The first time I heard the words soil therapy was when I had come from a particularly difficult exam. I remember Theri asking how it had gone and me stating that it was *pause* difficult (there were children around, I couldn’t express how I really felt). Theri had responded that all I needed was a little soil therapy as a way for me to destress from that exam. From that moment on, it’s been something I think about when I enter Good Shepherd Montessori School.
Today is April 4, 2017 in Notre Dame, IN. Just before typing this up in the poverty studies lounge, I was responding to some emails and doing my macroeconomics homework. In an hour, I plan on attending a talk about transitioning from life as a college student to a CPA (I am an accounting major with a supplementary major in statistics and a minor in poverty studies). My week is planned out pretty precisely, with Wednesday my busiest day of classes, meetings, and events and Thursday the day I can sleep in thanks to the GSMS spring break. Come to think of it, even in high school I constantly had a set routine because of the many sports and activities I loaded myself with to keep busy. I’ve not only learned to love routine, but to need it. That may be why Theri’s words of soil therapy have resonated with me so much. Though you may argue that my internship with GSMS is in itself a routine, the work that I do for those few hours a week feel anything but. I love mixing the fresh batch of compost, sneaking in a smell of that amazing basil, and pricking out the seedlings with the weekly farm group. I think sometimes we lose touch with the very earth that so graciously allows us to live on it. Getting back to the basics of soil and seeds has allowed me to connect with the land and want to continue to preserve it in a way that’s so different from my previous experience in corporate farming with migrant farmworkers. There’s such beauty in students planting seeds and watching them week after week as they peep out of the ground and then grow larger and larger. It’s a relaxing and calming feeling to escape social media or homework to just enjoy the natural soil and life cycle of plants.
Here are some important things I have learned from my time so far:
- Horticulture is both a science and an art form. It is amazing to see that everything has a precise way of living and prospering.
- Going off of that, chickens incubate for 21 days, exactly. Amazing.
- Lupines are not good seed starters.
- Cilantro prefers cold weather.
- Middle schoolers at GSMS are way better at science than I am.
Here are some important steps I’ve taken as a result of my semester so far (stay tuned for more to come)
- I no longer use plastic bags at the grocery store
- I try and eat at local restaurants as much as possible
- I try and shop at local grocery stores/farmer’s markets as much as possible
- I hope to enroll in Theri’s class at Notre Dame, TBD!
I hope that soil therapy will continue to be there for me for that next hard exam because I will definitely need it.