Seasonal reflections


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. 

Spiders take over the willow fence (Photo: Alex Sylvester)

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.

Building the wood store (Photo: Talia Chain)
 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!
Working on the new entrance path (Photo: Alex Sylvester)