Lecture by Alan Chadwick in New Market, Virginia, 1979
Lecture 5: Cultivation, Part 2
An Introduction to Alan Chadwick's Lectures and a Glossary of Terms
The full text of this lecture segment
Contents of this Segment:
Landslides (cont.) provide perfect drainage of soil and air. Stagnation of air is always a problem, but movement is healthy. Landslides also provide better exposure to light. Plowing as the creation of an artificial landslide. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon is another example of artificial landslide. The origin of the French Intensive System. Transplanting from pots. Communication between roots below and growing tips above. (13:12)
New Market, Virginia, 1979
Lecture 5, Cultivation, Part 2
...the more seeding, the more fruiting. This tells you several things, but it also informs you that you’ve not only got a different soil, you’ve got a different atmosphere, and you’ve got a different growing plant altogether. Now, when the Greeks looked at this matter, they observed the growth of those plants in the valleys, and then, because they had wanted to grow in the same way as copying the oases, thank you. They noticed that wherever there was landslide, the plants grew better than they did in whatever superb oasis and valley they were situated, elsewhere. No matter where that landslide was, unless it was, of course, beyond a certain phenomenon of altitude, making that growth impossible. But that wherever these landslides take place, you had the best growth of plants. Not necessarily the tallest, but the best growth, the healthiest and the most productive.
And they looked into it, being very great philosophical observers, as to why, and they found that the answer was three-fold: Perfect drainage, both in the soil and in atmosphere, for understand, that wherever you have any form of escalation, you may not have perfect soil drainage, you might have blockage there by rock, or by clay, or by compaction. But, you have perfect atmosphere drainage, you have movement all the time, not standing. In a valley, and in those flat oasis areas, understand that you have atmospheric static, very, very adroitly so, and you must observe this very carefully for it’s a frightfully important matter in all growing. The moment you have static when there’s intense cold, you’ve got bitter destruction. The moment you have static when there’s intense heat, you’ve got bitter cooking of heat. The moment that you’ve got an escalation of slope, you have got movement in that air and you have broken that static. Now, that was one matter.
The other one was exposure, as much as possible of the root performance also to revolutionibus. In a landslide, you get a kind of “woomf”, you see, and you get sides to it, and thereby you get revolutionibus playing against the sides, as well as the flat top. You understand that when you take a flat surface like that, and unless you have an attack from your energy from straight above, you are going to have angle attack, and that means that anything apart from that—well it’s like firing a bullet at a bullseye, at a target bullseye. If you fire straight, dead straight, you will enter, but if you fire at any sort of angle, you will bounce off. Now, you understand that when you want to sunbathe on the shore, you don’t lie flat on the beach, you prop yourself up to whatever angle the sun is. Otherwise your ribs, and, like Bette Davis in the films, pockets under her eyes. Therefore you must observe what I am referring to here. It’s a huge vital matter. It’s almost not regarded, and yet it used...
Also, that there is, thirdly, movement in the soil. In other words, fresh cultivation, deep, that therefore you have got movement and pulsation going into your deep soils through the revolutionibus, through the landslide. Therefore, when we perceive this, in the early days of implements, hand implements, they perceived this landslide, and so they got a whale bone, or they got a piece of very strong wood, and carved it, and they pushed it along, and then having pushed it along and tired themselves, they got two of them, and they put a thong to the front, and a handle at the back and one of them pushed it down and the other one pulled with the thong. And then when they got tired of that, they got some oxen tied to it. And this started the whole presentment, known as, today, plowing. You throw-up a landslide, known as plowing with furrow. Is it not little hills and valleys? Do you not throw up four and then leave two valleys, and throw up four and leave two valleys? You see it’s like our conversation, it’s like our walk today, our poise, our breathing, our language. We’ve become non-origin. We must, we must return to origin in everything. We must be utterly simple at the end of the nose, not only the horizon. Let’s go over the horizon when we’ve got the end of the nose. Therefore, this was the whole presentiment concerning plowing.
Now, long before that, of course, they were cultivating and making huge success out of usual growing. And here you’ve got the Hanging Gardens of Babylon as one of the presentiments. What did they find? That they have the beautiful alluvial soil of the Euphrates, deposited all the time by the great floods, and by the rubbish that would come down, of fish and crocodiles remains and all the rest of the business. And, although that was excellent for growing in, they did not find the performance as a landslide, and so they built this great hanging gardens. They built it on pillars, with collonaded walkways underneath for the shade of the day, for the charm and pleasantness and the coolth of it. And on top, also shaded, of course, because of the position, they used a bitumastic across the pillars, having built an entire surface. And on that bitumastic, through that bitumastic, of course, they made drainage, and then on to that bitumastic they placed these beautiful alluvial soils in different gradations. And in this way they planted these plants and trees and grew, most inimitably beautifully. And this is a whole performance of what the great French Intensive method has come out of today. It is a following of that.
Let’s just look for one second at pot plants. Now we sow the seeds in boxes in order that the roots shall reach the bottom, and say “Oh, I can’t go any further,” and stop. We want that to take place. And then we transplant into a bigger box, and the same thing happens again. We’re dealing with the same thing as you get in Alpine restriction. That you’re restricting the plant, in order that you can keep surviving it, and restoring its excitement in growing, which is an acceleration to it. If you raise a little seedling in a fifteen foot deep perfect soil, it won’t grow. It’s absolutely lost, or at least it won’t grow well. Now when you grow a plant in a pot, and you grow a plant in a bed, survey the two. We’ll have exactly the same plant from exactly the same seed, at exactly the same date. And we will put the seedling of the one into a two inch pot, and we will put the seedling of the other into a prepared bed, where it will stay. The seedling in the bed will have no restrictions at all and the roots will grow, and it will go on making foliage, and is not going to think about the family, the blossoming and the seed. The one in the pot grows voluptuously because you give it rather special things in the pot, and it’s got a bit of conservatiore.
And so it gets underway a bit quicker than the one outside, but all of a sudden you notice a sudden stoppage. There’s been a telephone communication up above, to up above to down below, saying that the roots have struck the end, they can’t go any further, there’s an absolute urgency on, it’s an S.O.S., and the end is there. Nothing to be done, it’s the blooming end. And the plant up above says “It's alright dear, don’t worry, we’ll get straight on with the family.” So it stops the whole of the stalk business, the whole of the foliage business, and gets on entirely with blossoming. And all of those buds begin in the middle, and everything goes to that. And, almost before it can start that, you have repotted it into a four inch pot. And the next evening, with the moon, information, there’s a telephone communication “Hello, up there?” Putting on the secretary: “Oh, I’m, I’m awfully sorry, I cannot understand it at all, I have never known anything like this before, there’s been a stupid mistake somewhere in the office. But we’ve got.... perfectly alright, we’re completely underway, everything is going beautifully, and that notification was nonsense, don’t take any notice of it, negative, negative, negative.” And so, in no time, those roots, and you understand they send scouts first, they are searchers, just like the bees that go out to find the new hive. And the other roots, the ones that come along—they’re quite different to those that go out and search. The searching ones are informatives; they have the telephones connected with them.
So, for a few more weeks, with the inclination of the moon and the declination, the whole thing gets underway again. But, you understand that there’s a blossoming procedure going on. There’s nothing to stop that now. It began. You haven’t got that in the outdoor one. You’ve got it in the pot one. And therefore, there’s no more foliage growing, what foliage there is, is beginning to expand again. And when that’s got underway, suddenly this telephone rings again; the S.O.S. is on. It says “Look, it’s very extraordinary, but whole thing’s happened again. We’re absolutely stopped,” it says, “a dead end. It’s an S.O.S., urgent, we’ve got to do something about it. It’s absolutely fatal, we can’t do a thing, we can’t move. We’ve tried down, north, south, east and west. We can’t move in any direction, and in coming up, we merely come out of the soil, onto the top of the soil, and it’s absolutely useless!”
“Oh, it’s alright, don’t make all that fuss. Everything’s perfectly alright up here. We’ve got a beautiful, beautiful blossoming coming on. Everything’s going to be wonderful...”