A key component to success in the garden starts with the grower’s philosophical relationship to existence. Our philosophy is rooted in being a part of and not separate from nature, allowing for a meaningful relationship to deepen with each passing season. Garden care and plant management are the action-based extensions that result from careful observation and participation in the natural world. Through these actions, we manifest health that supports diversity and evolution in the soil biology.
We are stewards of the soil. We believe that biological breakdown of organic matter is the foundation for fertility and vitality. We trust nature to work its wonders. When we step outside, we consider ourselves as one of the many species of biology that are involved in a soil-based ecosystem. GSG believes in being an active participant in the natural biological process of that ecosystem.
When planning and maintaining our gardens, our attention and efforts are towards supporting all life. This is the best way to achieve a biologically rich environment that supports diversity. In our gardens there are no pests. All life is fulfilling a role in healthy soil ecology. If you cultivate a habitat where you can safely hand the controls over to nature, the evolution will always trend towards health.
The more common approach to growing these days is fear based — growers are worried about what isn’t working and trying to prevent the bad from taking over. This approach is a dangerous one that reflects where we are as a culture when it comes to growing plants. We see symptoms we don’t like and treat them with products that aim to kill life. This is even true for organic farms.
We need to get beyond Organic as the holy grail of health. Yes, it’s definitely true that Organic is better than conventional non-organic. But the soil is still manipulated in such a way that impacts the overall fertility and vitality that’s possible from a no-till philosophy. Farming needs to shift into a practice that promotes overall soil and environmental health as #1 priority or we will continue to watch modern agriculture erode our most precious and wonderful resource.
When we see all living things as serving an important part of ecology (and therefore evolution), we begin to support life rather than battle against the natural way. If there is something in the garden creating a problem, it is because it doesn’t have adequate choice in habitat. Instead of seeing the pest as a problem, we suggest you see it as an asset that deserves support. The healthy approach to soil care would be to observe deeply what is happening and adding new habitat to the environment that supports increased diversity potential. Heavy mulching provides a habitat that is responsible for conserving moisture and feeding all kinds of life that benefit from it as a source of energy. We can’t stress this enough — mulch is the most effective way to care for the Earth and should be on the top of the list of things to do in the garden.