May 20

Let it grow!

…”Broken ground, open and beckoning to the spring, black dirt live again!”

“Let It Grow” is a delightful song written by John Perry Barlow and Bob Weir. You can read the annotated lyrics here. The lyrics combined with Garcia’s Spanish style guitar work created a whirling fanciful image of working the fields in a rhythmic fashion.

Let It Grow is the second movement of the Weather Report Suite found on the WAKE OF THE FLOOD album and a standard for many years at Grateful Dead shows. It featured intense guitar work by Garcia and Weir with a fun jam including all members of the band.

At this time of year, I reflect on the meaning of that song as I go about sowing the seeds for this year’s garden. Planting a garden is a way to connect with the earth. It is experiencing creation itself! To me, it is a way to help regain sanity in this sometimes insane world. To take a tiny seed, place it into the soil, water it and then watch it grow into a beautiful flower or delicious vegetable is surely a way to restore the self after the cold months of winter dormancy. To harvest fresh vegetables is surely a gift. I am humbled by the experience and extremely grateful for the abundance of food that the earth yields.

“One for the blackbird, one for the crow, one for the soil and one to grow” is an old farmers rhyme. With the quality of modern genetics, it is not really necessary to plant 4 seeds to get one viable sprout, but planting an extra is not a bad idea to ensure a full row.

An interesting phrase, planting the three sisters, comes from the Iroquois tribe. It relates to the practice of companion planting. The three sisters are, corn, squash and beans. This summer, I will be helping my neighbor to grow these three sisters in his plot. I often share some of my harvest with neighbors and in turn I will reap some of the bounty from his garden as well as mine. I hope to expand this practice within my local community. It is a great way to make friends. I firmly believe that growing locally is the way of the future. Producing food locally is sustainable and provides a greater degree of freshness in the foods we consume. It is the way of the future.


“That the work of his days measures more than the planting and growing. Let it grow, Let it grow, Greatly yield.”

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