Over the past two semesters I have been going to Quest University Canada. I have been increasingly discontented by a few aspects about Quest and I thought some time away where I could reflect on my experiences there would be good.
So I arranged to end my semester early to come to Songaia and be a Garden Intern for a few months and reflect upon those experiences.
But I do not live life in a vacuum and reflection always happens simultaneous to actively doing.
I felt the community aspect as well as the permaculture gardening made Songaia the perfect place to work through these inner processes while simultaneously actively learning and working hard. Songaia has not failed in this regard.
The community is full of awesome beautiful beings who each in their own idiosyncratic quirks and skills that fits into niches from which a cohesive community emerges.
There is Patricia who manages interns and appears to be the main coordinator of the garden.
Nancy was the wife of (now deceased) Fred Lamphear who started the garden. Nancy (and it sounds like Fred as well) are amazing people for whom Thomas Berry's Dream of the Earth and Joseph Campbell's The Hero with a Thousand Faces are sources of inspiration and quotes to live life by.
Nartano is a machine whisperer, a genius at fixing machines, a very good resource.
Susie always seems crazily busy but also seems to thrive in that chaos, flowing effortlessly, like a taoist octopus.
These are just a few of the mutitudes of various personalities and skills, without which this community would cease to be.
This is good to be able to recognize similarities and patterns in taste, smell, usage, soil preference, stem, leaf, flower look at the familial level. This becomes a huge asset when thinking about planting, in terms of crop rotation and/or inter planting/companion plants.
Another awesome example of living permaculture is something other interns of past years have described, and that is the opportunity to design. We are given equal (it seems) say in design. This feels both daunting and exciting. Daunting because I suddenly have to know what to do and be able to apply it and it will have lasting effects long past my stay here. Exciting because I am given the responsibility and options to try it.
A Rosarian named Rose was over teaching us how to prune roses and mentioned Alliums as being good around roses, there are more onions to plant than we know what to do with. I suggested planting some of our many onions (in the Allium family) around the roses, Patricia and Helen thought that was a great idea, although it has yet to be done. Maybe that will become my project or at least part of it over my stay here...