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Module 2: Lesson 2
If you want your food gardening efforts to have a positive effect on those around you, and on the environment, recording what you do becomes one of your most important food gardening activities. It also helps you learn/grow faster and get more done.
Journaling builds awareness. The more we journal, the more we start to experience things differently. It allows us to work with the vast resources of our subconscious minds. On the one hand, it causes information from our conscious minds to be anchored more deeply in the subconscious. On the other hand, it allows us to retrieve information from our subconscious that is not normally available to us.
There are many reasons why journaling is such a powerful, multi-purpose tool. If you only hear information, you typically recall 10-20% of what you heard. If you write it down, you can double your memory to 20-40% because writing is kinaesthetic – you use more of your senses. And then if you review it, you can double your memory again to 40-80% because you anchor the material from different perspectives.
Through journaling information is anchored more deeply in the subconscious because we can see it, some people sub-vocalize it and we become kinaesthetic through our writing. Also, journaling draws information out of our heads and keeps it in front of our eyes where we can group it, add to it, re-examine it and change it. We then bring the information back into our minds, which is how most of us learn. Visually we can see and do more with information. Most creative people continually doodle and make lots of notes and lists.
By writing things down we capture our flighty thoughts. (You think about 60 000 thoughts per day. How many are you aware of?) Our minds work at about 1 000 words per minute, but when we write, the mind slows down to about 100 words per minute, allowing thoughts to be recorded more deeply and supporting a more focused, creative thinking process.
As information is reviewed, it is integrated further. New dimensions can be seen, individual events can be connected and we can draw on our intuition to bring more meaning to the material.
There are no rules for journaling or how your food gardening journal should look like. Some people do it on the back of an envelope; others prefer elaborate Excel Spread Sheets.
The important thing is that you develop a system that suits your personality.
Granted, it is easier to recommend keeping a journal than to practice it. The diary is often the first thing to be neglected when you are tired or pressed for time. But keep at it, with time your food gardening journal will become an invaluable aid.
Make your journal an everyday record of everything that happens in your food garden. You can also use a few simple worksheets to make this as easy as possible:
- Crop Data – detailed information about each crop: best sowing and planting dates, spacing, plants per person, succession plantings, maturity, yield, etc.
- Garden Layout – a simple ‘blueprint’ of the beds and their position. Number the beds.
- Crop Plan – Record and plan when to sow which crop in which bed and when to start harvesting.
- Dairy – Plan and record all activities and the time taken to complete them.
- You can also keep harvest records, pest control records, fertilization records, irrigation records, weather records, and income and expense records.
1. Start a Food Gardening Dairy. Use the simplest system possible that will suit your personality. For most people a writing pad or book of some sort works best as it can be taken outdoors as well.
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