Medicine wheel, edible hedges, & winter land tending.
The land of Dartmoor has been sleeping, while waters run free and full, mist hangs in the air and the mud around the house lies sometimes knee deep. We have been in a motion of preparation since Christmas, tending the land ready for the eruption of spring, which in the last couple of weeks feels palpably close.
Our dear friends Phil and Rose have taken up a winter residence at our hearth and have been helping to fuel action on the land with Toby and I. It feels as though this has created a burst of energy from within the four of us and so many projects are underway ready to bloom in the coming year.
One close to my heart is a medicine wheel garden that I have been dreaming of creating since we found ourselves at Routrundle. Rose and I set about creating this wheel in the centre of the land around the house in honour of the four directions. We intuitively found a stone from North, South, East, and West of the land and laid them as the four points of the circle. Between them we laid a stone to represent each moon of the year. Within this circle another circle representing the 'Seven Grandfathers' - Humility, Bravery, Honesty, Wisdom, Truth, Respect and Love. In the Centre we laid a beautiful quartz stone representing great spirit. We have laid rich compost on each section and we will wait to see what grows naturally in each section, I am sure there will be much wisdom that the plants will offer, some perhaps already lying in wait to germinate. As time goes by and as our relationship with the wheel grows I will add plants that correspond with each of the directions to support those already growing wild.
We have also planted an edible hedgerow down one side of our boundary. We had over 250 hedge whips delivered and over the space of a few days when the weather was fair we somehow managed to deliver them all into the earth where they will spend the rest of their days creating a beautiful edible boundary for all beings that live here. It felt like such a celebration to plant trees with the local community around the time of Imbolc. To bless the earth with all of these new lives was sheer joy, as I planted I allowed myself to dream of our baby Orson grown up striding along the hedgerow filling his mouth with raspberries, blackberries and crab apples!
Raised beds have been made and filled with cardboard mulch and compost, we are preparing for what will make residence in these beds: a mix of medicinal herbs, dye plants and a rotation of edible kales, beans and flowers are what are currently dancing in my dreamtime for spring & summer fullness. So much is bubbling on the land and preparations to get our artist studios ready for purpose are close to completion. For now we keep our hands busy in the earth, acknowledging the life humming under the surface.