I love this time of year. I say that about every season, but it’s always true. There is a palpable sense of excitement as the homestead burst into life courtesy of a fortnight of unexpectedly sunny days and warm nights. The stalks of velvety silver-green, now taller than my 63” frame, boast eleven of the wine and green globe artichokes already. The nearby honeysuckle has inched its way along several feet of the hedge-frame; the lemon balm, mint and oregano are clamoring for my hand and the pruning shears.
As the Witch of this place, my work has been reclaiming yard, garden and field; removing, recycling, composting, disposing, replanting and nurturing. Three years in with a long way to go to reach my goal of homestead sustainability, but it’s taken me that long to get to know all of the plantfolk of my domicile, their habits and desires, their companions above and below, their vibrations, sounds and quirky attitudes.
Sitting practice for me is often in the garden, against a rubicund cedar or at altars of stone, wood and composted earth. This past month I’ve been sitting with seeds; the ones I’ve saved and the ones I have received from other seed savers. Why did I sit with them? Because I’ve recently become acquainted with Demeter who prompted me to sleep with some under my pillow for a week. I now hear the almost inaudible tones coming from between the folds of paper and through the sealed, plastic bags. They’re alive in there, awaiting the impetus that will transform them from tiny speck and pellet to root and stem, flower and seed once again.
Saving seed has become a focus this year more than in the past. Perhaps because the garden is showing more traits and characteristics and I’m gaining better sight and recognition, it feels like the beginning stages of a new homestead ritual requirement. I’ve saved seed before, periodically, casually without much thought or foresight invested. I took a short class on permaculture seed saving to expand my knowledge base on the subject. It was both informative and inspirational, but as with all knowledge gained along this path, it comes with sacrifice to be made. An investment that all seed savers must make in order to preserve the code of perfection – the stock seed.
Now that many lovelies are bearing handsomely and fruits are hanging on the vines and stalks, I am called to sacrifice my own consumption of them for the sake of their legacy. To save seed is to recognize the characteristics and traits of the right plant and carry those genetics into the future. This is a more familiar mantra to me – an inherent principal of my practice. To sacrifice, refine and preserve the best, to let go of old roots that have died or no longer serve well and make room for the chosen ones to thrive in abundance.
Seeds are dynamic – like dreams, ambitions and desires; they are alive and metabolizing.