Gardening and therapy. A ramble.

Jun 25th, 2014 | By | Category: Blog

“They esteem farming as both a practical art and spiritual discipline.”

Gardening is therapeutic as they all say. And it is. Tending to a bed of flowers or vegetables and watching they grow is satisfying because you see the results of either your own work or collaborative work. I feel privileged to work all Summer long at the Middlebury College Organic Farm; it is hard work but mon dieu is it stress free!

Farming/gardening is an art in the sense that it requires a set of method and principles in order to achieve a successful performance. How would you define a ‘successful performance’? I would imagine that, in the spirit of Amish principles and those advocated by Wendell Berry, it would be enough to satisfy needs in a way that is environmentally and energy fair and efficient. “Interdependence of all parts”  — something holistic like that.

My personal experience of spiritually is putting my faith into the carbon cycle theory. Using a holistic approach is being spiritual in a way, because you are considering all things and the way they connect.

Of course, I can relate to the therapeutic, ‘spiritual’ aspects of gardening/farming because I am working in a small scale, experimental elite college farm in a privileged, resort-like setting. I would not know how these principles are appliable in a employees in a traditional farm today, or to a farmer who has to work in another country because of imbecile transnational trade agreements.



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