Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sprouting, burgeoning and spreading

The period of three months in spring is a period of sprouting (burgeoning). Everything in heaven and earth comes to life and flourishes. Sleep late and wake up early. Stroll in large steps in the courtyard, letting loose the hair and relaxing, so that the desire to live arises. Let live and do not kill anything. Give out but do not take anything by force. Reward generously and punish parsimoniously. This conforms to the spirit of spring; it is the right way to pursue the Dao. If one acts against this spirit, the liver will suffer. Then in summer, one will feel cold due to an insufficiency in the vigour of growth. Traditionally the Chinese year is divided into 24 time periods, the jieqi (solar terms). Beginning with lichun (spring commences), sometime in February of the Gregorian calendar, every fifteen days will see a new time period. Agricultural and social activities follow this time schedule closely and observe its special current features (jieling). Spring covers the three months beginning with lichun, the first time period, with the spring equinox (chunfen, March 20 - 22) as the fourth of these periods. The most salient feature of this period is characterized by the term fachen, "burgeoning or sprouting and spreading". Huangdi Neijing: A Synopsis with Commentaries By Y. C. Kong

Strolling in large steps in the garden of late would require waders. Saturday morning we were being doused by torrential rain. I was sad that I didn't have my camera as I headed out to a meeting because I wanted to capture the muddy river that was pouring down our neighbor's private driveway from the strawberry fields. In the fields were there are plants, you could see the berries being washed away with the soil, sprinkled along the muddy sand bars left when the waters receded.

The garden is a sopping wet catastrophe.

And yet, I'm eager to see the sunshine and I'm thinking about what I can do in the minute amount of time I have available. Funds are tight too, but I'm really missing the garden and I got the crazy idea to start my vegetables on my desk at work. After all, I'm there so much of the time and I can baby the starts for the first few weeks before transplanting them. And it would be so nice to share my south facing window with a cute flat of sprouts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Time to get out and about

This is a picture of mulberry flower (Morus nigra) from my weeping mulberry tree. I'm so looking forward to Spring. I'm watching the leaves unfurl from dormant branches and trying to figure out what to plant and what to clear.

If you're in the Santa Cruz area, I can recommend some classes that a friend and instructor teaches. Darren Huckle, L.Ac. is offering a wide variety of herb classes, from herb walks to herbal preparation classes. Get more information from his website http://www.rootsofwellness.net/classes.html

I blogged about his Herbal Medicine in the Garden class at CASFS in 2006. Here's a link to my post "Today I ate an Echinacea purpurea"
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