Bulrushes in our POND


One of the first features we constructed on the property when shaping the drainage contours of the land was our pond.  We have provided an interesting summer time location where one can sit.  It is another place to connect to the natural world of animals, vegetation, rocks, soil/muck, air movement and circulating water.

This pond is a major reservoir of biodiversity in a micro ecosystem.  We have introduced a variety of wetland, swamp plants and animals.  This blended ecosystem demonstrates the  –interwoven nature – of spirit.  We have not cultivated snakes or leeches!

In this small space are where we can recognize and observe the gift of silent waters and where the eye can wander to sporulating ferns.   The feelings I get, are like sacred connections to the interconnectedness of our existence with the earth.  Perhaps some observers will have a memory of childhood adventures.  Perhaps for others, it is a first time to view insects moving among the growing grass stems.  With patience one can see a dragonfly drying its wings on a branch.  Enter the shallow end and feel the textures beneath your feet.

Our pond is a permanent feature supporting plants that can care for us too!   There are seedlings of willow, cedar and spruce plus grasses and maple trees.  The willow, cedar, spruce and grasses can be woven for garden baskets, the maple for quality [hardwood] firewood for the year round wood burning oven.  Also the pond is a great source of organic materials for compost building!

At one end of the pool of water is a ‘wetland’.  A wetland is an area between shore and water, of soil and muck, soft and squishy, which was created for a place to grow bulrushes/cattails.  Bulrushes are giant grasses with brown roots.  The roots are thick and starchy on the inside.  This tasty white pulp is potato like and can be eaten as a vegetable, raw or cooked.  When the leaves are harvested in July and August for weaving, between the leaf layers is a gel for healing cuts, insect bites and sores.  The inner soft pulp that feeds the leaves can be eaten too!  The flowers in June/July can be eaten roasted as corn on the cob.  Ripened flowers look like long brown sausages that can give off a cloud of cotton batting; or soaked in fat can serve as a torch.  

This small garden is maintained for its gift to the Residents of a natural habitat, evidence of biodiversity with the bulrushes as an example of a food source.  Letting plants be our teachers.

There is ONE challenge with this landscape feature, training folks not to cut or pull up the bulrushes until they are ready or abundant in number!  No they are not weeds!!    This applies to the gardening crew also!  May our gratitude for abundance, compound for others!                                                                                                                                                See Note, re. Pond Construction, for physical care details.  Receiving what we have and treating it right.

          Barrow         November 2022

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