Thursday, December 18, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;41.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/bkn.png;2014-12-18 12:17:44
Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wilton farmer discusses growing techniques with Nashua community gardeners

As the sun sets, cooling the hot summer day, all eyes and ears are fixed on Lincoln Geiger. Even the plants in the garden seem to lean in, listening to him talk about love, nature and his extensive history as a farmer.

Geiger, a biodynamic farmer from the Temple-Wilton Community Farm in Wilton, visited the Heritage Ridge Trail Community Garden on July 22 to talk about gardening techniques with the community garden members. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

As the sun sets, cooling the hot summer day, all eyes and ears are fixed on Lincoln Geiger. Even the plants in the garden seem to lean in, listening to him talk about love, nature and his extensive history as a farmer.

Geiger, a biodynamic farmer from the Temple-Wilton Community Farm in Wilton, visited the Heritage Ridge Trail Community Garden on July 22 to talk about gardening techniques with the community garden members.

The Heritage Ridge Trail Community Garden is one of the Gate City Community Gardens. The Heritage Ridge Trail Community Garden is in its second year and has 12 garden beds for people to rent out in which to grow their own crops. Tabitha Hughes is a gardener who helped build the Heritage Ridge Trail Community Garden two years ago.

“It was not a pretty sight,” Hughes said of the small plot of land before the community garden was built. After two or three days of labor, however, the dingy section of the Heritage Ridge Trail was transformed into a little oasis for community members interested in organic farming. Since its conception, the plants have flourished and the garden also sponsors workshops for interested community members. The most recent workshop focused on the concept of biodynamic farming.

The theory of biodynamic farming uses the idea of environmental sustainability and Geiger is at the forefront of the movement in New Hampshire.

Geiger is still actively farming 28 years after he cofounded the Temple-Wilton Community Farm with Anthony Graham. Geiger has been using biodynamics techniques since 1986.

Biodynamic farming is not organic farming; rather biodynamics is a spiritual, ethical and ecological approach to agriculture that seeks to create a diverse and balanced ecosystem to promote the health and fertility of plants and animals from within the farm. Through the use of animal manures, minerals, herbs and more, biodynamics works to restore and harmonize the life forces on a farm.

As an example, Geiger explained to the group of about 10 community garden members sitting in lawn chairs around him,that he prefers to use fertilizer made from animal manure because the life force from the animal manure is carried bottom up through the plant, through its roots, and will promote the plant’s growth and happiness.

By using soil, plants and other natural materials like manure, herbs or minerals, farmers and gardeners create life.

“You can grow about anything you want from that life,” Geiger said.

Besides using animal manure, Geiger also talked about understanding the make-up of different plants and thinking about plants differently in order to create a truly successful garden.

“Different plants express themselves differently,” Geiger said. For example, some plants grow best in the spring while others thrive in the fall. Knowing how plants grow and when and where they grow best contributes to the health of the plant as well as the success of a farm or garden. Geiger used a tomato as an example for this concept.

“The more we understand the tomato … we can fulfill what it wants to be,” Geiger said.

“We think a creature is an animal,” Geiger said, adding that plants, “are very distinct; they have a life.”

This life force causes the plant to have a relationship with people, and Geiger urged the local community gardeners to look at their plants as beings that are reliant upon them.

“The plant has a relationship to people … they look to us people … as a being that takes care of them,” Geiger said.

Much like the relationship between a parent and their child, love and care are the values most plants desire from their caretakers. With love, care, respect and protection, Geiger said, gardeners can grow anything.

“That’s what the green thumb is,” Geiger said, while gently, lovingly brushing the leaves of a nearby plant. “It’s love.”

Lincoln Geiger will return to the Heritage Ridge Trail Community Garden at 6:30 p.m., on Tuesday to demonstrate the applications of biodynamic gardening. All are welcome to attend the outdoor workshop.

Emily Kwesell can be reached at 594-6466 or by email at ekwesell@nashuatelegraph.com.