Apply Self-Regulation & Accept Feedback ~ Permaculture Principle 4

“The sins of the fathers are visited on the children unto the seventh generation”

I have to be honest, this has been one of the most important and most challenging permaculture principles to me. It takes a great amount of mindfulness, stillness, and openness to apply self-regulation to our gardensand ourselves. It takes confidence to accept feedback from others and have an understanding that we are continuously evolving. Our bodies are continuously self-regulating, as well as Mother Earth.

Self-regulation allows a space for us to be mindful during our process and open to making mistakes. Allowing the process to be perfectly imperfect. When we approach our designs or gardens with room for feedback, we are opening ourselves up to an intimate connection with our environment, our community, and our daily lives. It provides a space for us to be in communication with Earth, eliminating our illusion of separation. We tend to the garden and it responds and speaks to us.

This has been specifically challenging for me because the pastmonth has been a transient space of being in a different geographical locationevery week. From Hawaii to Wisconsin, to southeast and west Florida, back to my landing pad at Sustainable Kashi. There hasn’t been a garden that I’ve been able to ground down into to contribute and accept feedback from.

However, I’ve been able to connect to my inner garden and landscape by seeing how much I’ve grown from my time spent in Hawaii. Noticing how differently I respond to certain situations, seeing what relationships workfor me and what don’t, seeing myself stand in my truth more than ever before when faced with opposing beliefs. The feedback I have received are the mirrors that others have held up around me and I couldn’t be more grateful. By accepting the feedback, I’m able to integrate this new relationship with myself within the world around me. It doesn’t end here though! I’m remembering to continue embodying this permaculture principle, always open for more places of growth.

We are constantly evolving and our growth is never ending! Change is the only constant. We are all in communion with life as it ebbs and flows.

Within my external environment, I was able to see the growth of the gardens at Sustainable Kashi! In May, we prepared the gardens by planting a variety of cover crops and root crops to take up space within the soil, ensuring that there would be no space for weeds during the hot and wet Florida summer. We used different plants and techniques for the variety of gardens we have and it was so fascinating to come back and receive feedback of what worked and what didn’t!

We found that an intensive planting of sweet potato and cassava covered the soil and kept out the weeds much better than an intensive planting of seminole pumpkin. Not only did it work better on keeping out the weeds, it also gave us a much more abundant harvest. I would definitely recommend using sweet potatoes, cassava, and cover crops such as cowpea, hairy vetch, and daikon radish! By using this permaculture principle, we are able to see what truly works, share this information with others, and design more efficiently in the future.

With so much love,

Mandalynn


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