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Upside-down, The Good Newsletter 2020 - Week 8

The weekly interactive newsletter sent out by Plukrijp to its members

For people living NOW the school of life

For YOU to send all your good news to

upside down = instead of announcing what we plan to do
(& most often find out we do not need to do), we relate what we really did

Building communities of trust is fundamental to healing our collective wound. At Plukrijp, we offer spaces of transparency and solidarity. The community allows people to encounter each other in truth and so develop trust.
We do the garden for YOU
Plukrijp functions on your frequent visits & harvests. Take along for friends & neighbours, this way we recreate real networks between us all, breaking down the illusory restrictions that now still separate many of us from our fellow man = UBUNTU.

What you can harvest now:

Jerusalem artichokes, parsnip, potatoes, carrots, celery, chards, chives, salads, rucola, chervil, spinach, purslane, mustards of all colors & textures, Brussels sprouts, fresh herbs for taste & medicine.

This week @ Plukrijp

This week we started believing in "spring", after the violent storms that blew over us. A fresh taste is in the air, flowers are peeping, buds are bursting, chicken start laying eggs again. Nature seems to show us the way.

We did:

Spread the soil Steven brought us & seeded them with grass & clover, so now we have 2 future "roads" in our system. One connecting to the new space behind the hanger where we plan to stock the firewood. One along the caravans & wagons so guests can enjoy the food forest with clean feet. Scratching & raking & rolling by many hands put kinetic energy in. Hail & wind & heavy showers of rain dropped kinetic energy in from above. Gardeners & farmers tend to forget the energy that comes down from the sky when it rains strongly. Spraying with a sprinkler destroys the soil structure of the top 1cm because we never can give enough water to boost our soil life (on top of exhausting aquifers & wasting drinking water!).

We picked up all the broken wood & added it to the fence at Hei, a future mine for carbon to add to the compost heap.
We moved 2 trailers of pots to the ditch in the big glass house & pumped some water from the swimming pool into it. They are soaking up the fertile water now, waiting to be seeded in the next "wave". Lieven David plans to come with people from his pot-seeding group to practice on March 22 (feel welcome to join!). Seeding in a soil that has been watered by spraying is less efficient than seeding in a pot that has a good capillary structure from sucking up water from below. At Plukrijp we rarely water when seeding, even in dry moments. We found out that seeds, when sprouting, first send out a root downward to pull up humidity, before sending out their first leaves. A second advantage of "dry" seeding is that the seeds can "decide" when to sprout according to weather patterns nobody can predict. The advantage for us is that one seeding then gives 2-3 subsequent germinations from which we can harvest & that frost or dry spells can not totally kill our young seedlings. Last year we the chives we seeded in spring did not make it, but early this spring, a whole line of healthy plants suddenly showed up, without us watering it.
We cut back the line of white(mmmm!) berries at Hei & replanted the many shoots on the beds with Iosta & gooseberry plants to give away later. Nettle invasion was prevented.
We repaired the chicken (future duck?) tunnel at Hei. We were charmed by the ducks Joren "lent" us while he was on holiday & plan to buy a couple of ducks that can keep the periphery of Hei free of nettles, a win-win situation for humans & farm animals?
We continued harvesting weekly for Beek & Gerlinde's circle of friends. Blindly trusting that the universe will feed our magic hat as well as it did in 2020.
We moved the stock of firewood we thought was going to be needed for winter heating of the volunteer house to the new "stock" place behind the hangar. Adapting to the new patterns of autumn/winter/spring supposed to bring us cold & wet is proving difficult to manage. Over the 48 years we have lived here, we have grown the habit of preparing for cold & for evacuating the surplus water. Both seem to have become useless in the new climate. HELP!
We kept on filling the roads of the closed tunnels with straw. It comes as a surprise to the many inter & spring visitors how warm our tunnels are, even when it is cold outside. The fermentation of the straw & the enormously diverse soil life thriving under it create at least 2-5°C at nigh & (if the sun shows itself) 5-10°C extra in the day. The early peas testify their gratitude.
To encourage the chickens to start laying eggs we cleared their sleeping place & gave them new straw. The 3 trailers of top quality manure were placed at Hei on the spot where the trees seem to suck out the moisture & vegetables do not thrive anymore. It will become our new local compost place to put weeds & clippings. Our long-time provider of plants offered us 4 pallets of potsoil we put on top of the heap so the good fumes in the heap can go into the (future) potting material.
We received 6 pallets of pot-soil in pots, with red oak-leaf, iceberg salad & pakchoi from our friends at Van Engeland, plant-producers for 3 generations. It really pays off to stay with a supplier & create friendly relations. Whenever we can share our abundance, we do. As confirmed "yes" men we are convinced that life shows itself to us, invites us to participate in "what wants to happen". Emergence, as the phenomenon is called in contemporary science, greatly supersedes "causality" or "choosing/willpower". Plukrijp permaculture (& the way we ran the farm & the wholesale business before that) runs on these unforeseen & plan-resistant exchanges, fuelled by 48+years of outgoing) generosity & (incoming)abundance.

The far too many beautiful plants were planted in the closed tunnels, taking the space where we planned basil & bush beans. By planting them wide we will still be able to inter-plant the summer crops. What we could not plant or give away is kept at the disposal of whoever wants. Please come & take for your garden or windowsill !

Perfect timing for the remaining pot-soil: we covered the new 2020 compost heap with them, so the nitrogen & other soil salts emerging from the heap are filtered through the potsoil, creating a super-rich fertilizer for autumn 2020 or spring 2021. Some was put into the potato boxes to get dug in when we will harvest them. A non-stop build-up of fertile structure in the top 5 cm is so much more efficient(&soil-life friendly!) than all the plowing, cultivating, tilling&scratching our aggressive agri&horticulture is so addicted to.

Do we want to redress the effects of climate change ? If we stop tilling & our soils, we can fix BILLIONS of tons of co2 while growing (finally?) healthy food & returning human presence to nature. Instead of "consuming" Nature by sitting on our ass in the forest. The absurd romanticism pervading the young minds nowadays is turning the last remnants of not-human-disturbed nature into a park. As Joni Mitchell used to sing(
We shared:

Discussions about politics
since we hosted a Jordanian/Palestinian/Israeli volunteer. Interesting points of view to be discovered.

Evenings with Benjamin Zander's master class on high quality music.

We continued to laugh our heads off with episodes of "Dr Katz", a parody on psychiatry/psychotherapy from the New York of the roaring 90's.

By delving into possible local developments of Transactional Analysis, Frank discovered that 2 school mates from the '60s have been busy in Belgium. It was a heart-warming discovery to read his book:
Interesting Movies & Documentaries
Earth Conscious Films – The Most Important Speech On Climate Change
Marxism 101: How Capitalism is Killing Itself with Dr. Richard Wolff
Despite a concerted effort by the U.S. Empire to snuff out the ideology, a 2016 poll found young Americans have a much more favorable view of socialism than capitalism. Though he died 133 years ago, the analysis put forward by one of the world’s most influential thinkers, Karl Marx, remains extremely relevant today. The Empire’s recent rigged presidential election has been disrupted by the support of an avowed socialist, Bernie Sanders, by millions of voters.
To find out why Marx’s popularity has stood the test of time, Abby Martin interviews renowned Marxist economist Richard Wolff, Professor Emeritus of Economics at UMass - Amherst, and visiting professor at the New School in New York. Prof. Wolff gives an introduction suited for both beginners and seasoned Marxists, with comprehensive explanations of key tenets of Marxism including dialectical and historical materialism, surplus value, crises of overproduction, capitalism's internal contradictions, and more.
Rolling Thunder Revue : A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese is a 2019 American pseudo-documentary film, composed of both fictional and non-fictional material, covering Bob Dylan’s 1975 Rolling Thunder Revue concert tour.

The documentary features contemporary interviews with prominent figures of the tour such as Dylan, Joan Baez, Sam Shepard, Ronee Blakley, …, as well as archival interviews with Scarlet Rivera and Allen Ginsberg.

Inspiring Song
Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi

They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum

Then they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

Hey, farmer, farmer
Put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til its gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

Late last night I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi took away my old man

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

I said
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot

Inspiring Book
Michio Kushi: Macrobiotic Judgment

The vast majority of today's population usually functions on the first three levels of mechanical, sensory and emotional judgment, so all of these movements and groups are attractive to many people. Now, at what level do we operate? Our way should be to always look from the infinite point of view; for example, to see that all opposites ultimately come from the same source and complement each other. If we see the unity of happiness and misfortune, prosperity and adversity, communism and capitalism, peace march participants and soldiers, we judge from the highest level of understanding; then we use the ideological level of yin
and yang, the simplest universal way to assess phenomena and to explain or interpret that highest vision

All kinds of social, intellectual, emotional, and mechanical applications follow from there. Once you understand the Order of the Universe, you can easily become a great social prophet, a great intellectual leader, a guide to emotional affairs, or a wizard in sensory, technical, or mechanical problems. We are free to play the game at all levels and every level according to our own wishes. This way always comes from the point of view of the infinite, the highest concept. All it requires is to constantly see everything in terms of yin and yang and to always remember that "all opposites are complementary," that "has a front, has a back," and the other principles and laws of yin and yang. This intuitive wisdom of common sense is the birth right of us all. It is not the monopoly of any country, culture, religion, class,
race, gender, or organization, including macrobiotic organizations. It is life itself and can never be managed artificially or exclusively.

The Historical Spiral

The Historical Spiral moves between periods of territorial expansion and power victories and periods of universal unity based on ideology. Every half revolution on the spiral comprises six segments and represents a historical era. The stages on the spiral unfold in orderly sequence. An initial period of territorial expansion represents a more yang or material phase of the cycle. This includes the first six stages; 1) start of a new society, culture or civilization; 2) introduction of a reform of the original system; 3) the development continues; 4) the power is confirmed; 5) trade, traffic and culture flourish; and 6) exchange in the material and cultural fields stimulates new ideas. At this point the period of universal unity based on ideology begins, which represents the more yin or spiritual phase of the cycle. This includes the last six stages; 7) idealism takes root and develops; 8) this has the effect of socializing, spreading the ideas or doctors to other areas; 9) resulting in internationalization; 10) conflicts arise about conflicting ideas or ideologies leading to world war; 11) warfare stimulates technological development, which results in exploration and
discovery, especially in the spatial dimension; and 12) spatial expansion leads to the disintegration of systems and ideas, and the former order lapses and disappears.

Freely from Viktor Fraenkel, "The Will to Meaning":
"Man is pushed by drives, but pulled by values"

These values & inner awareness keep us from being puppets on string being jerked around by media, work, collective fear hysteria & artificial poverty.
Humor (?)
Intimacy : Security vs Safety
Written by Humberto Braga (Sacred Dreams)

Commitment within intimate relationships can be terrifying because we risk so much. Therefore, in order to truly go deep with our partner, we need to feel more than comfort - we need to know we are safe with them. Feeling safe does not demand being secure. Security seeks a rigid fortress of controlled stability. Safety allows us the flexibility to stop “playing it safe”.

Mere sentiment or material comfort will not suffice. We need to consistently feel their integrity, connection, and commitment to remaining present, even under difficult conditions. We need to sense within their core a unifying passion for love, depth, and self-actualization, through themselves and through the relationship. With this foundation, we can be assured that the relational investment of our souls will not be squandered.

True safety creates a relationship in which we can give our all without giving ourselves away. The more safe we feel, the deeper we can go. The more safe we feel, the greater the risks we can take. The more safely, deeply, and freely we can explore, the more robust and fulfilling our passions become. True safety invites us to fully bloom with all of our colors. True safety welcomes us to be in all our glory and our pain that we’ve kept hidden for so long. It nurtures us to heal our wounds, embrace our wholeness, and thereby become fully awakened and alive.
Without this safety, we limit how deep our intimate relationships can go. Without it, two things often happen: 1.) we may compromise ourselves by conforming to a fragmented and impoverished simulacra of intimacy, and/or 2.) our attention goes wandering - whether through workaholism, substance addictions, infidelity, or a growing emotional disassociation. Some settle for enduring a mediocre malaise, whereby their spirits become dulled by dwelling in the doldrums tepid, yet dedicated, relational inadequacy. Usually, however, our soul’s discomfort cannot be denied, and unreconcilable conflicts arise which call the relationship in to question.

Behind the masquerading social games we play, this loving safety is what we all seek. Deep down, the heart yearns to drop its defenses. The soul cries out to be held in its fullest vulnerability. We must learn to not settle for less if we are ever to discover more. If we are honest and courageous enough to commit to the depths of our souls, within ourselves and then together, then we can ever more safely and deeply connect with the transcendent bliss of our natural being.
Life is Difficult

Years ago an unknown author, Scott Peck, dared write a book called The Road Less Traveled that began with this simple sentence.

“Life is difficult.”

He goes on to explain.

“This is a great truth, and one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we know that life is difficult—once we truly understand and accept it—then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

One of the struggles
our generation of
spiritual seekers
is dealing with is our rejection of
this idea that life is difficult.

Our fascination with the Law of Attraction has created us to be a community of light chasers. We are looking for a quick fix, a magical solution.
When shadows fall upon us, we tend to assume something’s wrong with us.

We’ve fallen out of favor. We’re being punished. We’re thinking too many negative thoughts.

Yet what if these
challenges were evidence
that we’re doing something right?

That Life thinks enough of us to give us some grist for the growth mill.

Life is difficult, yes.

Yet we want to see that as good news.

Look for the gift meant to grow you wiser, stronger and more open-hearted in each difficulty you’re blessed to receive.

(Inspired by a text written by Katherine Woodward Thomas)
The association organises free training, exercices and activities. All the goods and services circulating within the association are free and without consideration.
The association appeals to your generosity : contribute if you want to support us.
Thank you !
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