petek, 24. september 2010
sobota, 11. september 2010
This would be my last blog on Sepp Holzer's experimental farm in Austrian Alps. I would like to talk about his greed reduction policies. As I have written in my first blog about Holzer – I believe his philosophy could be shortly described by three sentences: Back to nature. Do not be too greedy. And: Turn disadvantages of your situation into advantages. In the first blog I wrote about advantages, in the second about the nature, so let me say a few words about greed here.
It is one thing to say to people: “You are too greedy,” and a completely different thing to be able to show examples of greed reduction in practice. Those who have read my previous blogs must remember Vogelkirschen »bird cherry trees«. Holzer could have planted the usual cherry trees that give larger crops. But then he would not have so many birds on the farm that can only eat the small cherries called Vogelkirschen. And he needs the birds to keep the number of snails under a reasonable limit. He is ready to give, thus he can receive. He gives cherries and receives “snail-control”, for as you know birds like to eat snails too.
Let me give you another example. Holzer uses pigs instead of tractors in order to be environment friendly. On some fields he lets pigs eat all the crops. That way the pigs automatically do the “plowing”, for that is their way of feeding in nature. On other fields Holzer and his employees pick the crops, spread some corn seeds on the ground and let the pigs in (each field has a fence). The pigs then do the “plowing”, while searching for the seeds. Holzer likes to joke that “pigs are his employees too, for they plow and fertilize the soil”.
Another interesting point to mention would be that the cereals on Holzer’s farm are cut by hand. The long unbroken straw is then sold to homeopaths, for which the machine-harvested straw would be useless.
Give and you shall receive.
ponedeljek, 06. september 2010
As I have mentioned in my previous blog, the saying “Back to nature” well applies to everything Sepp Holzer does on his experimental farm. Let us take snails for example. How does he fight snails on his vegetables? Well, it is a project. He planted lots of the so called »bird cherry trees« (Vogelkirschen). The cherries that grow on this sort of trees are small enough for birds to be able to eat them. Holzer picks some cherries and produces jam, but the rest remains there to be eaten by birds. Those birds like eating snails too. Thus there is no need to poison snails with artificial chemicals. The number of snails is reduced by the number of birds that are enhanced by sweet cherries. If we study nature, we will find answers to our problems there.
This is only one example of how Holzer is trying to »work with the nature and not against it«, like he often says. Let us take a look at mental illness. What useful techniques can we learn from nature?
Sleeping hours are surely one point at which nature has got it all figured out. One thing is for sure. The night is meant for sleeping. And the calming evening energies are there for us to shift our mind to »lower frequencies« before going to bed. Let us use that, before we ask our psychiatrist to give us sleeping pills. Evening parties, loud music, watching exciting movies or the news before going to bed are not going to help people with insomnia to fall asleep. Watching the sunset and listening to the wind will. It is also very important that one has regular bed time hours. That way one uses the power of night to rest. If the brain gets enough rest at night, one will be active in the day time and get enough sun light, which is also very important for the brain to function properly. You can read more about modern lifestyle affecting our sleep at:
Another point, where nature and a sensitive brain can meet is food. A lot of mental patients try sugar avoidance, because large quantities of sugar somehow put us out of balance. First sugar calms you down, but very soon afterwards you get nervous because the body wants more sugar. There is no need to stop eating sugar, unless you have diabetes of course. However, one can try eating less sugar. Nature has a perfect solution to that: fruits instead of junk food. Fruits contain lower quantities of sugar that do not disrupt the brain.
And last but not least a stroll through a forest or around a lake is one of the most effective relaxation techniques after a rough day. Nature is always there for us. Seize the day.
Holzer says human beings are made to own at least some amount of land and grow food on it. That is not always possible, however nature walks are. Take advantage of what nature offers.