Doctor as Gardner

Traditional Chinese Medicine, Regenerative Agriculture, and Permaculture Design

Located between Charlottesville and Lynchburg and nestled into our precious nook of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Timshel Permaculture is a Central Virginia regenerative permaculture farm with a focus on fostering ecologically harmonic, diverse, purposeful, natural, and life-abundant systems. Our philosophy centers on Traditional Chinese Medicine’s view of the doctor as gardener.

The ancients understood that Nature was a constant – always moving, cyclic in its patterns, and forever seeking perfect balance. Under this traditional and harmonic canopy, we believe that humanity stands in balance between heaven and earth, for we are sustained by the bounties of the Earth and transformed by the power of Heaven. Thus positioned, the gardener and the doctor become one in purpose and practice: they cultivate life. Just as a garden is an ecologically harmonic, purpose-filled, natural, life-abundant, and season-based system that photosynthetically transforms sunlight (Yang) and water (Yin) into the living tissue of vegetation for human sustenance and nature’s fertilization, the human body is an interconnected symphony of Yang and Yin all acting in accordance with the musical vibrations and scores of both heaven and earth.

Simply put, Doctor as Gardener is the choice towards wholeness with the earth, by first contextualizing humanities purpose under God’s dominion covenant and then by defining our biological kinship and responsibility within such a marvelous creation.

Our focus is concentrated on holistic and health-rich regenerative practices of longevity, sustainability, and creativity, not “protoplasmic” manipulation, unnatural fertilization, and elemental chance. Like the Natives before us, we believe in a very natural philosophy – that we are members of the natural world and must act in accordance with its patience and principles. Therefore, we solely operate to maximize potential by not forcing yield; health by not charging stress or unnatural motivation to our land.

Our design ethics focus on ecological improvement within the order of nature’s observed patterns and patience and are more akin to a ballet in the pasture and an orchestra in the garden.

For example, every system we design and bounty that we nurture is an intensive soil producing, organic matter accumulating, and carbon sequestering program that also yields dense nutrients and staple/calorie crops while absorbing as much storm and moving water as possible and filtering and spreading that into the ground for immediate and long-term usage.

Simply, we are not natural farmers but nature's gardeners.

We believe in multispecies, mob-stalked, leader-follower, and holistic systems based on nature’s observed patterns and founded on soil health, microbial diversity and sustainable systems. We absolutely and entirely do not provide or use any hormones, fertilizers, antibiotics, vaccinations, medications, synthetic vitamins, appetite stimulants, injections, irradiations, GMOs, or chlorine baths to our land or flock. Period.

Nature is at home here, as we are at home in it.

In his Essay on Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote of nature as a living thing to be experienced rather than seen. He wrote, “The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence. Nature never wears a mean appearance. Neither does the wisest man extort her secret, and lose his curiosity by finding out all her perfection. Nature never became a toy to a wise spirit. The flowers, the animals, the mountains, reflected the wisdom of his best hour, as much as they had delighted the simplicity of his childhood.” Continuing, he wrote that “the sun illuminates only the eye of the man, but shines into the eye and the heart of the child. The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows.”

It is our mission to experience the wisdom of Nature’s “best hours”; to preserve the “spirit of infancy”; to partake in her “daily” bounty of food; and know the “wild delight” of her secrets. Simply, we strive to experience Evening and Morning and see all that He hath made, deeming it oh so very good.