We had such an enlivening conversation with Steven which we’re so excited to share with you!
In this conversation we talk about Steven’s history – which included leaving civilization as a young man to live in the wild and forage to sustain himself. He eventually felt called to returned to civilization, pursued higher education and eventually growing food and medicines in new/old ways. He offers a beautiful short exercise on how to listen to plants. We also talk about the habit of gratefulness and the orientation toward illness as a great teacher and healer. We explore ways of inhabiting the great give and take with Earth and the importance of loving our food. We also explore a less human-centric approach to gardening – which he calls wildculturing. What a beautiful and inspiring conversation about connecting more deeply with the intelligence of earth through our food, our gardens, our own bodies, and more. We’re now dreaming of visiting Steven and Megan’s Sacred Gardener school when travel is possible again. It looks amazing!
Steven is an artist, farmer, wildcrafter, builder, teacher, writer and visionary who has more than thirty years experience living co-creatively with the Earth, practicing traditional living skills of growing food, building and healing. In 1996, he created the Algonquin Tea Company, North America’s premiere bioregional tea company. He has given talks and run workshops internationally for more than twenty years and taught plant identification and wilderness skills at Algonquin college for 11 years, and at the Orphan Wisdom School for eight years. In 2014, Megan and Steven started the Sacred Gardener Earth Wisdom School. Steven released his first book The Story of the Madawaska Forest Garden in 2016, and his second, Sacred Gardening, was released in June 2017.
“The Sacred Gardener was chosen for our farm/school’s name because it conveys something that we feel is unique in our approach to both growing and teaching here on the farm. While there are many places, books and ways to learn about gardening or working with the Earth, there are very few that put the needs of the Earth first. This means not just thinking about production and convenience for ourselves but making the effort to step forward gently with real ecological/spiritual integrity.
In everything we do we try to honour the ancient agreements with Nature. These agreements, which enabled our ancestors to survive and us to be here now, have long since been ignored and forgotten by western culture. Even radical forms of “environmental” action like organic gardening, permaculture and wilderness skills such as hunting and foraging are done with little or no thought as to the consequences of what we’re taking. We are always in the centre of our thoughts and move forward with unflinching entitlement to what we take.”