As of last Thursday, June 18th, Walsenburg’s first organic community-accessible farm is now in existence thanks to the SONIC BLOOM Permaculture Action Day and all of its participants! Working in collaboration with LiveWell–an organization providing the means, motivation and facilities that support healthy eating and active living to all who live in Huerfano County–we successfully built an enormous fence around the entire open section of the two acre property, a 20x10ft hoop house (greenhouse), layered and filled three 4x8ft raised beds with cardboard/ hay and compost, dumped and spread three huge truckloads of manure, covered a large piece of ground with sheet mulching techniques, and planted a food forest of apple and apricot trees!
Each person organically flowed into the task that resonated most with the skills they had to offer or wished to learn. There was a natural cooperation of each project’s team, providing the space for each individual to come forward with their words of wisdom and acknowledgment of gratitude for everyone’s input. Standing back, we happily witnessed the natural leadership roles that began to take shape as we dove deeper into completion stages and the natural flux of people’s attention from one project to the next. When something needed to get done that we needed more hands for, it went without saying as everyone felt the call, they showed up to focus in all our hand power. For example, when the hard and dirty work of shoveling the manure from the trailer and laying down cardboard for the sheet mulching came up, there was zero hesitation from every single person present to grab a shovel and jump in. It was as if we became more aware of our interconnected organismal nature for the time, each a cell with its task, selflessly participating in the highest good of the whole’s growth.
LiveWell provided a nutritious lunch: greens, local grass fed meats and grilled veggies. As we in joyed the food and Earth-inspired musical tones of bioLumegin, we listened and participated in discussion of Ryan Clark’s workshop “The Sacred Flow: Regenerative Water Solutions.” We discussed the ancient patterns of water that teach us how to harmonize with ecosystems and our own innersystems. He included practical urban and natural applications like rainwater harvesting, “greywater” re-use and reintegration into the water cycle. We went as deep as the molecular shape of ionized water and as vast as the way water patterns itself naturally in our landscapes versus the grid like confinement humans have implemented from property boundaries to pipelines.
This sparked an inspired conversation between community members and festival attendees. It was pleasingly challenging to try to move the focus from sharing in profound conversation to the tasks at hand. Erin Bishop took the floor at the perfect time to rally us all to the next big work push with a short yet beautifully articulated speech on how feasible and real it is for everyone to make their individual dreams come true. This lit a fire in all of us. This is why we were here after all, because some of us had a dream, and we made it reality. “The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world within itself.” I believe with the focus we put in on Action day this quote stands true. We created magic that day,” words shared from Jennie Lynn, one of the participants of the Action Day.
“Taking action to create the world we want to live in is what every one of these Action Days is about,” says Ryan Rising, who organized this past year’s Permaculture Action Tour. “It’s about realizing the way of living we want to transition into, one that functions symbiotically within the cycles of natural ecology to regenerate biodiversity while providing for the autonomy and well-being of our communities. Then, it’s about taking collective direct action to implement those systems and create the community spaces that will foster this web of relationships. That was the basis of our project with Sonic Bloom: we recognized an issue of food injustice in the County, and worked under the direction of the local community, shovel-in-hand, alongside them, to start a community farm that will grow organic and accessible produce for the people of the area. The farm is implementing biodynamics – a system that follows principles and guidelines that mimic nature in relation to animal, plant, soil, and water stewardship.”
So many people can feel the overwhelming potential we have as a community at these festivals to leave a positive trace, to create a new world, to build more gardens and create access to good food. When we plant these seeds of opportunities for festival go-ers to be part of the change, and to work, people are STOKED. People are thirsty for it, and it really just comes down to a group of people willing to put in the time to plan all these events. That is where we come in. That is where you come in. Because anyone can organize an event like we did.
People truly want to do this work, they are hungry for community experiences like this. It is like a flash-forward to our ancient future of a bio-centric civilization where a collaboration of motherboards and mother Earth are the template for our designs. Where metal is enforced by the vine, pavement is colored with the flower and there are no hard lines between city scapes and landscapes…an integration of natural and technological growth. Now our work is to spread the word that this is truly happening. We have the potential to make this a bigger movement, a cultural shift in these festivals. And it will spread like wildfire that these action says and this movement exists!
Kaminanda’s funky rhythms provided a continued uplifted spirit for us to sway and bounce to as we put the finishing touches on filling the beds, erecting the hoop house and dispersing the final load of manure. He had this to say about the Action Day, “I love that these Permaculture Action Days are becoming more of a staple in festival culture, it’s such an important part of the recipe of understanding and being apart of the connectedness of life. Knowing where our food comes from and getting your hands in the dirt is such a beautiful way to connect to a timeless element of human nature . It’s fun and an amazing avenue to feel part of something bigger.”
Not only did the day leave each person with a sense of participating in something much bigger than themselves, it was fun, it was wild, and it planted the seeds that are only going to continue to grow as we move forward into this sustainable future! The community members left dripping in gratitude, literally crying tears of thankfulness for being there to kickstart a farm that otherwise may not have been possible. Cindy Campbell spoke for the community when she said,“I think everyone learned something: most importantly how to work together to make Walsenburg and the world a healthier place to live. At the beginning of the day, there were lots of introductions; by the end of the day, there were lots of hugs.”
We can do anything together, the world is our garden.