of the environment that surrounds them… If a group of people are living in a neighborhood full of abandoned houses and blight… The energy they give off will typically be negative… If the cause of the negativity is remediated… Then the energy will begin to convert… One persons negative energy has an equal effect on the people surrounding them… I can walk up to someone… And immediately feel the energy coming off of them… I often am planning my greeting based on those intuitions alone… And to be completely honest… I’m spot on 9 out of 10 times…

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“Climbing Higher” – © chriscondello 2013 – Whitney Avenue – Wilkinsburg, PA – A spiritual plant for many people… And a visual aspect of many religions around the world… They just make me feel right… They remind me of the past…

As an interesting side note… When I was still using heroin… I was told more than once that I gave off dark energy… Often described as appearing brown or black… At the time… I thought they were the crazy ones… Now that I have had time to reflect… I now notice it on other people when walking in the street… Almost as if I can see someones intentions without ever actually speaking to them… Though I must say… I have to be careful judging people before I have had a chance to meet them… It is just not fair… And I am not sure these intuitions are even close to reality…

So I am going to go on ahead and just say that these energy fields are real… And I am not crazy… And it is absolutely possible to change an energy field through gardening… Obviously any garden will do… Often… Just cleaning an area is enough to begin to change the spiritual feeling an otherwise blighted area may give off…

Using my neighborhood as an example… This street used to be a rough stretch of houses… 24 total homes… 12 abandoned and boarded up… The kids were so bad that they regularly chased residents out of the neighborhood… Then an artist from Wilkinsburg spearheaded a project painting boards to be placed on the abandoned homes… This project happened to coincide with my girlfriend and I moving onto the street… The boards were painted by community members and hung on the abandoned houses by the DPW… I did the landscaping with the help of some of the neighborhood children… And a neighborhood that at one time was considered too dangerous to walk down… Had become a small front porch community that is still a great neighborhood for children… And still for the most part… gives off good vibes…

Although I believe that the simple act of cleaning up an area is enough to begin to change bad energy to good energy… I think some plants posses certain qualities that will benefit not only you as a person… But the energy fields that surround you as well… After all… As permaculturists… We do not just garden for the physical yields associated with our plants… But also for the metaphysical yield…

Any flowering plant has the ability to enhance a positive energy field… Bright colors… Especially white… draw the eye and lift the spirit… If a plant has a positive impact on your spirits… Then it can be thought of as changing your energy… For me this is all plants… But what about nighttime?.. After the sun goes down… This for me… Is when most of my demons come knocking… This is often when I notice the most negative energy in the air surrounding me… Well… At least until I started growing Datura… Or more commonly called… Moonflowers… Which bloom as the sun goes down… And emitting a wonderfully alien scented fragrance… When a moonflower is blooming in your yard… It is rather difficult to think of anything negative… Especially when you are cast under the magical spell that the scent of Datura can have on a human…

Aromatic herbs are another plant I would consider for altering energy fields… Basil… Oregano… Lavender… Chamomile… Thyme… All poses spiritual properties that have often been used in rituals for thousands of years… A book on the subject would probably be more specific… But to date as I am writing this… I have never researched this subject at all… Again… This post is simply off the top of my head… I have no resources here…

Off the top of my head… Some plants that are supposed to have magical properties… Monkshood, ash, aspen, beech, black walnut, cedar, cherry, chestnut, daisy, dogwood, elder, elm, ginger, hawthorn (My favorite tree), hazel, hellebores, holly, larch, laurel, lovage, mandrake, maple, nettle, pear, mint, pine, privet, pumpkin, rose, rue, sage, sneezewort, valerian, willow, wormwood and yew… If you want more details on any of these… Google them with the words “spiritual or magical properties… Though I would like to stress that this list is very short… I could very easily argue the spiritual properties of any plant I have ever come into contact with… After all… I do not just put plants in the ground… I thoroughly introduce myself to each one… And make sure I have given it a home… Not just a hut… Any properly planted plant will look healthy… And therefore… Give off good energy…

I’m sure if I had taken the time to research this post… I probably would of found a bunch of books and websites dedicated to the “actual design of a spiritual garden”… I’m sure these books have rules… And special plants… And that is all fine and dandy… I’m not trying to discount that in any way… But what I am saying is simply this… If a garden makes YOU feel good… If it raises your spirits… Or anyone around you for that matter… Then that garden is effectively changing energy fields… I think it is safe to assume that if a garden has the ability to lift your spirit… And alter your mood… Then that garden obviously is having an effect on the energy fields around you… Not just within you…

plant petunias and question everything – chriscondello

If  you found this website to be helpful, please consider purchasing one of my photographic prints available here – http://society6.com/chriscondello – The information available on my site is free… As it will always be… At one time I had considered asking for donations… But I just couldn’t do it… I thought at least this way I could make a product available… If you see a photograph in this site that you would like a print of… Please just ask – c.condello@hotmail.com – Thank you

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Practical Permaculture – Tripping Out on Ecology

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Ecology is the scientific study of the relationships that living organisms have with each other and with their environment. People, animals, trees and plants are all examples of systems, or regularly interacting group of things. Groups that interact together in an ecological system are called eco-systems, examples include forests, fields, swamps and deserts.

A common misunderstanding or misbelief is that we are over and above our eco-system, when if fact we are part of or equal to the system. When you think about it, we really can’t control very many aspects of the system. So much emphasis is placed on competition in the eco-system, I think people fail to realize the key to understanding a system is cooperation.

An eco-system is a transference of energy from one place to another, the total energy in a system is called “embodied energy” or “emergy”… In manufactured items, this would include all the energy involved in manufacturing, packaging and shipping. The sun is not the only energy available, the moon has a gravitational pull that shapes and moves our tides, the earths core also creates geo-thermal energy… All of these energies in essence are considered solar.

These natural systems tend to be repetitive, problems often arise when these natural rhythms are disturbed. Energy from the sun is absorbed and translated into a plant… The plant is then consumed by humans or animals… Animals crap out that plant material which is ultimately consumed again by the plants… This system then repeats creating one big energy flow…

In a young eco-system a large portion of the energy goes into growth, and a small portion goes into maintaining the system. In an older eco-system a small amount of energy goes into growth, and a large part goes into maintenance. A young system is rapidly trying to establish and develop a system, think of the edge of a forest. An older eco-system has established itself, therefore new growth is not as important as sustaining what exists.

When you get into high energy growth, you get competition. In humans, high instability leads to a higher male birth rate, when living conditions improve you will have more females… This was mapped in humans only… Not plants or animals… Though interestingly enough, all competition or all cooperation does not work either.

Permaculture systems typically require a lot of energy during initial construction, as time goes on they require less outside energy. In a functioning forest system, energy is cycled as many times as possible. Conventional modern agriculture is the exact opposite, as energy is depleted from the system it is replaced through mechanical means. Elimination of our trees and native plants will only increase the amount of mechanical work we will one day have to do…

Every eco-system goes through stages in order to build a strong food web, this food web can often take thousands of years to create… Yet we can somehow destroy the damn things in a mere few hours. We need to spend a lot less energy destroying these systems, and a whole lot more on saving and fixing the ones we have left.

If we destroy the eco-systems that we do want, they will be replaced with the ones we don’t want…

peace – chriscondello

 
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