“Flowers and fruit are only the beginning.
In the seed lies the life and the future.”
- Marion Zimmer Bradley
Seeds sleep silently holding endless potential – like us.
Some light as feathers, some hard as stone, some winged, some thorned,
others gnarled and crusty, others smooth and polished – like us.
Seeds sleep silently waiting for water, light and love
from the Earth who awakens them – like us.
As we roamed the land hunting and gathering, we lived in a unique harmony with the Earth. We ate her fruits and berries, grains and vegetables, roots and seeds. We took what we needed and moved on, noticing that certain things grew in certain places and others did not. When our bodies craved those foods we traveled back to pick them. As time moved on we settled, but remembered the tastes we liked and began to carry seeds and cuttings back to try propagation. Some worked, some didn’t and the human need to understand and sometimes control began to be applied to agriculture. The Earth’s natural ecosystem now became man’s playground to love, try to understand, exploit and plunder.
Science has moved us forward and set us back. Industrial farms and monoculture growing techniques have destroyed the land and created a chemical burden in the land, air, water and all life. Engineered seed has taken ‘potential’ from the Earth and the plants and given it to science and profiteers. The challenges we will face in the next few years have to do with the choices we will make – to support healthy communities here on the Earth – health from the ground up.
Creating healthy gardens and ecosystems means plant diversity, pollinator diversity and seed diversity. What can we do? Co-create with the Earth. Pick a spot of land and work with her, observe what is there and enable diversity to flourish.
Did you know that honeybees are not native to the western hemisphere? Pollination was accomplished by native bees and others. Many bee species and insects pollinate flowers to produce seeds. Butterflies and moths also act as pollinators along with wasps, bombyliid flies, syrphid flies, beetles, midges, thrips and ants!
Birds such as hummingbirds, honeyeaters and sunbirds also pollinate. In others regions bats, monkeys, lizards, rodents, possums, and lemurs are responsible for pollination. The wind pollinates and oh yes, us!
Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a healthy, diverse ecosystem to feed all of the Earth’s life to continue the process of healthy growth and evolution.
Owner of the seven acre, organic Cedar Spring Herb Farm in Harwich, MA, Donna Eaton is also a native healer and practitioner providing wellness consultations, group lectures, tours, classes, apprentice programs and ceremonial gatherings. Cedar Spring is also a member of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program linking farmers directly to the community for fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs. 508-430-HERB (4372). www.cedarspringherbfarm.com
Written By Donna Wood Eaton, Spring 2011
Photography by LittlefieldLandscapes.com