The first Earth day occurred 40 years ago today, April 22, 1970. It consisted of more than 20 million demonstrators. It was inspired by a speech by Gaylord Nelson in 1969 that stirred the waters and caused the end result. Backed by a theory that every human being residing on the earth deserved the right to live in a natural and healthy environment, the first Earth day occurred.
Today it is believed that almost 1.5 billion people will do over 31 billion “acts of green” all over the world. What can you do to be one of those 31 billion you many ask? There are a number of things. Below are listed just a few
• Build a compost bin. - Building a Compost Pile not only is a wonderful way to recycle, it also gives you a wonderful addition to your garden, rich beautiful soil. Click the link above for easy instructions on creating your own.
• Recycle – glass, aluminum, plastic, etc - Recycling is a process of taking something at the end of its useful life and using all or part of it to make another product. The link above leads one to the Recyclo-pedia which covers how to recycle just about anything you can think of.
Remember if we are all doing what we can then we can make a difference.
I received this post from the blog Mother Moon
I really feel like this is something to bring attention to.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Posted by Ponderosa Pagan at 10:17 AM
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Peruvian Purple Chiles have finally sprouted. I am super excited and the leaves are purple. I thought just the chile itself was going to be purple, but right now the entire plant is purple!!!!
In other news the greens beans are not growing. I am pretty sure that some molded and Bobby thinks the starters were not right for the green beans. So we will try again with them once we plant the other starters in the real garden
Posted by Ponderosa Pagan at 9:37 AM
Friday, April 16, 2010
About 5 days after Bobby and I prepared the garden we started seeds in our starters. The starters are Grodan and they are pretty awesome. After picking what seeds we were going to plant we made a bucket of water with the juice of one lemon and placed the dry starters into the water. Once they sank to the bottom of the bucket they were ready for a seed to be planted in them. Bobby and I made about 45 starters and decided to save the rest (although weeks later I now think we should have just done them all there were a total of 90 starters).
Once we had placed the seeds into the starter we placed them into a zip lock bag. I wasn’t sure if this would work, but you zip all the way across except for an inch or so of opening for air to come in an out of the bag. I think the key to success is how open your bags are. I found the ones that we left with a smaller opening on top had more moisture in them from the water evaporating and collecting on the side of the bag. On some of them I left the opening wider on top and those seemed to have not so much condensation, this would become a useful fact once the seeds started to sprout.
About a week after we planted out seeds in the starter we have our first seedlings. The Broccoli was the first to appear. The funny thing is that I thought the broccoli was going to be one of the last things to sprout, but for us it was the first. I loved seeing the first ones pop out of the starter it was so exciting. Next came the mustard (which looks exactly like the broccoli). It has now been about 3 weeks since I planted all the seeds and there are now 6 out of 8 of our plants have sprouted. We are still waiting on the Peruvian Purple chiles and the Green beans. I am surprised that the green beans still havent sprouted. I thought for sure that they would be quick as well but I guess there is still lots to learn.
Here are some of the seedlings. I will be updating with more pictures of them in the next couple of days. They have grown so much since I took this picture!
Posted by Ponderosa Pagan at 4:47 PM
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Last summer I worked at a summer camp as the nature specialist and the farm manager and I loved it. I had worked at this camp the previous summer as well but just as a counselor. Going back to camp for a second time was different because I was much further on my path than the first time I left. I had some goddess work to do, you could say.
My first mission was to revamp the entire programs and put a focus back on reconnecting with the Earth (they should never pick a pagan for a position like this lol). My first step was to make sure my animals were in order and once that was done move onto the gardens. I learned to garden from a very special woman named Suna. She taught me all I learned this summer and she really inspired me to make mu own garden at home. Her garden at her house is just too amazing for words. So at camp, we made 3 gardens all of which I got to see grow beautifully ( as many plants will do in Massachusetts weather). Also, at camp besides just starting to the gardens I wanted to start a compost pile. I thought it was not right to be wasting all the food that campers would not eat. So Suna and I came up with a compost project. The project had to get approved by my supervisor and once that was handled ( which was not easy by hte way) we formed our pie out of chicken wire and started making compost. I will not be going back this year which is sad enough, but I also will not get to see the progress of the compost pile. I will have to call someone and see how it is.
But back to my blog!
When I came back from camp I felt like I needed to continue growing plants. I missed looking at my gardens everyday and seeing what was ready to eat. So I talked with my partner Bobby, and we decided to plant our own garden. Bobby is a huge plant enthusiast and wanted to plant some native plants as well as herbs and veggies. Before we headed down to Sedona to start the garden ( Bobby's family has a house down there) we went to the Native Plant and Seed shop and bought our seeds. Most of the seeds we bought were from this man named Thunderfoot. He self pollinates his own plants and they are all organic. I was really excited to plant and see the results.
So we headed down to Sedona and got started the next day. Let me first state that the gorund is not very nice around these parts and we denfinately had to put a lot of work into getting the soil ready. First we had to take the weed barrier out.
That was not a very hard part but next came turning the soil. We didn't dig to far down becuase 1. the soil was very clay like the further you went down and 2. I learned from Suna that soil has a certain structure and it is good to try and keep it if you can. After digging up the entire thing, Bobby starting at one end and me starting at the other. It took us about an hour and a half or maybe 2 hours. But we did it. After digging up all that ground we decided to take a break and get a snack. I believe it is very important to stay hydrated but also to eat because when someone is working out in the garden it can be an all day thing. So after out break we did a run through of what still had to be done.
1) put the compost in
2) put the top soil down
3) put the mulch down
4) plant some plants and seeds
As you can see we had a lot to do still.
Next we took out our organic compost that we bought when we purchased seeds and we put the compost over the turned soil. After lightly raking the compost and natural soil together, we added top soil to that. After lightly raking those soils together we added mulch on top of everything. It was a long process that resulted in a beautiful garden.
Bobby and I then planted some of our seeds into the ground. We wanted to plant some (mostly because I was so excited to have a garden) and also because the frosts were over for Sedona. We also added some bigger plants that will help to shade some of the herbs that need shade and also to add some more like to the garden. I am used to a garden being very lined up and having rows with signs in them saying what they are. But with Bobby he is not like that. He is a permaculturist as well as a do nothing gardener so when he was planting the seeds he didn't put them in rows or in any order and I almost died. It was a good lesson for me in other types of gardening and also helped me to realize that there isn't just one way to do something.
After we finished I called Bobby over to the middle of the garden and asked him to say a blessing over the garden. He said his blessing and I then I said mine. It was very nice to close the day with the goddess. She was the reason for my passions in gardens and she brought Bobby and I closer than ever.
All thats left is to start the other seeds in the starter set at home.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I would just like to say that this blogging thing is not going so well.
I don't understand all of the lingo yet and I take forever to make a post. But I am working on it and we will see how this goes. I picked a new template today. Let me know if you like it or not because I think its nice but I would like a new one. Maybe one specific to the ponderosa forest. I don't know if you have ever looked at templates but I am so cofused when it come to them. I guess only time will tell if its a good one or if I can find a replacement.
I think I am going to do some meditation and then maybe start working on an altar entry. I honestly had such a hard time with my altar that I want to hear what others have to say about it.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Last Monday was the full moon!
This was no ordinary full moon ceremony, it was special for a specific reason, the reason being it was the first group ritual I celebrated with the Neo-Pagan Alliance. We have been been a group since January and haven't done much "witchy-stuff" as one of our members Caitlin says. I totally agreed with her and just needed to get some of the "stickystuff" out of the way that comes with becoming a club on campus.
So after a few meetings with not much, if any, witchy stuff, we decided to plan a group ritual. The ritual was going to be on the full moon which I think was a great choice for us as a group. The full moon to me represents a time for renewal and also a time to set intention for the coming month. For the NPA this was perfect because as a new group we are still forming bonds and setting intentions together will help to strengthen those bonds.
When we started planning the ritual we divided up roles, did some research on full moon rituals, and came back together to share ideas and form our ritual. We decided who was going to bring candles, altar supplies, and who was going to find the place to hold the ritual. Amber and I volunteered to go pick the spot so we headed over there later in the week and when we got to the area it just felt great. We picked a spot in the edge of the lake. There was a bank and some trees to cover us from the road and plenty of wildlife in the area.
On the night of the full moon the group met up early so we could all travel together. We got to our spot with the moon high over head and we started to set up the altar and the direction candles. Aside from all of the items to be placed on the altar we had items we wanted to charge and candles and herbs that we were blessing. We are putting the herbs into the candles by sealing them on the outside with another wax. The candles will be sold as a fundraiser at our tabling events.
After setting up the altar we walked back close to the cars and started the ritual.
FULL MOON RITUAL
The group gathered in a circle and Caitlinset the intention for the night's workings with input from the rest of the group.
After setting the intention we moved towards the altar and were met by Amber. Amber was smudging us with a cedar wand she had made with her Native American tribe.
After we were smudged we walked to where the altar was. The walk was supposed to be meditative and everyone was told to pick up an item from the walk and later we would be instructed what to do with it.
Once everyone was at the altar, we cast the circle and called the directions. The circle casting was created by Madrone and it involved going to each direction and calling out to the goddess. ( I will see if I can post them on here so keep your eyes peeled)
Half of the directions were made up by the members and the other half were done by Madrone.
After the directions Tony invoked the moon spirit. We chose the moon spirit because we couldn't decide if we should invoke a goddess or god. Personally I have never invoked a god so I wouldn't know what to do.
But to be gender neutral we decided to just go with spirit, although Madrone did point out at our meeting that the moon is usually female and the sun male.
After the invocation we made 3 wishes each. I was taught that on full moons people can make 3 wishes. One for themselves, one for another, and one for the earth. The wishes could either be said aloud or silently.
For the wishes we all had a bowl that had some water in it. We used these bowls to pour water out after our 3 wishes as libations for the earth.
Next, we took the remaining water and used it for some water gazing. The idea behind this was to work with a new form of divination. I had tried water gazing before but only once and it wasn't very meaningful. This time I kept my mind open and was hoping for the best.
The actual water gazing was not very successful for me, but one thing I was drawn to while gazing was the moon. Being in an area with no trees immediately around me and no car lights or house lights was an awesome time to look at the moon. She was so full of wonder, was so big and bright. I loved it. As I looked up at the moon I realized that I was happy. For so long I had been waiting for a group of people close to my age to practice with. I have finally found them and to be present in that very moment was amazing.
When the water gazing was done, we gathered around the altar and decided to do an impromptu blessing of the candles that we are using for our fundraiser and it went so well.
Then came our drumming part. The truth is we ended up having one drum and 3 other noise making instruments and 2 hullah-hoops. At first, looking around at the other 5 people in the circle I wasn't sure how the drumming would go. But I decided to let it all go and just not care. The results were amazing. At first people were shy and seemed liked they didn't want to dance around, sing out, or play instruments. But after I was dancing around and the hullah-hoopers as well everyone else got involved. It was so amazing. I started to really dance around and as I got a little further from the group I looked back and was so moved. It reminded me of what ancient pagans must have felt like.
There were 5 candles burning and people dancing around singing out.
After the drumming we grounded with cakes and tea. Amber made 12 individual pumpkin cupcakes and it worked out perfectly that we each got 2. They were so delicious and after eating we gave back a piece of the cupcake and some tea.
We thanked the directions took down the circle and then headed home.
Overall it was an amazing experience and one I cannot wait to celebrate again with the NPA!