Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Springtime in the Farm & Garden

Springtime arrived early this year in the Farm & Garden with warmer weather in February. And while staff hold out for March rains, the landscape offers a surprisingly colorful story to savor.

The narcissus are blooming and honey bees are actively feeding on those early nectars. Meanwhile asparagus has already pierced through the ground and the gray whales can be spotted along the coastline on their return migration north.

“Farming inherently takes courage. As farmers, we learn to adapt to these fluctuations in weather and adjust our approach accordingly,” says Farm Supervisor Chris Omer. “It reminds me of an Eisenhower quote an old farmer passed onto us years ago: ‘plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.’

“So, with this earlier spring and warm weather, we’ve started mowing our cover crop and feeding these plants back into the fields for the soil microbiome to devour. We’ve direct sown our first carrots, salad greens and turnips, and have begun to fill our greenhouse with the old faithful Esalen crops of kale, chard, fennel, cabbage, snap peas, collard greens and flowers for our first round of transplants.”

One truly unique component of the spring Farm & Garden crop are red wiggler worms. After six months of growing the worm population in a new vermicompost system, staff and resident students decided to engage in a humble gratitude ceremony for their contributions.

“Before harvesting the first batch of vermicast, we stood behind the worm bin looking out over the farm with the ocean in the distance,” Chris explains. “We each took turns sharing our appreciation for all who contributed to the project, acknowledged the worms for their contribution to Earth’s vitality and shared stories about our relationship with worms and soil.”

Staff then proceeded to harvest the first of their worm castings and the new fertility source has been introduced to the Farm & Garden’s greenhouse operation and field preparations.

Another new element of the Farm & Garden this spring is revamping the perennial borders in the garden. “Some of the older plants have outgrown their space and so we are revisioning how the next eight to 10 years in these spaces will look and feel,” Chris says. “We are also excited about a garlic trial we planted out this past fall and winter. Garlic is tricky to grow in coastal regions where moisture in the air gives rise to a fungal disease called rust.”

Chris and the crew will also pot cuttings of elderberry, which will be planted around the grounds of Esalen later this spring.

“Each time we plant a seed, we recognize that the future of this tender plant is beyond our control,” Chris says. “We have to accept that throughout the year we will experience some level of failure. That’s the reality of working with nature and working with a living entity. Some crops or experiments will inevitably not work out and we need to refrain from attaching our ego to perfection. And that takes some level of courage to undertake.”

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Springtime in the Farm & Garden

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop

Springtime arrived early this year in the Farm & Garden with warmer weather in February. And while staff hold out for March rains, the landscape offers a surprisingly colorful story to savor.

The narcissus are blooming and honey bees are actively feeding on those early nectars. Meanwhile asparagus has already pierced through the ground and the gray whales can be spotted along the coastline on their return migration north.

“Farming inherently takes courage. As farmers, we learn to adapt to these fluctuations in weather and adjust our approach accordingly,” says Farm Supervisor Chris Omer. “It reminds me of an Eisenhower quote an old farmer passed onto us years ago: ‘plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.’

“So, with this earlier spring and warm weather, we’ve started mowing our cover crop and feeding these plants back into the fields for the soil microbiome to devour. We’ve direct sown our first carrots, salad greens and turnips, and have begun to fill our greenhouse with the old faithful Esalen crops of kale, chard, fennel, cabbage, snap peas, collard greens and flowers for our first round of transplants.”

One truly unique component of the spring Farm & Garden crop are red wiggler worms. After six months of growing the worm population in a new vermicompost system, staff and resident students decided to engage in a humble gratitude ceremony for their contributions.

“Before harvesting the first batch of vermicast, we stood behind the worm bin looking out over the farm with the ocean in the distance,” Chris explains. “We each took turns sharing our appreciation for all who contributed to the project, acknowledged the worms for their contribution to Earth’s vitality and shared stories about our relationship with worms and soil.”

Staff then proceeded to harvest the first of their worm castings and the new fertility source has been introduced to the Farm & Garden’s greenhouse operation and field preparations.

Another new element of the Farm & Garden this spring is revamping the perennial borders in the garden. “Some of the older plants have outgrown their space and so we are revisioning how the next eight to 10 years in these spaces will look and feel,” Chris says. “We are also excited about a garlic trial we planted out this past fall and winter. Garlic is tricky to grow in coastal regions where moisture in the air gives rise to a fungal disease called rust.”

Chris and the crew will also pot cuttings of elderberry, which will be planted around the grounds of Esalen later this spring.

“Each time we plant a seed, we recognize that the future of this tender plant is beyond our control,” Chris says. “We have to accept that throughout the year we will experience some level of failure. That’s the reality of working with nature and working with a living entity. Some crops or experiments will inevitably not work out and we need to refrain from attaching our ego to perfection. And that takes some level of courage to undertake.”

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Springtime in the Farm & Garden

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About

Esalen Team

Springtime in the Farm & Garden

About

Esalen Team

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