bY aLEX sYLVESTER, sADEH’S LAND MANAGER.
Over the last 3 months Sadeh has been blessed to share the land with three fabulous human volunteers
Moving things around.
Ronni of Manchester, Jonny of Carlisle and Talia of Eastbourne each independently decided to join the lockdown on the border of Kent. With such great enthusiasm and coolmegawicked humour have they thrown themselves into every aspect of Sadeh life, and for this we salute them.
All three Sadehniks will undoubtedly cherish the memories of practising one of the most fundamental of human activities – that of moving things from one place to another. Whether that be furniture around the house as it undergoes yet another makeover. Or kitchen waste to the compost heap, to return clutching a couple of chicken eggs.
I guess dynamism is one of the things that characterise life on Planet Earth.
Sunlight moves through plants and they grow. Water flows down from the hills and replenishes the sea. The humble earthworms drag down leaves and feed the soil.
With intensive agriculture there’s a lot of moving stuff around, from imported fertiliser and pesticides, diesel to fuel the tractors, ploughing soil, which in turn liberates huge quantities of CO2 to the atmosphere. The efficiency with which we humans move things around is clearly impacting on our and planetary health. Perhaps we need to get better at moving things less, or on a local level and scale that accords with our biological nature. Sound more ecological? Take the soil – we can preserve soil structure with less digging and boost its health with local materials – leaf mould from Sadeh trees, woodchip from local tree surgeons, manure from horses across the road, cardboard and straw from neighbours. Growing trees for firewood saves on importing wood. If we can compost our poop we can make our own human fertiliser.
Anyway, here is a flavour of what the Sadehniks have been moving around this autumn:
Back in the warm days of September, damsons were picked a plenty – remember? And maggoty apples crushed into cider Early morning dew revealed webs of the spider The scythe turned the meadow into piles of hay Young trees craved hungrily day after day cardboard and woodchip for the fungi to play The roses cried out jealously So we pulled the weeds out zealously And mulched them too Whilst the winds around us blew The leaf bin upgraded with a roll of chicken wire And under some sheet metal dries wood for the fire Just in time with our beautiful wood stove Lest the cold to madness it all of us drove. In October the leaves fluttered down a plenty We raked, swept and barrowed them to the leaf sanctuary Then buried wild daffodil bulbs amongst the trees And whereas some people out there do just as they please We rescued fly-tipped root pouches cast into the wild With a sigh of relief the Well Hill birds smiled As did the Havdalah garden bees When they saw us planting more dwarf comfrey The paving went crazy as we levelled a path Saving ourselves from Ol’ Bryan’s wrath Then we reclaimed some of the Nettle Sea Fuel for the wood stove means planting more trees! In November with light fading day by day The forest garden is the place to play Potatoes dug joyously from under the earth Of delicious medlars there is no dearth But if oak trees grow here Let us be quite clear There is plenty of space over there in the field So please do not mess with our fruity yield And while in the hedgerow pallets stand arm in arm Trees are coppiced and no one comes to harm. So more dead hedges and future firewood And a great path by the kitchen – Wow, that is Good!