Volume 5, Issue 4

little plantApril, 2012

Dear Friend,

Welcome to spring! The sun is streaming through the window with its warmth bringing me such delight. Out my window I can hear the robins singing and see last night’s rain a dusting of snow on the mountaintop. We are gearing up for a very full season of classes, apprenticeships, travel to teach and, of course, gardening and rejoicing in the plants and trees ever present friendship. There are a couple spots left in the Vermont Plant Spirit Healing Apprenticeship and my longing is for strong-backed, local people who love plants to be available for work exchange in order to take this apprenticeship. We have a lot on our plates this year garden-wise and could use extra help. I’ve been singing the Joni Mitchell song that says, “send me somebody who’s strong and somewhat sincere”. Are you out there?

We invite you to visit a new page on our website titled Certified Plant Spirit Healing Practitioners. These are students who have completed the Apprenticeship and usually more than one advanced class having presented case studies and clearly demonstrated their abilities as competent and dedicated Plant Spirit Healing practitioners. My focus naturally shifts to teaching and gardening during spring, summer and fall but I want you to still have good practitioners available to you. Please check them out and give one of them a call if you are in need of a healing session.

We are excited to bring you the Earth Spirit Healing Intensive again this year. Last year we were overflowing with folks who left here changed forever in how they walk upon Earth. Jennifer said, “The class was amazing and will change my life for years to come. Each little part of the class was huge, powerful, and mind-blowing. Thank you, Fearn, & Mark for co-creating this class.” We feel the ever increasing urgency from the plants and Earth as they implore us to listen and follow their sustaining guidance while at the same time inviting us to take up our co-creative role with them. Please join us for this never-before-seen opportunity to experience the emerging living matrix of earth/human potential during this most of auspicious years.

We invite you to visit our Partner Earth Education Center website to read about the many other classes we offer here and in other locations.

Blessed Spring by Mark Carlin and Pam Montgomery


As the quickening of the season begins we remember the cascading upon us of a mountain of stones and fallen trees loosed from the earth under torrential rains of late August past. Now is not the time to shy away from believing all things will grow again and something never before seen just might find the conditions ripe to jump up and live again. We gently and gingerly trod upon still fragile ground to see who may be brave and strong enough to make a beautiful attempt to share this bit of earth with us for another season. Nettle, the epitome of perseverance, has a tight hold and yet we learn how the soil has become so much more enriched by Nettle’s presence making a rich foundation for our new Sanctuary garden. And Angelica, you too can not be deterred with your proliferation, perhaps in response to our whispered intentions of transforming you into a powerful potion for an autumn initiation for the people. But most exciting of all is the return of Mugwort otherwise known as Artemisia which gives me hope once again for the regenerative power of life itself. We have lamented your seeming demise all winter only to find that you are not to be forgotten. It is so good to see your face again.

Remembering traditional, earth based wisdoms that instruct us to honor the powers of seasonal rotations and the exact times they hold, we align ourselves with the spirit of Spring Equinox just realized. Balance and equanimity, both within and without is the force field we embrace here in the North Country. Being urged into growth and outward expression and away from the dormancy of stillness and rest and wait, we now spiral along well into spring and begin responding once again with all there is to do, all there is to prepare and to plant. Along with the old favorites who have returned we look forward to the blank palette we have before us to begin the long awaited Sanctuary Garden of our dreams that now longs to become manifest.

The weather patterns for many of the northern places, as we know, have been unfamiliar at best and worrisome at worst but here we are every day witnessing the busyness of all the worm hunting songsters billowing their breasts and building their nests. This morning large dark shapes from up beyond the wishing prayer tree moved slowly while standing out in sheer contrast to the young greenish brown grasses and wheat colored backdrop of leaf floored forest, an apparition of black bear in the rainy chill of the cloud cast morn, only to emerge as well fed wettened black feathered turkeys trailing toward the fields. And yet the bear are not far as witnessed by a young apprentice from last year returned from a walk up in these woods and told of placing his hand within the soft fresh print of bear paw, its claw marks clearly visible. Purple flowering ground ivy nestles forth from sun warmed nooks, October seeded winter rye cover cropping gets turned into the garden soil as amendment, supplementing the compost, leaf, grass and hay mix turned in last fall. Young deer siblings romp in their heavy dark hides of winter coats amid the scattered kernels of left behind field corn, buds of fuzzy softness emerge from tips of apple spurs while pear trees in their cone like green and brown coiled buds restrain themselves no longer and eat the increasing sun light and drink the warming earth. Mars, Venus and Jupiter, those starlight sentinels, still grace cool nights as the Big Dipper rises straight overhead and migrating geese make their way in between.

While perplexing over the strange 70 and 80 degree warmth of mid March and giving consideration to accelerating garden plantings yet guessing the long arm of winter has not fully pocketed his persuasions, we begin to take up our place in the renewal that spring brings delighting in the lengthening sun each day brings when one more slice of life is revealed. So between seed preparation, un-coverings, the ever procrastinated desire to do spring cleaning, and this call to action that the season invites, let us not be too eager to push the river but instead to go with the flow rejoicing in the exquisite unfolding of Spring.

Enriching The Earth by Wendell Berry:

To enrich the earth I have sowed clover and grass to grow and die.
I have planted in the seeds of winter grains and various legumes, their growth to be plowed in to enrich the earth.
I have stirred into the ground the offal and decay of the growth of past seasons and so mended the earth and made its yield increase.
All this serves the dark.
I am slowly falling into the fund of things.
And yet to serve the earth, not knowing what I serve, gives a wideness and a delight to the air, and my days do not wholly pass. It is the mind's service, for when the will fails so do the hands and one lives at the expense of life.
After death, willing or not, the body serves, entering the earth. And so what was heaviest and most mute is at last raised up in song.

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1525 Danby Mountain Road, Danby, VT 05739
Phone/Fax 802-293-5996