Flow - Planting Garlic and How Grounding Ourselves Improves Emotional Health

When I was growing up, I read many of former President Calvin Coolidge's writings. He was a deep thinker who grew up on a rural Vermont farm. 

He spoke about the order and flow of the four seasons. 

Flow, 22x30 original watercolor painting by Elise, August 2017, Private Collection

President Coolidge shared how each distinct season of the Vermont year brought it's own cyclical pattern to be followed – as Ecclesiastes tells us, there is a time to plant and a time to reap. 

Continuing to follow this natural rhythm of life amid all the changes I've experienced in the last few years has brought me a lot of joy and peace.

When I have my hands in the soil and am planting the seeds of healthy food, I feel connected to my seeds, the plants they will become, and to the soil they are planted in. Working in the earth grounds and settles me.

Drawing - stage one

Grounding and Emotional Health

Back in August I listened to Tim Ferris interview Michael Gervais. Michael is an adviser to Olympic athletes. He pointed out that many people today lack an ability to focus due to distractions provided through our technological age and our smartphones. Micheal explained how only when in the flow state of the brain do we experience the emotions of awe and wonder. But entering this flow state requires that one must be able to focus.

Interestingly, especially for those concerned with the rising tide of emotional and mental health issues, I learned this past year how our bodies were designed to process emotions and discard those which are not needed. 

Just as our digestive tract processes our food and discards waste through the large intestines, processed emotions were meant to leave our body through our feet, electrically, going into the earth. 

Saving the Light - stage two

The Case for Leather-Soled Shoes

However, since the advent in the 1970's of plastic-soled shoes, those in the Western world are no longer walking around on mainly leather-soled shoes. We are no longer grounding our body to the earth's electrical frequency in the same way we once did.

Most people today cannot process all of their negative emotions. Because 80% of our population lives in cities, and only 2% now farm, people cannot easily discard these unwanted emotions through contact with the soil of the earth.

Negative emotions and past traumas are now being stored in the electrical bio-field surrounding our body.

I find this a fascinating explanation for the mental health problems we face in America today.

Adding the Supporting Background - stage three

The Case for Obeying the Word of God - Tent Camping and Grounding

I grew up camping in tents with my family but it's been awhile since I slept outside overnight in a tent. A hard sandy New Zealand beach in 2007 comes to mind! 

But annually, the Hebrew people were told by our Father in heaven to build shelters and to camp outside. This was an annual grounding, a re-setting of our body frequency similar to what I learned through watching The Grounded on You Tube

The Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkot, is this annual Jewish festival.

 “You shall dwell in booths for seven days … that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” (vv. 42–43). 

~ Leviticus 23:33-43

Foreground Water - stage four


How to Make $300 in Three Hours by Planting a Bed of Garlic

Each year, one of the easiest and fastest ways I've found to “make $300” is to re-plant my garlic. Each clove planted in good soil represents at least $1 in savings at harvest time, next August. Locally grown garlic bulbs are often even more expensive than $1/bulb today, so by not having to purchase garlic, I am saving a lot of money each year, while supporting my health.

It takes less than two hours to ready the soil, plant and lay mulch over the top of the beds. Once mulched, garlic requires little weeding. Part of the allium family, garlic loves rain and in hot weather needs to be watered. 

I snap off the garlic scapes after they begin to curl in June and use these scapes for either garlic scape pesto or they can be steamed as a vegetable. 

If the scapes are left on the stalk, the top of the scape forms a seed pod. These garlic seeds can also be grown into a garlic bulb, but it takes two years of time instead of just the one year from planting a clove. More energy goes into the bulb, creating a larger garlic bulb, if the scapes are snapped off at the right time.

Pulling the bulbs from the ground in late July or early August is very satisfying and is easily done. From planting to harvest, I invest 3-4 hours of work, to gain around $300-$600 of reward.

Planting my garlic is one of my most enjoyed annual fall tasks during the third week of October, before the ground freezes.

I always use composted manure. If you think you've used enough composted manure, use some more! Garlic is a heavy feeder and loves manure! Manure, to me, is better known as Black Gold.

After harvest and the curing period, the stalks are cut off and I store each different garlic variety separately in a closed paper bag.

To best over-winter the bulbs, they need to be kept in the dark at around 40-50 degrees. Storing garlic in higher heat dehydrates the bulbs. Storing garlic in the refrigerator or in a place below freezing will cause the bulbs to sprout.

Before using any large bulbs for eating, I sort through them to choose which bulbs will be planted and which will be stored for eating.

I sacrifice my largest bulbs, containing the biggest and best cloves, for planting - in order to gain the best garlic next year. This is analogous to much of life - You must not be selfish and save the best for yourself! Give the best, and the best will be given back to you at sometime in the future.

The cloves are planted with the pointed end up and the root part down, 1-2 inches deep, and 4-6 inches apart, in rows that shift - so I'm planting the next row of cloves in the spaces of the previous row. I neglected to take a photo of the cloves after I set them in the soil and before I packed the soil down. 

Each bed pictured here contains around 100 cloves of garlic. Total, I planted 307 cloves this year. These will hopefully become 307 bulbs of garlic over the next nine months. I pray that our Father in heaven will bless their growth.

Last Summer I helped harvest 95 pounds of garlic. Seventy-six of those pounds was at the Farm where I was gardening, and the other 19 pounds was from my own small patch of 295 bulbs. We sold around 40 lbs of the Farm garlic to a local co-op, but I don't normally sell my personal garlic. It is medicinal quality, packed full of sulphur and I use it for prevention and treatment for many things. 

Garlic is a natural pain-killer, is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic. It gives you energy and, like many vegetables, acts as a natural diuretic.

Ancient Greek wrestlers were said to eat raw garlic before they wrestled. If you're a friend of mine, you might be gifted with some special garlic but I don't plant as much as I used to plant.

Once carefully cured and stored at the right temperature, my garlic will last over a year from harvest, and so I use what I harvest all year long, until the new harvest comes in.

The Many Benefits of Consuming Raw Garlic 

Garlic is now considered a Superfood. I've heard reports that people in the Middle East have beautiful skin which glows because they eat so much garlic, which helps remove toxins from the body, assists in supporting collagen, and helps prevent cancer.

While some people definitely don't like the flavor or smell of garlic, or feel good after eating it, I'm thankful I do!

Garlic is also known as an excellent natural anti-inflammatory agent. Chopped fine and swallowed (not chewed) with warm peppermint tea is a remedy I use for colds and the flu. I eat raw garlic three times a day when fighting an infection.

Using garlic internally has helped save my life in the past. Used externally as a foot poultice, garlic has literally saved the lives of several of my family members. If I have a slightly infected cut on my skin, I cut a garlic clove and swipe it on the affected area, and then it heals fine. Olive oil can be used before you swipe the garlic, because garlic oil is strong and can cause blisters.

Garlic brings down high-blood pressure naturally. My family has been known to swipe the feet of family members in the hospital with a cut clove of garlic.

A friend used garlic on a two-year-old boy's feet when he was experiencing a high fever. This boy's fever broke about fifteen minutes later and he returned to his playing, happily. Garlic helps the immune system fight infections!

Garlic is known for it's strong, pungent odor. Many people are afraid to eat it before going into a social setting. There are two ways to overcome this stigma: Chew raw parsley after eating fresh garlic, or eat a tablespoon of tomato sauce or natural catsup.

Garlic can also cause some people a lot of flatulence or intestinal gas. This means garlic is benefiting your body by killing off excess yeast in the gut. Be thankful! Yeast or thrush infections are very prevalent today, due to the over-use of drug antibiotics, and systemic yeast infections are often a leading cause of cancer.

Final Details and Balancing Values - stage five -
Flow is a 2017 Watercolor Portrait by Elise of an SBTC summer athlete at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Craftsbury, Vermont
I am very grateful for the wonderful gift our Creator has given of the flow state of the brain - providing us with the emotions of awe and wonder; and of the culinary and medicinal value of fresh garlic. 

Taking time to go outside and lie down on the ground and be still for even a short time is well worth the effort. Girls who tan themselves on the beach always look so relaxed to me. I would imagine their fun-loving natures are assisted by the sunshine and the beach sand they lie on...

And the next hobby I'd like to take up is surfing - for it, too, leads to more of flow. Vermont being land-locked...surfing here may be a little difficult.

Happy 500th anniversary of Reformation Day!

Warmly, your painting and planting-friend,

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 

A time to be born, and a time to die; 

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; 

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; 

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; 

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; 

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; 

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; 

a time of war, and a time of peace.

~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

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