I begin each day meditating on the Daily Word and its associated affirmations. Today’s word, Generous, came with a message that relates directly to Abundance: “As I give, I share God’s abundance… I always have all that I need to live abundantly, and I share my abundance with others joyfully and freely. I give generously of my resources, talents, and skills,.. I am generous with praise, gratitude, and encouragement. Whenever I give without thought of reciprocation, I center myself in the divine flow.”
I’m thinking about how generosity can flow from my association with Food Forest Abundance. I dream of growing a forest garden full of fruit to share with everyone around me. Considering the example I can set through this endeavor, I begin writing about my own garden adventures to inspire others and show them simple actions they can take to begin growing their own joyful abundance.
Over the past few years, I have struggled to grow a conventional vegetable garden in our front yard. Chipmunks and rabbits wriggled through the fence to nibble away at the bush bean sprouts. Deer reached over the fence to chomp on the kale and cucumbers. Bugs chewed holes in the cabbage and lettuce leaves. At the end of each season, my meager harvest was hardly worth all the time I put into planting, watering and weeding. And so, last year I let the garden “go to weed,” and began reading books about food forest gardening.
This summer the mint runners have run rampant and displaced many of the weeds. In fact, I have an overabundance of mint. What can I do with it? I steep bunches of mint in hot water and then chill it down, and the result is “the most refreshing summer iced tea ever.” Mint freshens the breath and releases compounds that have antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, making this an ideal herb aiding both digestive and immune systems.
I can also welcome neighbors to come grab some mint and pull it up by the roots. Take it home and transplant it into pots to keep it under control. But come quick! I will be taking down the fence and covering the ground with sheet mulching to get rid of the weeds and the mint that has grown beyond my control.
I will layer damp corrugated cardboard, compost, dead leaves and wood chips over the area. I will smother away the weeds and improve the quality of the soil, as well as the soil’s ability to retain water. Then I will plant, grow and propagate a variety of perennial herbs and berries in this very same space. When they grow out of control, my plan is to share generously with friends and neighbors.
I am an Abundance Ambassador for Food Forest Abundance. I invite you to follow my journey around and into the forest, here and through my Story Walking Radio Hour podcasts. Check out my latest podcast The Enchanted Edible Forest with guest Dani Baker, author of The Home-Scale Forest Garden.