As time passed, the word "Conuco" came to be used all over the Caribbean and South America to mean small, diversified, family farm or garden. Conucos were a means of survival and thriving, and the spaces wherein the Ancient food crops could be protected and passed on generation to generation. The bloodsuckers of our lands brought in their monocultures, designed to maximize profit at the expense of Mother Earth and our Ancestors, as well as at the expense of our Ancestral ecosystems and the multitude of animals and plants. These monocultures continue today to accelerate the Earth Changes (Climate Change) that we are experiencing in devastating ways today. These monocultures are threatening the plants, the animals, birds, insects and precious soil micro-organisms and fungi. Without this healthy web of life, the human thread in it cannot survive, not spiritually, mentally or physically.
We shared videos a year ago, showing our Conucos. Here we follow up a year later, showing the progression of those same Conucos. In healthy gardens, there is always shift and transformation. Year to year they shape shift. For us it is always amazing and constantly a source of wisdom to watch the gardens in their ever changing dance.
The first part begins looking out from one of the Munansos. We look at the various plants in the Munanso gardens and speak about the trees surrounding and in the Munansos.
Part 2 continues as we walk out and look at the long, snakelike raised bed Conucos that also function as swales, catching and absorbing water. These Conucos grow fruit, flowers, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, blueberries, elderberries, medicinal herbs, garlic, grain, corn, melons, tobacco, sage, sweet potato, peppers, artichoke, cotton, and hundreds of tree and shrub saplings.
Part 3 moves into the forest, where we discuss the care taking of forest. We then move into the north facing field which will be undergoing a process of transformation as we plant trees and shrubs to create forest pasture for our sheep and goats, allowing us to raise them in healthy, harmonious ways. Here we see our milking goat "Venus" who has allowed us to stop buying milk!
In part 4 we move into our son's "magical forest and magical garden", which is a food forest, as well as an extensive garden designed to be a place of appreciation and exploration for the children (and adults), with lots of berries (raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, currants, strawberries, elderberries), hardy kiwi, paw paw, hop vine, native flowers, roses, grasses, lilies, and many medicinal plants such as lemon balm, echinacea, skull cap, feverfew, lavender, osha, rue, and yarrow as well as self seeding parsnips, cilantro, mint, fennel, hibiscus, catmint. We look at our quail who are taking care of the guinea chicks. Finally we look at the Rain Garden, which has really expressed itself this year with its abundance of plants and some of the plants surrounding the house.
The diversity of the Conucos continues to increase as we continue to meet new plants and develop relationships with them. They become great friends and helpers in our lives, spiritually, physically. The children can explore and play, eat berries, taste herbs, and nourish their innate love for Mother Earth. We have a excellent source for the many plants we use spiritually, and we continue to be immersed in the greatest University of all time- Mother Earth herself!