Summary by Rachel Parker Booth
Earlier this month OmVed Garden’s hosted the second in a series of five profoundly enriching weekend workshops from Acupuncturist Lori Hillman. In an era of climate crisis the course content, which was underpinned by planetary health, was so poignant and the way in which Lori delivered her rich knowledge was with such care.
This series of workshops is based around the Taoist Five Elements philosophy. The Elements, also being reflected in the seasons, are Wood(Spring), Fire (Summer), Earth (Late Summer), Metal (Autumn) and Water (Winter). Summer reflects the element of Fire and is related to the Heart. A person who has Fire as their Guardian Element is vibrant and radiates a glowing warmth.
On the Saturday we learnt how to understand and heal the Heart and its mental emotional aspect through nature and Food Energetics. We also looked at the relationships between the Heart and the other elements/organs and the dynamics of people with Fire. The day was interspersed with meditation, inner exercises and qigong for the Heart.
Blessed by sunshine, the Sunday took us outside of the glasshouse to revisit the permaculture key hole bed that we had created earlier in the year. To start with, we had to find it! When we did, it was testimony to the efficacy of permaculture because with all the flowers and grasses that were towering around it, nothing had seeded itself in the bed. We cleared around the perimeter to find it was as we left it except a few of the seeds we had scattered in April had come up. The carrots, which demonstrates why root veg are not planted in the first year, had obviously hit the cardboard and grown sideways.
We planted seven sage varieties, two bergamot, one angelica, one chamomile, two rocket, two chilli pepper plants, four fennel, three dill, three chives and six beetroot. As we dug through the wood chip with our hands to plant, the soil was moist and black and absolutely teaming with life and worms all gardening beneath the surface.
For our lunch on both days, Lori encouraged us to practice mindful eating, taking a moment at the beginning of each meal to consider the food, aromas and colours and then enjoying and savouring the first taste and appreciation of the purest plant based ingredients. In response to summer and the Fire element, the dishes that were prepared by OmVed’s executive chef, Arthur Potts Dawson were, and always are, so full of flavour and nutrients. This weekend’s menu was complimented by the spontaneous grating of the carrots that we had found in the vegetable bed on the Sunday morning.
On July 6th and 7th Lori will be returning to OmVed Gardens for the third workshop which will focus on the Earth element, during which we will spend more time with our permaculture keyhole bed and contemplate on both the soil providing food for us, as well as how we provide food for the soil.
There is still availability for this weekend workshop and those interested in the connection between planetary and human health can contact Lori directly to book their place or find out more.