Combining awareness and knowledge with physical exercise to grow food and stay healthy.
Morning: How to turn bare soil into a productive plot.
Afternoon: Wild plant and landscape walk
With John Baker of Earth Repair at Fairy Fort Farm, Borrisoleigh
Saturday 26th May
Earth Repair – An Ecological Business
Earth Repair is a business that evolved over more than 20 years from my own experiences working with nature. I believe that the insights and experiences gained over this time offer some solutions to the ecological, social and economic problems we now face.
From my early 20s I discovered that working the soil alleviated feelings of alienation engendered by life in what I felt was a confused and confusing society. Over time I gained experience and was able to make something of a living as a landscaper but found that making and maintaining gardens for others was not enough.
It is more valuable to pass on the tools to empower others to renew their own connections with the Earth. My understanding is that many of our problems are a direct result of humanity’s disconnection from nature. I seek to act as a mediator, passing on practical skills, knowledge and, most importantly, a form of awareness enabling the cultivation of healthier relationships with ourselves and our home.
As humans we are a recent and complex emergence from a multi-billion year process. Our appearance on this planet is only possible because of the work of ancient algae, fungi, plants and animals. We stand on the shoulders of giants. Yet how often do we take this into account in our lives?
Our awareness and our social structures are disconnected from this process and we see the results of this disconnection in economic boom and bust cycles, ecological degradation and social problems. Our daily activities undermine our economic and ecological base. We need to re-root ourselves back into the Earth from whence we sprung. Like a tree, only when we have achieved this rootedness can we hope to grow towards the stars.
We need to extend our definitions of community beyond our immediate families, friends, neighbours, beyond notions of class, race, religion, beyond even our own species and understand that our community is the whole Earth.
We need to redefine the value systems that underlie our economic activities away from material success towards real, lasting indicators like vibrant ecosystems, and healthy communities. We must understand that our economic base is our planetary ecosystem. We cannot afford to undermine it.
These changes begin on a level below the intellect.
To live in balance on the planet requires a visceral and heartfelt sense of what this means. We find this feeling in healthy ecosystems. The greatest expression of health in our environment, give us something to aim for. They give our bodies and minds a recognisable sense of what it means to be healthy and what to reproduce in our lives.
Through Earth Repair I aim to pass on what I know of this. My workshops teach practical skills such as growing food, using plants and making compost. They also involve a series of awareness exercises designed to re-open our consciousness to the natural world and establish mutually beneficial relationships with it.
To experience what all this means I will be teaching a day long workshop
Working and walking with Nature
At: Fairy Fort Farm, Borrisoleigh, Co Tipperary
On: Saturday 26th May
For more details: John Baker 085-7027828
Cost €35 per person
Plants and seedlings for sale on the day