|Two young redwoods we planted (left and center) 14 years ago
to keep the redwood clump (to the right) company.
When we first began using Biodynamic practices, we were advised by our consultant to plant redwood trees at the east end of our vineyard because the clump of redwoods there were lonely and this caused disruption. Happy trees meant happy vines, we were told. We planted two, which are thriving, as are the clump of redwoods.
It is a very different way of farming: thinking of the needs of the community of plants that we are tending. We do this not only in the garden (companion planting) where various plants do better and produce more growing together (like tomatoes and basil,) but also now in this practice which is not directly tied to production. In some ways this does not make sense: to plant large trees in a vineyard! But on the other hand, this is not only about efficiency, it is also about diversity, affinity, and, yes, community!
This discipline of considering the impact of what we do on the whole is sadly lacking and overridden by economic agendas. To begin to take in the seven generations we are impacting by what we do changes the focus from how can we get the most out of this piece of land to how can we interact and sustain ourselves, while also tending this land into the future.
What changes have you made in your relationship to your land when you have considered the impact of your farming/gardening/building practices? Has this been a hard decision for you?