Good farming or Agricultural practices would be better understood if people approached the concept as a form of Responsible Stewardship of our Earth Mother.
AncientWay Farming™ courses as practiced at the Ubuntu Village 'Prairie Creek Settlement' are designed to incorporate this philosophy into all aspects of Growing Food that result in replenishing the soil of vital nutrients commonly lost with modern day agricultural practices. Not only is the soil health, our first area of focus, critical to the production of healthy plants, but the insects, fungi, neighboring plants and inputs otherwise known as plant food essential to bringing back the nutrient density and vibrant productivity of the plants (fruits and vegetables) harvested and enjoyed by our ancient ancestors.
Did you know that plants can see, hear, feel and move? Not exactly the way a human might but they are very much alive and everyday the scientific community is closer to understanding that we really do not differ as much as previously supposed from our standing relatives, the Plant People.
It has been discovered that the Standing People know when the two-legged are present and have an awareness of their surroundings. They communicate with one another and respond to sounds and we believe also to the intentions of those interacting with them as well.
One Example that stands out to me is that of the tea harvest for instance. When a large number of Tea plants are being harvested via chopping (much like a grazing beast) they will send out a signal to the surrounding plants that triggers a release of a chemical that serves to create a bitter taste which is designed to deter the "grazing beast" to ensure the survival of the rest of the plants to protect from overgrazing.
When we brew those tea leaves that were harvested in such a fashion we are consuming this bitter chemical which is what primarily gives tea its bitter taste. I've often pondered what the tea would taste like if it were responsibly harvested like our ancestors practiced, namely taking no more than a third of the crop and bringing the tobacco offering to announce our intention in offering to the standing people. (More about this in the ceremonies section of our site.) All while carrying on in a spirit of Great Respect for their sacrifice for our sustenance in the Great Circle of Life.
I contemplate the results of how things would be if we no longer took the life of a plant or animal to nurture ourselves but only the fruits and seeds for food as these are intended to come from and be separate from the plants themselves.
I've read and heard the judgment of many two-legged who want to criticize from an assumed position of superiority over those who take a life from the kingdom of the four-legged, the winged, the swimming, creeping and crawling people. And in many cases this could be rightly so today for much of the meat industry is wrought in cruelty, pain and suffering.
But I contend that taking any life (plant, animal, etc...) without respect is an act of Barbary in my estimation. How do we justify those ripping a plant out by the roots and severing the limbs of these standing people whose blood does not run red like ours yet they bleed the blood of plants to seal the wounds left behind. Is this permissible because plants cannot cry out in pain as the beasts of the field when injured? Have humans become so exalted that they should not ask of the plant people permission first to take the life of the presumably lowly plant or have we forgotten that not only is life to be celebrated, respected and honored among the two-legged but that it also extends to all Creation.
I'm not to the point I can resolve how to exist without requiring the life of another in exchange for sustenance whether it be the standing people, the four-legged, the winged, the swimming, the creeping or crawling things but I know that until we begin entering into this agreement with nature as the rest of the creatures of our Earth Mother enjoy from a position of respect and gratitude, it matters not which life you take whether it be plant or animal the life you have taken will condemn you at some point.
Today we see the condemnation in the form of the curse that has now entered our Earth Mother, a miasma, as witnessed via a depletion of her nutrients, a poisoning of our waters, that is exposed as a sickness in the blood of man and primarily rooted in the pursuit of and for the love and adoration of money.
All life must be respected, when this occurs all of Creation will be restored and a pure way will reveal itself. AncientWay Farming™ courses hope to instill the beginnings of Responsible Stewardship and Respect for all Life to bring us back to the Restoration of All Things.
Below you will find many of the resources; Videos and Links that have lent themselves to the course development and practices of the Ubuntu Village 'Prairie Creek Settlement'. It is believed by some that Creation sprang out of the region in which the village is located and that in the Ancient Earth there existed varieties of species numbered in the tens of thousands among the plant and animal kingdoms. I cannot confirm whether these claims are true but I find no fault in discovering whether it is possible to create a situation where it would be possible to enjoy such diversity again through responsible stewardship practices.
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"Green Thumbs start with Dirty Nails"
In 'Keys to Building a Healthy Soil', speaker Gabe Brown of BrownsRanch.us presents a convincing argument for more sustainable agricultural practices that, in turn, restore life to our Earth Mother.
A focus on Soil is the foundation from which we build and where good stewardship practices begin.
A healthy Earth diligently cares and provides for her children.
In this video 'Back to Eden' Paul discusses why it is so essential that the Earth be covered. This is what is observed when we look to Nature for our Grower's Blueprint.
One of the biggest obstacles we face as Earth Mother Stewards is found in our battle with the bugs. It's so disheartening to spend all spring and early summer tending the Earth and caring for our relatives, the Standing People, only to find it is the Creeping Crawling People enjoying the buffet and we are left the option to share or go without.
This is not to say that sharing is all that bad, after all produce that shows signs of Creepy Crawling munching is more expensive and highly sought after in some countries and is viewed as an indicator that if it is fit enough for the bugs to eat then it must be fit and safe enough for the human.
But there are other ways we can naturally enjoy fruits and vegetables; one, by strategically planting our plants at times that disrupt the life cycle of damaging Creeping Crawling People, and also through attracting Creeping Crawling People that dine on the Creeping Crawling People that create the damage to food we depend on, and yet another thing we can do for long term prevention is found in Good Stewardship Practices that create healthy plants that become impervious to the destructive Creeping Crawling People this is done through balancing the entire ecosystem by properly managing the Soil habitat, Plant diversity and Water management. After all, these seemingly destructive Creeping Crawling People are only serving the purpose of ridding the environment of weakened and dis-eased plants and THAT is primarily what most modern gardeners and farmers are in fact experiencing.
It takes time to restore the proper nutrient and microbial balance together with proper soil condition to suit the needs of our relatives, the Standing People. So we must begin in steps until we fully comprehend the dynamics and inner-workings of each of these systems and how they affect one another so we can quickly identify when something is not right and make the adjustments necessary to bring things back into balance and harmony.
The best place to look for the answers is to Nature itself. The animals are fed and supplied without much toil other than the day to day activities that serve to ensure the cycles of Nature are continued. We are of the opinion that Humans are the primary People responsible for this role and the condition we face today is a direct result of the Two-legged People abandoning that role. Here and Now we reverse this trend.
This is an excerpt from an article in Mother Earth News that we have found most useful in our approach to adjusting empirical thought to improve our interactions with the Creeping Crawling Peoples.
'Beneficial Insects: Not All Bugs are Bad'
"The best helpful-bug attractants I can recommend are sweet-smelling, nectar-providing flowers. I surround my garden spots with lilacs and other shrubs and perennials, and plant annuals in the rows. Cut flowers, hummingbirds, and the delights of colorful year-round bloom are added benefits.
The hundreds of species of solitary and small-colony native bees that rear their young on pollen and honey are far more important home-garden pollinators than the honeybee. They build a tremendous variety of nests: mud tubes, holes in trees, tubes of leaves, stalks of plants, and more. Among the best pollinators are the mining and boring bees. If you have a good clay bank on your property, leave it exposed. You'll find the surface shot-holed with beebrood chambers. To attract wood-boring bees to your garden, set fallen logs or old lumber planks on end and in the sun around the garden plot. Carpenter bees will chew out tunnels to rear their young. You can give them a hand by drilling quarter-inch diameter holes sloping up slightly into thick planks. If the bees don't use them, small mud nest-building wasps will.
And, try not to harm the most swattable "bees" you come across ...not bees at all, but big-eyed "hover flies" that suspend themselves just in front of your eyes and dart in to taste your skin when you're all sweaty from outside work. They are harmless but must think you and I smell like aphids, because they lay their eggs on aphid-covered plants. The young feed greedily upon the bad bugs till its time to pupate in the soil."
Copied from the description section of this video entitled 'Attracting Beneficial Insects to the Garden' we read: "Tim, my neighboring gardener at the community gardens, shared some observations he made around his well established Mugwort plant. Mugwort is no stranger to me, my partner is a Chinese Medicine practitioner and uses Mugwort extensively in her practice. What I didn’t know was that Mugwort is a haven for beneficial insects. Tim noticed a dozen or so different species of beneficial insects on and around his Mugwort plant even when it wasn’t even in flower."
Watch the Parasitic Wasp in Action Here:
Organic Gardening magazine compiled a list of the worst garden pests and how to neutralize them:
Aphids — These tiny plant sap-suckers kill leaves, create mold growth from excreted honeydew, and spread viruses. Their mortal enemies are dragonflies, aphid midges, ladybugs, assassin bugs, and lacewings.
Cabbage maggots — These gross little worms tunnel into plant roots and either kill them with root damage or facilitate disease through the damaged roots. Ground and rove beetles feast on root maggots.
Caterpillars — These segmented, multi-legged creatures devour leaves, sometimes burrow directly into plants and fruit, and defile produce with droppings. Native parasites and predators such as lacewings, parasitic wasps, yellow jackets, Tachinid flies, and assassin bugs can help eliminate these problematic crawlers.
Cutworms — These little buggers chew through stems on the ground and can completely devour small plants early in the growing season. Beetles, parasitic wasps, garden spiders and Tachinid flies feast on these pests.
Potato beetles — These voracious eaters can completely defoliate potato plants in a matter of days. Enemies includes spiders, parasitic wasps, praying mantises, ground and rove beetles, true bugs, and assassin bugs.
Leaf Miners — As their name suggests, hungry leaf miners love munching on your garden leaves. Attract parasitic wasps by planting pollen-loving nectar plants.
Mexican bean beetles — Another type of hungry beetle, these South-of-the-Border bugs chew on leaves from underneath, completely defoliating and killing plants. Their primary predator is the spined soldier bug, which can be attracted through lures.
Flea beetles — The adults chew holes through the leaves, eventually killing them, while the larvae feast on plant roots. Enemies are the assassin bugs, parasitic wasps, true bugs and garden spiders.
Tarnished plant bugs — Both adults and nymphs suck out plant juices and cause damage, distortion, wilting and stunting to the fruit and leaves. Predators of these pests include the praying mantis, assassin bug, and parasitic wasp.
Japanese beetles — These flying leaf plant nemeses can feast on both leaves and roots, and completely strip a plant of all its leaves very quickly. Employ assassin bugs, parasitic wasps, and other beetles to your arsenal.
Scales — These bad bugs suck up plant sap at all stages of development and weaken the plants, causing them to become yellow and drop leaves. Damage isn’t always fatal, but usually is. Lacewings are the primary mortal enemy and predator of scales.
Snails — They might be cute in children’s books, but these sticky critters eat anything and everything in their path, rapidly multiplying to bring their family members in on the feasting. Although the best measures for elimination aren’t really enemies, you can try posting an empty tuna can or sugar and yeast mixture to bait them.
That is the top 12 most destructive gardens pests and their natural enemies. Another option for ground bugs like worms and grubs, are nematodes. These are microscopic worms that live in the soil and kill grubs.
To attract Garden Spiders use Straw to Mulch as a base. These are “good bugs” to have around if you want to keep the not-so-good insects at bay.