Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Nature Principle

By Farmer Richard

I’ve recently been reading Richard Louv’s books including this one entitled The Nature Principle, Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age. He has spent years researching and experiencing the benefits of human contact and connection with the natural world.  There are both physical and mental health benefits from being exposed to nature including the ability to help heal from illness, increased mental capacity and ability to learn and increased productivity in the work place.  These benefits as well as others are seen even with the smallest and most brief, but regular contact with nature.  Richard Louv’s books offer hundreds of ways for us to combat what he calls “nature deficit disorder.”  The possibilities are endless, but many doable almost immediately.  Here are just a few of his suggestions ranging from urban renewal and suburban community planning to incorporating nature into school programs and curriculum, growing and connecting with our food sources and bringing nature into our home environments with something as simple as a piece of wood or a plant.

Farmer Richard sharing the farm's beauty with a young visitor
We plan to do a more in depth follow-up in the future, but for now we want to introduce this concept and make some obvious contributions.  As a CSA member with our farm, you have the opportunity to connect with nature in the form of your food every week and every day when you eat!  You have the opportunity to visit our farm at any time to witness and participate in the act of growing food as well as experience the environment in which it is grown. 

Another way you can connect with nature and your farm is to read our newsletters!  We go to considerable effort to educate, provide transparency about our life and efforts to produce food in the most environmentally friendly and worker friendly way with respect and care for our natural world and the people and creatures involved.  If you really want to immerse yourself, we can also offer you a campsite or cabin so you can stay overnight.  Bring your family for a weekend so you can explore and experience the beauty and treasures in nature that we experience daily.

Watercress growing in natural spring
As I write this on the back porch, I hear the chorus of tree frogs, the “spring peeper” frogs, and the whippoorwills calling.  Some nights you can hear the coyotes yipping and howling in the distance.  Every morning we are greeted by the hooting of the Great-horned owls that live in our pine forest.  This weekend, May 19, we are offering a very special opportunity to walk our land and woods with a very knowledgeable nature guide—“Little John.”  We will visit a special little creek that is a natural spring coming from the hillside.  We consider it a place of magic where we find special plants growing in the spring.  Perhaps we’ll even be able to harvest a little watercress and of course we’ll be looking for morel mushrooms as well! 

We’ll have more treasures to share with you, both ones we know about and others we discover along our way.  Just this last week I found some beautiful ground nests of the Eastern towhee bird at the very foot of one of our effigy mounds that is shaped like a bear.  I’d love to show you the delicate nest with its eggs and we’ll probably get to see the male and female pair that are caring for them!  Our valley is particularly beautiful and filled with energy in the spring.  You never know, this could be one of those life changing experiences, especially for young people, to experience the natural world in this season in a respectful and caring way.   We so badly need more “respectful and caring” people in this world of disrespect and hatred.  We hope you’ll join us!

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