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Garden-based Education


“The mind is more comfortable in a landscaped park because it has been planned through thought; it has not grown organically. There is an order here that the mind can understand. In the forest, there is an incomprehensible order that to the mind looks like chaos. It is beyond the mental categories of good and bad. You cannot understand it through thought, but you can sense it when you let go of thought, became still and alert, and don’t try to understand or explain. Only then can you be aware of the sacredness of the forest. As soon as you sense that hidden harmony, that sacredness, you realize you are not separate from it, and when you realize that, you become a conscious participant in it. In this way, nature can you become realigned with the wholeness of life.” E. Tolle (2005, 2016)

“Succession” contributes to the natural order of a forest. Succession is defined as “The stages of primary succession include pioneer plants (lichens and mosses), grassy stage, smaller shrubs, and trees. Animals begin to return when there is food there for them to eat. When it is a fully functioning ecosystem, it has reached the climax community stage.” Wikipedia, 2019
And, after a forest fire, or a clear cut, what follows is an invasion of plants that occupy the landscape and hold the space; it is an orderly invasion. And, often times, ten years later leads to stabilization and restoration of the landscape. In permaculture, we promote observation and then mimic natural recovery and restorative processes to create stable ecosystems for sustainable landscapes. The principles apply both to large-scale forests, and small- scale home gardens/landscapes, parks and small farms.