If feng shui is about “living in harmony with nature” for a building structure, then permaculture is about “living in harmony with the land.“ For those that haven’t heard of permaculture, you aren’t alone. I’ve only learned about it in the last three years through the interest of my husband.
Permaculture is a movement which began in the 1970’s by two Australians, Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. The word comes from permanent agriculture and permanent culture. It is the “conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems” that mimic natural ecosystems, working with nature. It harmonizes land and people in a sustainable way. To learn more about it please go to The Permaculture Research Institute.
If permaculture is the feng shui of the land, can sustainable agriculture be the feng shui of farms? As I always reiterate, feng shui is not about good luck or gaining wealth. Feng shui is really about “living in harmony with nature.” When we live in harmony with nature, we nurture our soul. That’s part of our human instinct. So, it’s really not only about where we live or work, but it’s also about how we live. And this includes what we eat – our food.
Like many, due to time constraints, laziness, and everything else, I must admit that I really rely on convenience for our food. Although, I know we should be eating healthier and organic, that takes a conscious effort. This is much easier said than done.
I shop at the nearby Asian markets and the local supermarkets. In the summer months we also shop at the Newcastle Fruit and Produce stand near our house. Convenience dictates much of my shopping. We all have our habits and quirks in regards to food – I know I have mine. Although we have good intentions, it’s not always easy to follow. It’s easy to stray here and there. Help, support, reinforcement and motivation are all needed to keep us on track. There has to be a reason or purpose to follow the methods of habit we choose, right?
Last week, my husband found a purpose that relates to food. Actually, it’s a farm with purpose. It’s called 21 Acres. 21 Acres is a non-profit organization with vision to educate, experiment, and discover how we can live in our modern day society and still practice sustainable agriculture. This farm has a purpose to show us how a farm can grow and sell their produce to their nearby community in a sustainable fashion. They are following the ‘eat seasonally and locally’ to heart. It’s still in the early stages of the project. But I am sure it was no easy task to get where they are today. What is admirable is their vision and their passion to make this a reality. The following video shows their wonderful mission:
What do they mean by sustainable agriculture? That means they source their supplies within Washington State. This is a lot harder than it sounds. Washington doesn’t produce commodities such as olive oil, nor do we have lemons. So their staff searches for alternatives and the chefs improvise with local ingredients. This is a very creative process.
This organization actually has 21 acres, where they farm, grow vegetables, fruit, flowers and even raise goats. They also offer educational classes, rent their commercial kitchens and spaces for private events, organize talks and much more, all without compromising on their mission. Their market place carries a variety of items, but all must be organic and locally sourced. Here you will find a variety of local grains, oils, milk, eggs, cheese, fruit spreads, breads, baked goods, soups, and of course local produce.
How do I know this? As fate would have it we met Robin, the director. When she heard I blogged, she generously invited me to their bloggers lunch that was being held the following day. In the spirit of keeping within the parameters of their mission, it was an amazing lunch that inspired not only my palate but my imagination!
For those living in the vicinity, I encourage you to physically visit 21 Acres in Woodinville, Washington, to see what they have to offer. For those of you far away, please visit their site. 21 Acres.
Bloggers Luncheon at 21 Acres
The weather didn’t cooperate that day. We had a down pour. But once inside, we were greeted with a warm welcome, the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen, fresh flowers from the farm and there on the board was the menu. And what a menu!
Chef : Chris Feller
Wedge-esk Salad: lettuce, sous vicle egg, red onion jam, blue cheese vinaigrette & hazelnuts
Pizza: Duck prosciutto, herb mascarpone & fig with thyme honey drizzle
Pizza: Pork belly, fennel confit, goat ricotta, arugula, chili oil and tomatoes
Dessert: Winter squash panna cotta, spiced cider grastrique & hazelnut brittle
We all mingled introducing ourselves to each other and we headed to the appetizers. There was local cheese from Cherry Valley Dairy . Now, I think I know my cheese because my English husband who is a cheese lover, has trained me over the years. Whenever I send him shopping, he comes with all kinds of cheeses and I have tasted many. This was wonderful cheese. Cherry Valley Dairy is also committed to natural sustainable dairy practices. Please check them out.
Here are photos of our sustainable lunch and the chefs hard at work! I have to admit my favorite was the pork belly pizza – it was soooo tasty! Bravo to chef Chris and his staff for a fun, creative and yummy lunch.
The lunch came to an end and they even had treats for us to take home. 21 Acres cookies, 21 Acres honey and Cheddar Valley Dairy Cheese. All are not only visually beautiful but sustainable and delicious.
So, to answer our original question, “is sustainable farming feng shui?” Living in “harmony with nature and in tune with the heart” for food is essentially eating seasonally and locally. Also feng shui for food means good form, good for your health and good taste. So, I’d say yes, 21 Acres – Sustainable Farm is good feng shui. It does take a large number of people, ideas, cooperation, and community to make this a reality. We need to support those who are working in the right direction for the future of our society. If we all do our part, by trying to take little steps in the right direction, we can get there. Be the change you want to see. Support your local farmers!