The Birthday Gift

Posted by & filed under herbaculture, my life.

My 60th birthday is in June. My husband surprised me at Christmas with a trip to Ireland and Scotland. That won’t be happening now. I was also going to do a mother/daughter getaway with my youngest, who is turning 30 this year. Our birthdays are 4 days apart by calendar, 30 days apart by years.

I could be sad about missing these trips (I’ll be happy if we get to do our annual family beach vacation in August), but then I started thinking about it. What better gift than if the world changed for the better as a result of this pandemic? All of the things I want….

Using the tenants of permaculture as the basis of our societies. Earth Care. People Care. Fair Share. Polycultures. Multiple function. The Problem is the Solution. And there are more.

Earth Care. People Care. Fair Share. It’s all about balance. Taking only what we need. Caring for the earth and caring for each other. Planting gardens. Growing food organically. Helping those in need.

Polycultures – nature doesn’t grow in monocultures. Different species of plants and animals co-habitate. Different “cultures” live with each other, making each other better than each would be individually. This should apply to human cultures, too! And our food system. No poisons needed to fight back nature. No fighting as we learned to love each other rather than fear those who are different than us.

Multiple function and the problem is the solution. This is difficult to put into words, I think a story works best. Our chickens had a pen that was too sunny in the afternoon. I tried putting a tarp over part of the top but it was a huge pen, and the wind was always an issue. Also, I had wanted to plant grapes but we didn’t have a structure to put them on.

Voila! Both those “problems” had the same solution. Put wooden crossbars across the top of the pen and plant grapes around the edges. Grapes grow up, provide shade for the chickens and food for us (and any grapes that dropped also were food for the chickens).

Lastly, as an herbalist, I would love to see allopathic medicine more entwined with alternative medicine. Functional medicine comes close. But the key is preventative medicine, and plants shine the best here. Plants grown organically, the permaculture way in our food system, and the wild herbs that choose to grow among us.

So that’s what I want for this 60th birthday. And as much as I was looking forward to that trip to Ireland and Scotland, I would like this gift oh so much better. A gift for the world, not just me.

Photo by Sam Chang on Unsplash

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