Guerilla Gardening is……..Biblical

God is a God of second chances. Of redemption. Of re-formation. Of new life.

That feeling we get in the Spring when all the flowers are blooming and the trees clothe themselves in rich greens.  That reassurance that everything is not dead and the landscape will be filled again with life, lush curves and swaying leaves………God created that.  Birds sing about it all the time. (If they didn’t, the stones would start singing, I’m sure: Luke 19:40)

When people rip out the life of creation and smother it with concrete, erect buildings on it and spray chemical showers on what’s left of it, God is not surprised (we can’t ‘surprise’ God) or incapable of redeeming in the midst of the damage.

When people (and “corporate persons”) slay and beat and force the land into submission, stopping just short of genetically modifying dollar bill genes into heads of grain, using other people to do the dirty work (is soil dirtier than greed?) and slaying and beating and forcing them into poverty and dependence, God is weeping but not surprised.

God weeps and works.

He works on hearts. On minds. On relationships – with Himself, people, moving creatures and the earth.  God works on greed and in the soil.

‘Guerilla Gardening’ can mean, “illicit cultivation,” “war against neglect and scarcity of green and growing public spaces,” and “activism through gardening.”  It’s happening in many large cities (and smaller towns) where abandoned lots and empty, neglected buildings and spaces are just sitting, hurting the eyes, and begging for new life.

When guerilla gardeners take an unused space and fill it with new soil and plants, they are reclaiming what has been lost and giving it new purpose (whether for food or beauty.)  Just after Zacchaeus admitted his wrong in stealing money from others and realized his higher calling, Jesus affirms this message by saying: “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10.  Jesus IS God’s proof of His redemptive heart.

In the book of Amos, God practically coins the term Guerilla Gardening:

“In that day, I will restore David’s fallen tent.
I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be, so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear My name,” declares the Lord, who will do these things.
“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

“when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes.
New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.
I will bring back my exiled people Israel;
they will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them.
They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit.
I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them.”

Amos 9:11-15

The heart of God towards His created. His image-bearers. His beloved.

No matter how much concrete, how many corporate persons, how much spraying.  There is always a remnant. Rebuilding is always possible. Restoration is the name of the game.

One of the last images in the book of Revelation describes a garden, with a huge river flowing through it (a river coming from the new city of God, by the way):

On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month.
And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:2

City and garden are finally reconciled.

Here’s a taste of what that can look like.  Though it doesn’t end well for Adam Purple, the fulfillment of God’s promise of redemption and restoration is still lingering.  There’s still work to be done; vacant lots to plant, workers to be healed, chemical action to be amended and greed to be addressed.


And Now Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Program

Life. That’s what has happened for the past 4 months.  Busy-ness. That’s how we roll in Port Townsend.  Fundraisers, dance parties, fundraiser dance parties, volunteer projects, short-term house-sitting jobs, restaurant work, complaining about the weather and trying to sneak a or two into the mix are all some of the excuses I’ve used to neglect this portion of my life.  Those, and the fact that there isn’t really a portion of my life that is farming right now (which was the original purpose of this blog.)  But I’ve been doing plenty of gardening, personal and community, and finally feel rested and ready to reinstate relating to you my reflections on different representations of farming.

This is my community garden.

This is what two straight weeks of sunshine will do for any garden in the Pacific Northwest

Known as Wayward Farm Community Garden, it is one of more than 25 community gardens that have emerged in Port Townsend’s community at large of 8,000.  In the past few years the initiative to create community food security (mainly influenced by this grassroots collective) has simultaneously raised people’s awareness about what a secure food economy and community looks like (thus, all the community gardens and the surge of support the Jefferson County Farmer’s Market has seen the past few years) and raised the bar on relationships between the growers and the eaters (our market was voted the Best Farmers’ Market in Washington state!)

Statistics show that Jefferson County is the county with the highest percentage of its food dollars going to local food.  Folks, that number is a resounding 4%.  Of all the counties in Washington state, none are spending more than 4% of their food-buying power to support local growers and cottage-industry entrepreneurs.

Scarlet runner beans; food and beauty

Now one caveat to take into consideration (especially in Port Townsend)

Blackberries and Scarlet Runners grow towards one another's trellises to create a tunnel

is the amount of community gardens, where money isn’t being used to buy food to eat, but rather to purchase seed, fertilizer and tools to grow our own food.  Those are dollars not accounted for that contribute just as much – if not more – to local food security.  Having an abundance of small farmers and local food producers is a great thing to support, but taking the growing power into your own hands, working your own plot of soil and harvesting a bounty you helped to create, that’s the definition of securing your own food.

And even with the year we’ve had here in the northwest corner of the country (until about two weeks ago our temperatures were topping out in the low 60’s and it has been recognized that this has been the chilliest, wettest year on record since weather records have been kept starting in the 1950’s!) the production capabilities of the earth here are bountiful.

Did you know that lettuce is a cut-and-come-again crop? The heads on the left were harvested last week and are re-growing their leaves.

Eating locally means kale, broccoli, peas, carrots, beets, turnips, radishes, arugula, cilantro, lettuce, Asian greens, Swiss chard, potatoes, blueberries, blackberries, string beans, onions, garlic, strawberries, huckleberries, thimbleberries, salmonberries, spinach, zucchini, raspberries, orach, cabbage, plums, apples, pears, celery, salad burnet, thyme, rosemary, sage, parsley, chives, artichokes, and even grains like spelt, triticale, rye, wheat and quinoa.  It also means raw Jersey milk (legal for sale in Washington), artisan cow and goat cheese, pastured lamb and beef, free-range chicken and ducks (and their eggs), beet, carrot and cucumber pickles, jam, hard cider and wine.  (If you have a greenhouse, or a cold frame for starts, it can also mean tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and basil.)

I got lucky and found myself in a community garden that has been taken care of by its members. They have amended the soil, compost religiously, established some wonderful

Triple-bin compost system, some mulch and 'finished' manure

rows of perennial fruits (raspberries, strawberries, currants, blueberries and thornless blackberries) and play well together.  We consist of a landscaper, a dental assistant, a home-designing consultant, a computer whiz, a fiber artist, a full-time mom and her insect- and dump truck-loving 6 year old, a couple of retirees, a rowing club member and me.  Since we began turning under the winter cover crops back in April, we have seen at least 2 sowings come to bear in each of the 7 beds dedicated to annual veggies, with a third promising time to harvest before winter cover crops will again be sown.

We work together on Sunday afternoons and often bump into each other during the week as we stop by to harvest our suppers.  We have potlucked together a few times and some of us have found common interests bringing us together outside the parameters of the garden.  But mostly we all know that our reasons for joining a community garden, whether for human interaction, to learn about growing food, to celebrate good food or just to have a chance to work outside for a while, unite us when we probably wouldn’t have the opportunity otherwise.

Calendula; a hardy annual, reseeds itself and proliferates when dead-headed

Springing Forward

The weather on the Olympic Peninsula is slowly starting to warm up, the days are lengthening, the sun is poking its head out a little bit more and garden fever (or is it just March flu?) is taking over.  My new community garden had our first work party yesterday; pruning and trellising the berry patches, weeding and mulching the perennial herb bed and turning over the cover crops for the annual row beds.  At home (my new home, that is! no more living out of my suitcase), I’ve started seedlings in flats (repurposed bead boxes and egg cartons); broccoli, kale, turnips, beets and lettuce.

An old dresser that came with the house is in transition to become useful garden containers (cold frame, individual garden beds and a compost bin.)

Recycled window pane and altered drawers await cold frame-age

And I’m trying to cover all my bases in terms of deer-proofing my 2011 garden (Uptown, PT is notorious for snacking and roaming deer, at all hours of the day and night.  You should see some the inventive deer fences and barriers people have come up with!).  Currently scheming up a dome tunnel cloche, made out of bendable PVC pipe, rebar stakes and re-may fabric. Any suggestions?

Where it all ends up...and begins again. The compost heap.

Daylight savings time is less than a week away; it’s a shame that the weather doesn’t always get the memo that the people are ready to “Spring Forward.”

The Green Idol

At this point in my life (and travels) I’ve shifted into the realm of community gardens.  Learning about ways to offer land and food to people who live either urban or sub-urban lives yet want the opportunity to grow their own or have access to good, organic food is something I’ve taken on.

Though my dream life was once to be a neo-homesteader, complete with self-sufficient gardening and animal management, doing for myself what Western consumerism tells you that you can’t (make your own clothes from fiber to yarn to garment, for example, or provide your own meat by safely butchering an animal), living off the grid and watching my babes run around the yard all naked and natural while I hang laundry in the whispery breeze.  To have work and family and learning and recreation be a cohesive package, a self-supporting cycle.

Enter the reality that land is hard to come by, money even harder, and the realization that good stewardship as a Christian involves more than just watching my resource consumption and living a frugal life, but is inherently about fostering relationships with people and valuing their worth.  I’ve let my pursuit of a green and organic lifestyle get in the way of my friendships and fellowship with others in the past, spent the majority of my time and money on it, obsessing with health and living lightly.  In essence, I created an idol. These pursuits are not very fruitful, to say the least.  (This is another description of what I’m trying to convey.)

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?”  Matt. 6:27

But as I’m growing in my faith, I’m learning to balance my convictions with God’s purpose and the community He’s placed me in.  To offer the knowledge of sustainable and organic gardening to others who might not have access to good food is something I feel is important not only to those immediately around me, but greater society as well.  Not everyone can have 20 acres and a draft horse, but with community-involvement, everyone can have access to some land and a way to cultivate it. 

There are lots of community gardens in Port Townsend, ranging from neighborhood collaborations and communal chicken coops, to food bank designated sites run by Ameri-Corp interns and other affiliates, and even to a local farm-based ‘dry-land project’; an initiative to bring draught-tolerant grains/staple foods into production.

All of these and more research down the road will be added to the compiling of paper mounds that are the makings of an intended book on methods and models of community gardening.  And though homesteading may still be in it for this young, aspiring farmer, reaching the urban and sub-urban specters of our society is where the real need is for health and getting back to living naturally – a little bit closer to the world God designed in the first place.

“All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock – the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
Your basket and kneading trough will be blessed.
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.”  Deut. 28:2-6

The Dirt on Biodynamic Compost

Friend Kirstin

So I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from the West Coast and am visiting another farm gal up here in the historic and beautiful state of New York.  Who would think that 45 minutes outside of the city, the charming village of Chestnut Ridge holds the nation’s first Waldorf School and education center based on the writings of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer and the principles of

Rudolph Steiner, grandfather of biodynamics. 

Kirstin with Eva

  The Pfeiffer Center here in the valley boasts 120+ acres of summer camp, a school, a eurythmics studios, intern and staff housing, an organic/biodynamic cafe, two miniature draft horses, historic barns and a community-centered garden.  My good friend is here doing a year-long internship with the garden and is getting an intensive education of all things biodynamic.

To start off with, the soil and its health are everything to the biodynamic farmer.  Live cultures and a viable life energy are the focus of building the soil through intensive composting and different concoctions made out of both plant and animal material that are added to the compost piles or made into a “tea” and sprayed over the crops and soil.

This morning we brought all the compost bins (trash cans on wheels) from around the community; one from the Waldorf school where the kids toss in everything from half-eaten apples, to lunch leftovers to the tired jack-o-lanterns of the last holiday; two from the co-op store up the street where the staff toss in food and drink leftovers from to-go meals and coffee; one from each dorm building on the campus where mostly kitchen waste and the occasional bouquet of flowers makes its way in; and even food scraps dropped off by neighbors and members of the greater community.

The mesh-lined compost bins are lined with straw or dried leaves on the bottom and around the sides as more is added to the heap, and between each good 5″thick layer of fresh food scraps about 2 cups of powdered lime is sprinkled on top and covered with a thin layer of readymade compost from a previous pile – a sort of inoculant to the new batch, kind of like keeping a sourdough starter going to use in fresh bread every week – before putting the mesh-lined lid of the container over top.  After about a month the container pile will have decomposed and packed down enough to scoop  by the forkful to an open pile that is then covered with straw and allowed to fully decompose and break down to the point that it resembles rich, dark garden soil.  At this point the pile will be gradually added to the garden rows after heavy-feeder crops (like corn and all the Brassicas) and also used as the inoculant for the contained fresh piles.

The thermometer is reading over 100 degrees

I have yet to encounter anyone or any farm that focuses so heavily on composting, makes it into a weekly ritual even.  And from first-hand experience, the folks here can tell you that the ‘biodegradable green cups’ (like what most hip, organic coffee shops give you to take your morning latte with you) are still in the piles after the rest has turned to humus, so they’re probably not the best composting material out there.  Although, the corn- or sugar-based utensils and cups that mimic their plastic counterparts break down readily and are don’t leave a trace as they break down just as fast as whole-food waste.

As I mentioned before, there are some compost ‘preparations’ that are used regularly; their purposes are to fertilize, make nutrient uptake more efficient, protect against diseases and give a certain vitality to the plants.  It could be said that these preparations give biodynamic produce that little bit of an edge over conventional and even organic produce from the same region – if you haven’t tried it, trust me (and then try it), biodynamic produce just tastes better!

Prep #500 (this doesn’t mean that there are 499 before it, it’s just the name assigned to the concoction…don’t ask me)  Manure is stuffed into a female cow’s horn (it’s hollow, as opposed to a bull’s horn) and buried in the ground for a year.  After a year it’s dug up, mixed into a barrel of water – stirred quickly one way and then the other for about an hour, this is said to “introduce chaos and potentize the tea” – and flung onto crops with a large paintbrush.  It’s said to stimulate root activity, promote beneficial bacteria, regulate pH and mineral content and help seeds to germinate.

Prep #501  Silica is also stuffed into a horn and buried for a year, then dug up and stored in direct sunlight.  It’s mixed in the same way as the manure tea, by short and quick rotations of stirring one way and then the other before being flung onto garden plants.  It resonates with light metabolism in the plants (photosynthesis and the making of chlorophyll) and heavily influences the color, flavor, keeping qualities and even aroma of the plants.

Prep #502  Dried yarrow is stuffed into a stag’s bladder, hung up over the summer and then buried for a year before being placed by the teaspoonful into a slot made in the compost pile then covered back up.  This happens anytime the compost pile is turned, maybe once every 6 months.  It helps plants take up any trace elements in very miniscule amounts for their optimal nutrition preference.

Prep #503  Chamomile is buried from fall to next summer inside cow intestines and upon being dug up also placed as a teaspoonful into a slot made in the pile and covered up.  It helps majorly with stabilizing the nitrogen (N) in the compost and invigorates the soil “life” which helps stimulate plant growth.

Prep #504  Nettle is another herb used in the compost pile, usually at its center, or “heart”, as nettles are known to enliven the soil and resonate with circulation and iron content.  A teaspoonful is placed in the middle of the pile and covered back up.

Prep #505  Oak bark is chipped off a tree and ground into a fine meal before being moistened and stuffed inside the cavity of a cow skull and buried in a swampy, moist area for a year.  A teaspoonful goes into the compost pile the same way and gives healing qualities to the plants to combat diseases; like a dose of white blood cells for your crop.

Prep #506  Dandelion is placed inside the mesentery of a cow, buried also and placed in the pile similarly.  It helps forge a bond between silica (Si) and potassium (K), and thus aids Prep #501. 

Prep #507  The nectar of valerian flowers is droppered into water to make a tea form that is then dripped into a hole in the compost pile as well.  Its use is for proper phosphorus (P) usage in the soil and plants.

Prep #508  The final prep is a spray of horsetail tea that is sprayed over the compost pile once all the other preps have been placed inside it.  It helps in resistance to fungal diseases and improves the moisture content of the soil.

*This is a great visual source for the preps

Sound cosmic, paganish or just plain weird? Maybe.  But the strong spiritual ties that biodynamic farmers feel in relation to the soil, garden and animals (in particular, cows) is attested to in the fantastic flavor and heartiness embodied by biodynamic produce.  To quote a member of Monday’s sauerkraut-making party: “It’s biodyummy!”

WSU Farm Tour

After weeks of preparation; cleaning, mowing, moving, tidying, finishing up odds and ends of projects, harvesting, jamming and bottling, the WSU Farm Tour coordinated by FIELD-intern coordinator, Leora Stein, was a smashing (if thoroughly soaking) success.

Cuckoo Maran, Barred Rock, R.I. Red, Silver-Laced Wyandotte, Freedom Ranger, Black Australorp

A stream of cars was already filling the driveway when the tour officially opened at 10am and people were itching to walk around the farm to meet the chickens, sheep and farmers of Spring Rain Farm and Orchard. 

Macroinvertebrate team leaders, Julia and Kay

Activities and interests included “Guess that Chicken Breed!”, scooping up macroinvertebrates in Chimacum Creek, painting a chicken coop mural, viewing a frame of honeybees in an observation box and personal tours led by Farmer John himself.

The sales tent didn’t do too shabbily either, as you can’t find Spring Rain at any of the farmer’s markets in the area (they only sell to the co-op, a cafe in town and some direct shares of certain crops, eggs and meat.)  People had heard about the farm but didn’t have a clue where to find our products and many came with a one-track mind for purchases.  Jam, honey, tinctures (by yours truly), eggs, corn, winter squash and pumpkins went like hotcakes.

Despite a tremendous rain shower that lasted a good hour, folks were not deterred and continued to stream in along their day of touring 17 other farms in the area.

John, Kay, Julia, Tassie, Camille, Heidi, Caroline, Roxanne

In the end we decided that we topped off with a good 300 visitors, over $1000 in sales and many good reasons to hit the sack for a much-needed night’s sleep.  And today, we rest.

Harmony of Farming

Farming can encompass many things, from family sustenance to farmers’ markets to grocers supplying, to flowers, bugs, birds, livestock, perennial fruits and annual vegetables, grains as cash and cover crops, watching for frosts, keeping to the routines of animals, harvesting and recognizing abundance . Homesteading and being a radical homemaker can encompass these things and beyond to include putting up enough food for the family and then some, building and repairing your dwelling place, sewing, weaving or knitting to meet clothing needs, family-raising, community involvement (and contra dancing!).  The main thing is, farming and a life connected to the land is never static.

It’s all these things that can make your head spin and leave you fretting about not getting the 15 things done on your 14-item list, all of which need to happen yesterday. Take spring, for instance, when you’re coming out of the winter doldrums with hope taking the form of seed catalogs, preparing beds, finishing repair work that needs to be done before the season takes off, working around frost dates, planting new crops and finishing up the overwintered ones while also planning your full season’s itinerary – and all this when farmers’ wallets are the farthest thing from being green.

But it is also all these things that keep it interesting, broaden your spectrum and diversify not only your job, but your life, since with farming the connection between work and living hasn’t been severed. Instead of just one task or routine day in and day out that can make your life seem to roll like a short wheel down a long road, your attention and focus is exercised in multiple ways by demanding knowledge and being in many and varied situations. And the beautiful thing about this aspect of farming is that it’s all connected, inter-dependent and even cyclical.

Now, certainly the iron hand of the industrial revolution has left its heavy thumbprint on today’s forms of agriculture giving us fertility-stripping monocultures, chemicals from WWII aftermath and even genetically modified potatoes with frog genes.  But even this type of agriculture brings with it its own various tasks such as continual tractor maintenance, chemical selection and a schedule of plowing, spraying, planting, spraying, cultivating, spraying (again) and harvesting.  This proves to weaken the soil for future generations of plantings and farmers, relies heavily on petroleum energy and creates disease-resistance in pests and plants as well as unforetold health-risks to us (frog genes?).  This type of agriculture seems to exit the realm of farming and takes on qualities more to the effect of exploiting, lab testing and stripping.  It bullies its way into the cycle of harmony and breaks the rythm.

But living a sustainable mindset in regards to God’s creation and working with nature rather than against it to produce crops, health and a cleaner world are things more likely to be involved in a multi-tasking farmer’s life.  Respect for the soil, happiness and health of plants, animals and humans, and creating and sustaining family and community and their harmony are all foundational.

In my WWOOFing travels I’ve found:

In Lawrence, KS, farming was about not disturbing the soil, recognizing “weeds” for their uses, strict rotation of both pasture and crops, listening to the sheep and being tuned in to their needs, volunteers coming together to have a part in the farm and developing strong friendships.  It was also about farming in the dark with a headlamp because the farmer couldn’t support herself on her farm alone and had a full-time off-farm job.

In Golden, CO, it was about double-digging beds to prepare them each year, manually moving the solar-tray to pick up energy for the watering system, pulling out adventitious thistles by the root so they wouldn’t come back, covering small transplants with cloche’s at night for protection from frost, trying to get the community involved, trying to wrangle and hassle with drip irrigation specifics before digging trenches for the lines and using a south facing living and dining room as a greenhouse for starts.

In Canon City, CO, it was about a multi-generational family not stepping on each others’ toes as they went about their specific areas of farm management;  grandma on the land, dad on the cows and daughter on the greenhouses, crops and markets.  It was about ditch-style irrigation, deciding which markets were most profitable and worth making the drive, fixing falling-apart garden tools (note: ductape is not the answer in this case,) spending a good hour at least watering the entire 3-domed greenhouse, and also taking time for a cold one next to the river on a hot day.

Cucumber trellises

In Hamilton, MT, farming included watering the in-ground plants in the greenhouse without crunching the tender ones with the back length of hose, mulching strawberries with straw as well as the rows between the beds (note: “guaranteed weed-free straw” is another way of saying: “I am soaked in herbicides”).  It was also about picking out rocks from first-year prepared beds so the tractor could go through and root crops wouldn’t have to deform themselves to the spaces underground.  Unfortunately it was also about having to re-do an entire row of pea trellising because the T-posts “weren’t perfectly straight,” spending thousands of dollars on a faux barn-front wall for the greenhouse and ill management of chickens by keeping them confined to too small a space and forcing them to hard pack the ground around them.

In Sorrento, BC, it was about weeding, weeding, weeding, picking un-trellised peas (not recommended), weeding, long and lavish feasts for lunch and a good mid-day break, weeding, drying food and herbs, going for cold, clear swims in Canada lakes on hot, hot, dry afternoons and weeding.  It was also about 10 hour days and top-notch harvesting for both Urban Harvest food distribution programs and 2 quaint markets a week in neighboring towns.

In Mount Vernon, WA, it was about thinning and using all sizes of beets and green onions, providing to the co-ops in the area.  It was also about taking produce to sell to the food bank even while being eligible to receive a food box in return.  It was about who looks after the kids while the other goes out to spend time in the fields.  It was about slow mornings, going out every 2 hours during the day to manually move drip-irrigation lines between beds of kale, evenings spent at the grandparents’ lake house eating burgers and whatever sides happened to come in the food box that week.  Experimenting with cover crops or no-till wasn’t a viable option, there simply wasn’t enough time or money.

Becka, the sheep puppy

And in Chimacum, WA, it’s about morning and evening chores with the 500+ chickens and turkeys (watering, feeding, collecting eggs and having to wait until the very last remains of sunlight have escaped over and beyond the horizon before the birds will even think of retiring to their coops where they’re shut up safe and sound for the night – in the summer that’s 10:30pm, in the winter that’s 4:30pm), the 20 or so sheep and the newly acquired sheep-puppy in training, Becka (short for “rudbeckia”, the latin for black-eyed Susan’s.)  It’s about building of infrastructure (a cold storage building for crops, travelling chicken coops and renovating an old trailer as housing for interns someday,) weeding and mulching thousands of blueberry plants, gleaning raspberries from their early crop while waiting for them to set their late crop, harvesting zucchini everyday at fat finger-size; that’s the way the cafe down the street likes to buy them.  It’s about one spouse having an off-farm job to keep things financialy viable, specializing in off-season varieties of fruits, establishing apple and pear orchards, moving land into conservation easements and inserting permaculture practices they learned from over-seas agricultural work.

Blueberry field at Spring Rain

No two farms or farmers have been the same.  None of the soils have been the same.  Farming is a completely unique livelihood dependent on the sun, weather, altitude, latitude, organic matter in the soil, space, neighbors, city/county regulations, the saleable outlets, environmental care and the family demands.  To weave these in to a person’s lifestyle is to recognize and honor life, the earth, it’s Creator, cycles, fertility, rest, indivuals and community.  This is harmony, and it’s never static.