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From the Micro to the Macro; taking a look at our own disconnectedness

Our individual disconnection with ourselves and with Mother Nature is the metaphoric beating of the butterflies’ wings which has led to the hurricane we call modern human society. It is this disconnection at our feet that we have control of and where it all starts; where a fuller life, healthier environment and more balanced humanity starts. My premise is that whether we look at the microcosm or the macrocosm we will notice that we are living a severed existence which is echoed both within and without; with our bodies and nature taking the physical toll of our disconnection. We need a dramatic shift in the way we conduct ourselves internally, interpersonally and externally, and it starts when we get out of our heads. A little gardening could help make this happen.

Read more: From the Micro to the Macro Part 2

From the micro to the macro: How observing our pyschological landscape may transform the permaculture movement.

The first of three, this article discusses the principle of how the microcosm seems to reflect the macrocosm. In particular, how small things reflect and may generate larger issues and how our inner world may be affecting our outer worlds.

Let me start this article by stating how enthusiastic I am about permaculture. It simultaneously expresses forward thinking and ancestral ways, creativity and practicality and a local and global philosophy. Permaculture also offers a perspective on the interconnectedness of nature around us: what about observing the interconnectedness within? I wonder what psychological similarities or deep rooted subconscious beliefs underlie the shared values of Quality of Life, Self Sustainability and Non-Aggressive Living which Permaculturists (Permies) tend to have. Ways that our subconscious beliefs may be undermining our individual and collective efforts from reaching their potential will also be mentioned and dropped in the collective slow-cooker for deliberation. I realize this has the potential to be an exercise in projection but it may also be helpful.

Read more: From the micro to the macro

JRPS 2013 Gardeners


Bryan with the James Robinson Public School gardeners of 2013.

What a success at James Robinson Public School! Amazing children who were as eager to learn how to care for their schools’ new raised beds as Bryan was to teach them. What a vegetable and edible flower treat!


With their teacher, Mrs. Johnston-Miller, the children learned what plants needed to grow and how and when to harvest vegetables. The grade ones and twos used multiplication and addition to record weights of their veggie bounties and to take a guess at how many dried beans remained in the pods we saved for seed. It is a beautiful thing to think that some of the children who saved seeds this year will be putting those same seeds back in 2014 when Seeds for Change Gardens and Bryan from Backyard Groceries return to garden at JRPS.

Read more: The 2013 Gardeners at JRPS

Carrots - OPR


 Carrots - OPR pg 2

Blog Picture - Permaculture Trials at MCG 2013

The Successes and Trials of Permaculture in a Community Garden

For the last two years I have made myself one of the most exciting jobs I have ever had! It involves long hours, muscle-building hard work for 8 months of the year, getting bit by mosquitoes, and the retention of lots of facts that would make many people's eyes glaze over. Yet, when I take time to look, the product far outweighs the effort. I get to watch nature grow and socialize with itself, as I ponder the problem solving abilities inherent in Mother Earth. Additionally, I get to eat food that I know is clean and sustainable, and occasionally I get to see hardened adults get excited by an innocent joy.

Read more: The Successes and Trials of Permaculture in a Community Garden


Mindfulness in the Garden




Everything that slows us down
and forces patience,
everything that sets us back
into the slow circles of nature,
is a help.


Gardening is an instrument of grace.


May Sarton


From Photo by m tullottes


Our Perspective of Health

The vision of health Backyard Groceries embraces is orientated around Hippocrates’ timeless quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. While this expresses a firm principle, the data suggests that the vitamin and mineral content of the majority of our fruits and vegetables has been declining since 1975. If not before, during the post WW2 era when the use of chemical fertilizers became the standard practice. The nutritional density of our food is related to our health. For optimum health your body requires proper functioning of all its enzymes, and those enzymes require minerals and nutrients to function. We must feed our bodies nutrient dense foods if we expect them to perform well for us. Here are a few more positive steps you can make for you and your family.

Read more: Vision of Health