My internship at Gung Hoe Growers is about to come to a close. I guess I will use this blog as a moment to reflect on my last five and a half months. My heart is full of mixed emotion, and it feels difficult to put in to words the intense amount of love, gratitude and respect I have for the Land and the people of this place. I am in awe and amazement of Leanganook, of the incredibly old and wise trees that inhabit the place and I am deeply grateful and pay my full respect to the Dja Dja Wurrung elders of this land – past, present and emerging. Such an incredibly sacred place to be working and spending time each day. I have so many questions I wish I knew the answers to. And a huge sense of loss and grief in accompaniment. I will never really look at Leanganook or its surrounding valleys the same way. What power moves from this place and beyond? What stories travel through and from?
My time on the farm so far has been life-changing. This makes me very happy. For it feels like an immense change in an extremely positive direction. The extent of what I have learnt feels large and expansive and slightly intangible. Practically speaking, I know I’ve learnt plenty. About the Earth beneath my feet and the energy it takes – both human and non – to provide delicious, highly nutritious, organic vegetables to a community of people – whilst encouraging and promoting the continuing health of the soil and its living ecology. That aint a small thing. And yet, though I am sure I have skilled up in some way or another, I still feel like a small child with so much more to learn before I could even begin to consider myself knowledgeable. But sure – it’s a start.
One thing I know for sure is what an absolute pleasure it has been working closely alongside two absolute legendary human beings. Sas and Mel are truly modern-day heroes if you ask me – along with everyone else on the farm and probably most people in this field of work. What really has stuck out for me about Gung Hoe is how absolutely dedicated they are to be working with an ethic that is truly in line with their core values and beliefs. Making organic food accessible, both monetarily and geographically, whilst also being regenerative in practise is not an easy task to achieve. But they do it with so much passion and humility that one can’t help but feel inspired to do good.
The same goes for the rest of the Co-op. Each human being on this farm is an absolute gem. I feel so blessed to be able to spend each day in the company of such passionate, real, inspiring humans. And not only humans make this place what it is – dogs, cows, geese, chickens, roos, wedgies, crows, galahs, cockies (all the other birds under the sun) and all the trillions of other living things I can and cannot see. What a joy and a blessing to be around so much life each day.
And so, feeling slightly disappointed and discouraged at how these words don’t seem to be capturing the extent of what I feel – I will finish with a splash of abstract stanza. In the hope that it may tickle that part inside that don’t express with structured sentences.
My heart breaks at the thoughts that stay awake,
Neither wanting nor leaving nor letting go
But hoping to stay on.
With each beating breathe, each gnawing sound,
With the vibrant elation of cacophony ground
To a halt.
Solo and singing
Butterflies winging the air
I look up but don’t seem to care.
Inside I feel
But don’t mean it.
Somewhere there is movement and laughter.
With the day that leavens in simple steps
They who love the Land
Will teach the songs to stand.