Andrea’s January 2021 Editorial

WELCOME TO THE JANUARY 2021 HORIZONS. Here’s to hindsight being 2020. The big changes of 2020 forced me to make big changes in my own life. At first, when the pandemic arrived and the income tanked, I didn’t think, “Oh phooey, what am I gonna do now?” only because I’d learned to have a Plans B, C, and D-Z ready to go. Still, change is hard. With one income stream halted, it also halted a lot of expenses and freed up time. I didn’t take long to debate, “should I wait this out or jump on Plan B right away?” I knew that if I could begin doing mundane daily chores and look at them as spiritual practice, in awhile my thoughts would clear, leaving room for guidance and new ideas.

Show me a way,” I asked, “Make me notice opportunities where I‘ll find meaningful and fun and satisfying work.” I can’t ask that, tho, unless I’m prepared to do my part: look at everything that comes after that request as part of the puzzle piece of the answer.

Before I got into my day, I played on Facebook awhile and got interested in an herb and vegetable garden a friend was planting. She was part of a local veg gardening group so I joined the group and began reading their posts. Their focus on growing their own food for self sufficiency really got my attention.

I didn’t think, “the Universe is guiding me to be a gardener.” I just became increasingly interested in it. I began researching hours a day what I could easily grow, the different growing methods, in garden and container gardening, from seed, from transplants. I was surprised what was possible here in my yard. Guidance was coming to me in the form of my own thoughts as I discovered more info to be excited about.

I focused on what I like to eat and what I regularly buy: tomatoes, peppers, kale, spinach, collards, string beans, radishes, carrots, curly parsley, corn, squash, eggplant. I wanted a separate herb garden for several kinds of basil, rosemary, thyme.

Pic taken 12-27-20

I ordered seeds, potting mix and trays of peat pots. I kept under my budget of $300 for the entire garden project. I’m lucky to have excellent fertile soil on my property here, the direct result of years of mulching properly. The idea that I may be able to grow some of my own food was pretty exciting. Especially since the market is consistently OUT of CURLY PARSLEY and now I’d never have to worry about that again!

I could make myself really self sufficient if I wanted to. But that sounded like a lot of work. I began rooting organic grocery produce in water on the windowsill and was surprised at how quickly it all grew. Celery, scallions, romaine.

I placed Roma tomatoes slices in soil and sprinkled with peat moss and they grew like crazy. I may have one Feb or March, we’ll see.

Gardening is a great universal metaphor, the seeds we plant in the garden or in the minds of others by our words, those seeds grow into actual living things that take on a life of their own, long after you’ve forgotten about them. They grow the more attention is given to them, the more nourishment, warmth and light.

Once I was no longer glued to keyboard and phone every day and had time, I found joy in watching my little world unfold around me, getting more involved with it and learning from it. That was cool since by the time the quarantine came along, I’d already created a Paradise I looked forward to living in.

I’m inspired by friends like Debra Strasser (see pages 12 and 29) who for years worked a corporate job and is now pretty much a full time homesteader and herbalist. She loves turning folks on to what plants they are living among that are not only culinary but medicinal, some they may even think are weeds. She knows about the cycles of the seasons, she honors the spiritual significance and celebrations of the seasons in various cultures. I met Debra first thru the Church of Iron Oak where she is now high priestess. She follows many traditions of the ancestors and being self sufficient and providing for yourself and your family is a major tradition.

I’m also inspired by people like Adam Sayner & Eric Jong (see page 28) at which offers instruction in homesteading and people like Deborah King (see page 14) as she writes about ancestral guides as deceased grandparents.

I feel I’m visiting with or channelling my Gram when I cook. My mom’s mom ran a boarding house after WW2 ended. She still had boarders when we’d go visit as kids. I remember her always being in the kitchen, happily cooking away. Googling the address, I found an ad on page 28 of The Tampa Tribune dated Wednesday, April 14, 1954: “Rentals ROOM WITH BOARD — MEN: Single or twin, Mom loves to cook. 1217 E. Hillsborough. IDEAL home for men. single and double rooms.” I guess if it ever came down to it, I could take in boarders!

Enjoy our offering this month.
Hari Om.