This year's gardening experience has been a sobering one for me. It's not going well. My decision to tear
up the old, smaller garden and put in a larger one was met with a serious heat wave shortly after work
began. This slowed us up, but we did get some of the seeds in (a sampling of everything) in a special
section while we attempted to continue with the rest of the garden redesign. It has been a battle, with
dryness, raccoons and especially the weeds we sowed aplenty by disking and plowing them throughout the
whole area. Perhaps I can share a few hard lessons (updated with the coming times in mind).
- Considering what we are expecting, the time to start gardening and growing skills development is
now. If this year's garden had to feed us and provide seeds to send on to others to feed them now, we
would starve and so would those who need the seeds we should be able to send!
- It's too easy for the elements to creep up on us and our gardens before we know it. I take little
consolation from the fact that my being overwhelmed trying to survive professionally against
managed care will not be an issue in five years. Through this process, and our family's growing
awareness of world changes (see below), they are slowly joining me in the gardening efforts, a role I
cannot take on by myself! By 2001, we should have become a team, with a thriving garden and a
history of having sent a lot of seeds out.
- Don't wait until 2002 to begin gardening in earnest. You will not have the time to develop and refine
the skills, as an individual and as a family/community if you don't begin now. Many of us are as
overwhelmed as our family is trying to get by in the "modern" world. Start your garden small enough
for you to keep up with it, and follow a plan that will allow it to grow seeds to share, and ultimately
feed you and those with you.
- Always remember the native plants grow faster, stronger and hardier than the plants you bring in. The
native plants would be the weeds and, you guessed it, the plants you bring in are the vegetables.
- The changes are happening now! I made the mistake of approaching the garden in the manner I
undertook three years ago. We went from rainy winter to a dry summer almost overnight. We are
going to have to do a lot of experimenting and focus a lot of attention in our gardens that was not
required of us in the past. Some of what we plant will thrive, but some will certainly be lost. Our
first harvest will be limited due to the unexpected changes.
- As you increasingly shift your life efforts to outside settings, gardening, foraging for wild plants, etc.,
relying on simpler self-sufficient environmental supports, you will be challenged to hold to your
values. For example, because of changes in their food supply, raccoons are becoming an increasing
problem here for us. They sense our lack of malice toward them and come right up on the deck to eat
the cats' food, and they prowl the garden, timing their plans to get a first strike at the harvest. What
shall we do? Killing them is not an option. The wildlife officials, who used to be the ones to remove
wild animals to the deeper woods, simply told us to destroy them. When I told them their solution
wouldn't solve the raccoons' problems and said I would move them, the officials threatened me with
a stiff fine for moving wild animals. For us, these are real "end times" issues, as defined in the Art
Bell way of seeing things. I can tell you one thing first hand. The folks up there look hard and fast at
how we treat our fellow creatures on the planet. Today, it's raccoons. Someday, it may be the
neighbors. (Actually, I guess the raccoons are neighbors, as they live in a pine thicket just west of the
For anybody who wonders if the changes are not already underway, I suggest a drive through Florida. We
drove through many areas that had already burned or were still burning after the 1998 fires. At times, with
the fire burning on both sides of us and smoke drifting across the highway, it seemed we were driving on a
road through hell. Even though we may appreciate our openness to the changes on this site, nothing brings
it home like seeing a part of it really happening. At times like that, I realize my own lack of emotional
preparation when I wonder how what I am seeing could possibly be real. We have a lot of work to do on
ourselves. Seeing Florida certainly opened my family up to some of the things I have been saying,
especially after my having warned them at the end of winter of bad tornadoes in our future. Emotional
preparation is essential. Trust your intuitions without doubting or denying them. Trust your visions. Trust
your dreams to prepare you. In your sleep, you will know.
Offered by Granville.