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Today we went on a Global Gardens field trip to Hortus Heart - the home and land project of Kai Lange and Lucy Voelcker.

Kai with goat and cockerel

Kai has been helping us at Global Gardens over the last year to develop the Global Gardens every Wednesday. This trip was a great chance for a group of regular volunteers to learn more about the other work Kai is involved in.

Hortus Heart is a project about creative processes of engaging with the land together. It brings together Kai's experience of biodynamic farming and Lucy Voeckler's artistic practices and nature-based healing processes. Together with another couple they help manage 23 acre site which supports land-based creativity and nature-based connection.

(Photos l-r: fibonacci orchard, mandala garden and wood store)

On this sunny day, Kai and Lucy led us on a tour around the site where they are developing a patch of land that has been otherwise uncultivated for 50 years. On part of the site, they have planted a fibonacci orchard of plums, cherries and apples and a mandala vegetable garden including a spiralling crop rotation of grains, green manures, and vegetables. There is also a large area of woodland where wood is harvested.

The veg patch radiates out from the centre of the mandala. Within the grain patch, Kai and Lucy are growing three grains: rye, wheat and unhulled oats. Within the veg patch, there is a rotation of four crops - potatoes, alliums, green manure (broad beans and alfalfa) and fruits (including squash). Within the green manure patch there is clover, alfalfa and phacelia. Kai and Lucy's plan is to cultivate enough grains and veg to see them through the year.

(Photos l-r: Vaida with rye; Rye; Unhulled oats)

Kai and Lucy are lucky to have a natural spring where they can collect water. We drank from it and it was very sweet and cooling. Kai also introduced us to the biodynamic stirring barrel.

(Photos l-r: Drinking from the spring; biodynamic stirring barrel)

Together, Lucy and Kai do a range of land based work. Along with the work on the site, they also do inner process work - Lucy facilitates vision quests and shamanic journeying work. Both are involved in plant connection and land care workshops.

(Photos l-r: Kai and Lucy's garden - greenhouse and sunhouse)

It was lovely to also meet Kai and Lucy's menagerie - 2 affectionate goats and 4 hens, as well as bees in a sunhive. What a beautiful place.

Vaida and Suneil with goats!

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