Natural Patterns

 

Leafhopper Farm is a mosaic of fractal beauty. Every day the richness of nature offers a never ending train of splendor in her working imperfection. This tapestry of life s scattered throughout a living world outside.

I heard a recent statistic about industrialized people now spending over 90% of their lives indoors. This statistic makes it clear to me how disconnected from reality many now are. What’s real is outside, alive, and thriving as it has for millions of years. Human beings are a part of it, even when they shut themselves inside; but how can they appreciate it and value nature if they never experience it? Perhaps that’s the point.

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The beautiful repetitive shapes of nature are such rich inspiration here at Leafhopper Farm. The petaled flower in it’s umbels of bright color call to dance the circling bee. Insects swarm in pollination splendor, golden treasures carried on glinting wing.

What makes the flowers bloom in all their beauty is pollination, and without the insects, like bees, to move that pollen around, the vivid colors and unique shapes of all the plants would never happen, and our food systems would crash. We’re spraying our food with harsh chemicals to keep insects from taking our fragile crops. The pesticides that kill the bugs are also killing us, just more slowly. It is in our food, the soil, and our genes now.

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Golden treasure can also be locked within calcium rich shell of every color. Hen’s gallant journey to lay her gift in soft straw again and again and again. This circle reflected each time, pure protein enshrined in oval design makes a journey from one world to the next. Which came first? If you ask the lizard, they have an answer, and it’s not feathered.

Chicken is the most common meat sold globally now, but goat meat is still the most consumed meat. Chicken is the perfect meat source for industrialized farming, and the industry is working hard to turn that bird into a meat sack which can be grown in a lab. Eggs are also well integrated into this mass production, and it’s showing up in the diluted quality of commercialization. The bright white conventional egg is brittle, thin shelled, and watery inside. The yolk falls apart upon cracking, and the white membrane is drippy, like water, but often cloudy. It’s nutritional value has been compromised, and the flavor non-existent. This works well for making egg powder and other industrial products, but for the consumer, there is no sustenance. The egg also concentrated all the chemicals fed to the chicken, and leeches hormones, pesticides on the grain, and polluted conditions the hen is made to endure. Is that healthy of us?

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Apple, the first fruit in some stories. Round apple of my eye, the sweetest gift mother nature gave to taste. Once an East Asian secret, locked away in Kazakhstan forests. Wild apple trees tower like looking legends, each tree a unique being with it’s own definition of taste. The apple can be any flavor, and natural fruit is not the sweet friend we know in stores today.

Leafhopper Farm has an orchard of variety heirloom apples. They took hundreds of years in selective growing to produce. You won’t find these in a grocery store, and most people don’t know there are thousands of apple verities in the world outside Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious. There are apples for eating, but also for cider, baking, over winter storing, and more. Apples are so diverse, and every seed in the fruit will produce a completely new variety. Most commercial orchards only grow a few different apples for market, and the list is shrinking, not growing.

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Fungi, like an alien, but blooming from soil like other foods, confuses and even frightens the imagination. Our fear based learning teaches us to stay away, but the mushroom has more to offer than we know. Medicine, food, and material all come from this often misunderstood taxonomy. It’s a good day to join a mycology club near you! These wild friends are abundant, diverse, and a never ending learning journey. There patterns are some of the wildest, and their gifts are many. From feeding the body, to freeing the mind, mushrooms show us how little we really understand in nature’s algorithm.

The more time spent outside, the more familiar the world becomes. It is through that engagement with the natural world that we better understand ourselves, and how we fit into the beautiful fractals of life. The senses are meant to sense, by interaction with environment. Fresh air and sunlight, breezes and rain, these are elements of energy that cannot be synthesized with real success. What nature has already been working on in her lab of earth for millions of years is no small feat, and it would better us to know her.

 

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