In our last traditional gardening post we discussed the four to seven year cycle employed for the creation a of garden.
Today we’ll take a look at a garden that has completed the seven year cycle. At Dufferin School community garden our host Audrey walks us through the final Sun root harvest. We’ve been here before, learning about the Sun root in our lessons regarding the Seven Sisters planting method.
Our day began with a simple blessing for the garden and the ancestors who support and enjoy being there. We used a traditional smudge of sweet grass and tobacco plus left a sampling of all the food from our pot latch feast. Thank you everyone for your contributions.
The mound garden started seven years ago has reached maturation, the Sun root has aerated and tilled the soil by continued production of delicious tubers. As the plant get’s older the tubers will shrink in size and it will begin to put more energy into flowering and seed production. This last harvest is indeed a time and celebration and change. The newly developed soil is ready for seeding of different crops. The repeated leaf mulching and stalk decomposition has left a deep bed of loamy rich soil waiting for more demanding new growth. With the area cleared of grasses and shrub one can see why this long term method works to naturally force out unwanted plants.
Community co-operation is a large part of Traditional gardening, by working together during periods of harvest and transition, individuals are rewarded with the opportunity for barter and trade. The exchange of knowledge is a valuable gift for all. During the early spring seeds and “baby” plants when shared provide the promise of a continued harvest.