Enhancing observation skills in your food growing spaces has a powerful effect on how productive and healthy your patch is and how your experience in the garden improves your well being.
I want to share some of the practices I work with in my food growing spaces that lead to enhancing my observation skills. I’ve worked with these for at least 20 years now. The practices are inspired by my study of biodynamics and my realisation as I get older that my state of being, whenever I do anything, has a profound affect on how it turns out.
My techniques for enhancing observation skills
Calming the mind – I normally start my day on the contemplation chair in the food garden with some meditation exercises, This is very calming and allows me to enrich my soul each morning with life in the garden. Later in the day I aim to clear my mind of the days events and feelings when entering the garden. Concentrating on the beauty of individual plants for a minute or so really helps with this clearing.
Connecting in with life – Taking time when in the garden to observe as much life as possible in and around the garden. This includes birds, insects, plants and animals. For the billions of organisms in the soil you cannot see, its also helpful to imagine them down their working away and realising that you are the custodian of their life in the garden. A simple tactic here is to sit in the garden and intensely observe a plant, you will be quite amazed by what you see that has not been revealed to you previously.
Wholistic observation – This type of observation is called Goethean observation and was first developed by Johann Goethe in the 1700’s. In essence, it means when observing your food garden, attempt to: imagine all that is connected to the garden right out to the cosmos, imagine at the time of observing the plant that it sits within its life process and what you see is now is one part of that process and lastly, do not come to conclusions on what you should do too quickly. The intellect wants an answer quickly and you must develop more capacity to hold back critical judgement until you get more understanding of such a complex living system as a food garden. It called immersing yourself in the gestalt of the garden. As you practice this form of observation you will find it much easier to connect to your intuition. I get to a point after observing in this way where I ask a question of what to do and then wait for the answer, it often comes quickly, but sometimes it pops into my mind later.
How do techniques benefit?
Trouble shooting – It can be difficult to come to a conclusion on how to transform a situation in the garden to a better result. Given its such a complex system, I find these methods of observation enable me more direct access to my intuition to get the most appropriate answers
Happier plants – As you get more in tune with plant, soil, weather and cosmic rhythms, you will find the plants vitality begins to respond more quickly to your own positive loving state of being in the garden. This means a healthier and more productive food garden
Enriching your well being – Your food garden is a great place for personal healing. There is a direct energetic connection between us and plants which can be measured. This connection calms us if we are open to it, enriches our soul life and our bodies. The garden becomes more of sanctuary to transform what each day brings, the compost ingredients of life!
In taking the time to cultivate some land to grow food, I feel its essential your overriding attitude of soul is one of love for all life in the space. This love comes with responsibility as you become the custodian of life in the garden, The more you care for it appropriately, the more it will reward your efforts.and your capability for enhancing observation skills flows from this state of soul.
Come along to one or more of our workshops and get a feel for our space, use some of the techniques for enhancing observation skills, as well as learning all the key practice aspects of starting and managing food gardens with organic and biodynamic methods. You will enjoy it!
Authored by Peter Kearney – My Food Garden