Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Woman as Nature

My mother practices permaculture.  Permaculture “develops sustainable human settlements and self-maintained agricultural systems modeled from natural ecosystems.  In simple terms, it means you live on the land as part of the land. 

The night I arrive, the moon rises over a jungle of bounty. To the unpracticed eye, it looks like garden chaos. I know better. We go out in the morning for breakfast, and to harvest.  Mulberries first. They look like blackberries, and grow in a tree with spashy leaves. So delicious. I pick a box full.  Beside the mulberry tree a huge fig taunts me – I missed the season, and second growth will not ripen this year. 

Then Italian plums. The tree is so full it looks like a comic book picture. It's a bit early, so I shake the tree to get the riper ones.  Next we take the years harvest from the hazelnut trees. She has three, all nestled together along a path.  My favorite way to harvest is to climb under the lower branches and look up into the tree, or sideways.  Hazelnuts are engulfed by a lacy leaf. As I pick them, I imagine what it would be if this were a major part of part of my diet for the rest of year. If harvesting a nut tree were like going to the grocery store to stock up for the winter.  It was not that long ago our fore-mothers did this.  

I love it that my mom practices permaculture.  Its a heart connection she keeps for me, my family and those around her to the earth- to nature. 

Posted by Laura Musikanski, ED of HI