News from Farm and Field
Dr Patrick MacManaway
Reprinted from Dowsing Today, July 2010
In the autumn of 2008 I received a telephone call from a gentleman by the name of John Green in Shelburne, Vermont, twenty minutes drive from my home base in New England. (Names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty)
After a career in California in high finance and then a period of study in divinity school, John had decided to bring his attention ‘back to the land’ to focus on sustainable food production and locally sustainable economic models, and had come back to a family farm in Vermont to make ‘sweaty prayers’ with his native soil.
Inspired by reading of the gardening at Findhorn, he wanted my help in connecting him to the spirit of place, and to work with him in establishing energetic balance and nature spirit co-operation, as he reclaimed land that had not been worked for forty years, and in designing systems that would work as much as possible with the unseen but greenfingered realms.
A working farm of some 350 acres, all that was left were some dilapidated barns and a 40 acre meadow, the rest having gone back to a regenerating forest of white birch and mixed conifers.
John had a blank canvas to work with.
The Dowsing Assessment Begins
The dowsing tasks began with an overall energetic assessment of the open and most proximate areas to vehicles, and re-establishing water access. We started by dowsing to find the original farm spring for rehabilitation, and careful assessment of the most beneficial earth energy points for his first greenhouse.
I found the land to be energetically clean and clear, and the nature spirit consciousness alert, vigorous and eager to participate in John’s holistic vision of co-creative endeavour. The dowsing was easy and went well, with a sense of having only to ask to receive quick and efficient guidance to maximise his efforts. We were guided to site the greenhouse, an eighty foot long industrial poly tunnel for optimum solar and earth energy gain, and with a strong power centre in the middle.
The south end of the structure was under-run by a strong stream of underground water, offering a relatively yin environment, ideal for mushrooms and tuberous plants. The north side was predominantly yang in nature, with ley energy strong, offering support for ornamental flowers and vegetables that would give their productive yield above ground level.
A small blind spring in the centre, where the water and ley energy intersected, seemed best for anchoring intention and use for ‘pre-germination seed exposure’ and ‘early germination location’ for his many plants.
Previous experience with other farms and gardens had indicated that as well as general energetic balancing and tuning of landscape energies throughout the growing areas, the optimum energetic exposure of seeds before germination, and during the early germinating phase of 7 to 10 days, would lead to maximum benefit and efficiency.
In order to anchor focus and concentrate the energies in this central power centre, whilst still giving John easy access and movement through the greenhouse, we opted for a buried ‘stone circle’, which ended up being a ring of one gallon glass jars sunk just below ground level and filled with vermiculite.
Vermiculite is an inexpensive, easily obtainable and highly paramagnetic alternative to granite menhirs!
Tomatoes and Zinnias For The First Season
The cash crops for John’s first growing season were to be tomatoes which grow well in Vermont’s short but intensely hot summer climate, and zinnias for the local florist. From the start the results looked good. 100% germination was achieved, and the plants went out into the meadow looking strong and glowing with life force.
The ley and underground water patterns in the outside growing areas were further tuned and stabilised by the insertion of five vertical ‘wave guides’, biodynamic towers or substitute standing stones. His plants proved to be the only ones in our area to have significant blight resistance.
Because of limited access to materials and equipment, (I would have preferred for these to be stone and as time goes on I think they will be) we opted to use 4 inch diameter plastic pipes, cut to lengths of megalithic yard multiples, with a central copper pipe penetrating into the ground deeper than the plastic surrounding, and extending above the plastic into open air, the space between copper and plastic again filled with vermiculite.
Although a little Heath Robinson in their design, these were easily erected in an afternoon, from recycled materials from the back of John’s barn. This further persuaded me that probably everything that we needed was already either in our minds or within an easy arms reach.
Helper Spirits in the Landscape
I encouraged John to spend time, both working and resting, in as close communication as possible with the helper spirits in his landscape, impressing them with his intentions and needs, and listening with an open mind in both waking and dreaming time for guidance of both an expected and unexpected nature.
This led him to work with outwardly very minimalistic techniques, and to trust to natural rainfall, rather than additional irrigation which would otherwise have been employed. Seedlings were supplied to the local University’s agricultural department for comparative monitoring, and up to mid season all was well.
Then ‘horror of horrors’ a tomato blight swept the northeast of America, with devastating effects on all tomato growers in New England. Farmers were encouraged to pull out and destroy any affected plants to minimise the spread through the rest of their crops, but working alone and with his ear to the whispering devas, John waited and watched to see what would become of his acres of tomatoes.
His plants proved to be the only ones in our area to have significant blight resistance. The University agriculture department reported that his plants, alone, of all those they had received from Vermont growers, did not totally succumb and die as the blight set in. In John’s field, many of his plants showed blight effects, but only in the bottom third of their stems, the upper two thirds of affected plants remaining healthy and yielding useable crop.
Curiously, this extraordinary success has not yet brought an investigative visit either from the University or from neighbouring farmers. Of course we cannot be sure that local weather patterns, soil and moisture conditions were not responsible for the favouring of John’s plants, and in farming a success in a single growing season must be watched and compared with subsequent years as there are many factors always at play.
John himself is quite certain that we experienced at first hand a convincing demonstration of nature spirit, and subtle energy support, in the face of a region wide growing crisis. Subsequent dowsing has deepened the commitment to working co-creatively and a further four poly tunnels have gone up this spring. And farmer John reports back: “I am just the messenger. It is the house that is doing all the work.”
And Across the Pond in Scotland
Meanwhile in eastern Scotland, I had the opportunity to work with a dairy herd stricken with an unusually high rate of mastitis which had proved resistant to all conventional treatment over four years. A high tech facility, the cows live in two parallel barns almost year round, with a central milking unit right in each barn with them.
For purely historical reasons one barn is bedded with deep straw, in the other, the cows live on rubber matting. Dowsing revealed classic geopathic stress, sourced from four underground streams of very large volume, descending from the local range of mountains and running parallel under the barns in a pattern that the cows were unable to move away from.
Simple remedial measures were used, including the permanent insertion of mild steel rods into the ground, upstream from the barns, over the critical edge zones of each stream; with additional earth acupuncture and energetic balancing, and clearing of disturbed consciousness and residue patterns, both within and surrounding the facility.
On a review visit three months later, the results were both striking and inviting of further investigation.
In the rubber matted barn, the mastitis rate had dropped by 60%, an astonishing outcome that had me quite delighted. In the barn deep bedded with straw, the mastitis rate seemed unchanged. The farmer described a difficulty with his straw, sourced by a leaking roof which had allowed that season’s straw to become damp and moulded, before the problem had been identified and the roof repaired.
It would appear that this additional problem has over ridden the benefits of geopathic stress remediation in this half of the herd, and we will await a hopefully positive outcome when the new season’s dry sweet straw becomes available.
As another of my dairy clients has impressed upon me, good farm management has many moving parts. Certainly attention to well balanced and appropriate subtle energies is one of them.
The mastitis rate had dropped by 60%, an astonishing outcome...
Dr Patrick MacManaway