13 Nov Green Thumbs
Asalaamu Alaikum / Peace Be Upon You
I pray that you (who is reading this) are in good health and spirit since the last time we’ve connected.
I have recently started a new project which I thought I would share with you all today. About a year and some time ago, a friend introduced me to the concept of ‘permaculture’ which, in short, is a basic practice of design as well as a practical demonstration on how to transform your back yard (or any vacant space) into a productive food system.
After learning about this concept and volunteering a couple of times in my friend’s garden, I decided along with my sister that we were going to start our own garden adopting certain permaculture practices and because society has been abusing this beautiful planet we have been given, we thought what better way to make a contribution that might change our fate.
After a while it wasn’t just about the environment any longer, we felt a sense of well-being, a sense of being joyfully recharged and healed and most importantly we felt naturally in tune with nature and Allah SWT’s Infinite Oneness.
We were grateful, for being blessed with the ability to actually implement a garden and realised that gratitude is an attitude that connects us to the Source of supply. The more grateful you are, the closer you are to your Maker, the architect of the universe, the spiritual core of your being.
Gardening had helped clear the ‘noise’ of this fast paced techno world and all things trivial. The grounds were not just for the cultivation of food but also for our spirituality. We were made to see that trivial things distract us from what truly matters, our relationships with one another, connecting with our being and enriching it with soulful goodness to become a better elevated being and how we can become alive and nurture our relationship with Mother Earth. We all have our own issues and thus we need all the help we can get and gardening had attuned us to life’s struggles for renewal, richness and balance. Witnessing the growth of a garden exposes us to dimensions of healing, psychologically as well as spiritually as we get to witness the cycle of life; we see plants each day through seasons that are thriving, dying, seeding, fruiting, healthy or battling with diseases. It keeps one focussed on the true journey of life.
Now, lets move on to what I am currently focussing on in my garden:
We have many plants growing at the moment but are focussing on the ones currently blossoming this Summer, mainly herbs. I will not go into detail with them as you could probably Google everything you need to know about them. I will simply list them and tell you what I like to use the specific plant for.
In The Garden –
Dill, is a lovely little herb I like to use in cooking, especially when cooking fish and has medicinal purposes as well. Its is anti-bacterial and can prevent bone loss in a flavourful way as it is a really good source of vitamin C and also contains Iron and Magnesium.
Fennel, is pleasant smelling and is adorned by a pretty yellow flower. It is also used in some cooking but we’re holding onto this herb mainly for the fact that it has so many medicinal uses. It can be used for various digestive issues such as heartburn, bloating, intestinal gas and even colic in infants. It can also be used to subside coughs and bronchitis infections.
Aloe, is too a medicinal plant. We have 3 different types of aloe growing and mainly use them for their healing properties when it comes to treating and protecting our skin. When a family member gets burnt, cut or sunburn, we love to use this plant to immediately heal the skin. The aloe creates a protective layer which is very effective. Consider your cut or burn healed in a day!
Thyme, a full flavoured herb I love to use in cooking, especially chicken. It’s medicinal properties could help you with diarrhoea, stomach aches, arthritis, sore throat and whooping cough.
Lemon grass, is true to its name. It really does have the taste of lemon. Although it is chiefly used medicinally, I love tossing this plant into a smoothie or an Asian dish that I’m cooking for that zest of lemon flavour! Medicinally it has powerful pain relief properties and can alleviate muscle spasms. Thus it can be used for headaches, joint pains, digestive tract spasms and stomach cramps.
Parsley, which again I love using when cooking as well as tossing it into a salad, gives it extra leafy goodness. My grandmother (whom I learn from too) uses it medicinally for decreasing cholesterol which in turn is providing her a healthy heart decreasing the risks of heart attack and stroke.
Chives, is the herb we definitely all use in cooking, because it is purely amazing!
Apple-mint, lives up to its name. A slight hint of an apple flavour mixed with a bold mint flavour that comes together quite nicely, one would say they’re a match made in heaven (SubhanAllah!). I love using this plant when infusing water daily as well as tea. It is a great source of detox and keeping the immune system clean.
Spinach, is mainly used when I am cooking and I must say, eggs with spinach for breakfast is not that bad. Spinach is a very nutrient-dense food which is low in calories but high in vitamin and minerals, so one should try and indulge every day.
Tomato’s, is more of a fruit and In Shaa Allah will be the starting point of growing fruit trees. I love adding tomato to dishes such as pasta’s, pizza and any sort of salad really. They too have medicinal properties and can prevent cancer of the breast, cervix, colon, stomach, lung, ovaries, pancreas, and prostate.
It has been a lot to take in, but via the experience I have been learning a lot about the garden as well as myself. Maintaining the connection has been easy because it naturally inclines us to do so. We’re also loving providing for ourselves as well as birds, insects etc. growing our own organic products (without having to pay an arm and a leg). As Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “If a Muslim plants a tree or sows seeds, and then a bird, or a person or an animal eats from it, it is regarded as a charitable gift (sadaqah) for him.”
Allahu Akbar! I hope this does encourage you to go back to the Earth as we will only benefit from this, In Shaa Allah.
Peace & love,