Mercury in retrograde: trendy scapegoat or legitimate concern?
Last week, mercury came out of a month-long retrograde. While this seems an awfully dramatic and modish maxim coming from a biodynamic farm, allow us to explain.
The planets in our solar system travel along the same west-to-east path through the starry sky as they orbit the sun. When a planet is in retrograde, it appears to gradually stop and begin to move in an opposite direction, from earth’s perspective.
Each planet moves at a different rate around the sun, and some, like mercury, complete an orbit more quickly than others, like earth. Depending on earth’s position in relation to mercury, mercury may appear to change direction along its axis. This is an optical illusion produced by the fact that we, too, are in motion. In reality, earth is forever chasing a faster mercury around the sun.
Does this have a real impact on agriculture? In biodynamics we like to believe that all planetary motion has minute influences on earth. Although astrologers heed caution during mercury retrograde, citing interferences with communication and higher chance of personal or business failures, we farmers don’t have a practice for these periods.
Behind the scenes: Meet the dream team
Shelby Lynn Thibodeaux is our extraordinary garden team manager and is from Houston, Texas. In her free time, she likes to play tennis and cook with produce from the farm. She works at One Gun Ranch because she really enjoys the impact she’s able to make in the Malibu community by being able to provide people with high quality, fresh and local produce. She loves working with chefs and feeding off of their creative energy to help them create something amazing for people to experience. She loves tending to our plant nursery because the work of planting the seeds in the trays is very meditative.
Caleb is our delivery personality and farmer’s market dandy. He comes from a small town in Maine, and loves farming for the same reason he loved the woods growing up – spending time among the natural organisms that inhabit this earth is humbling, and their presence can bring health and joy to our often busy and chaotic lives. Outside of his love for planting and chopping veggies, he likes to chase down whatever thrills he can – longboarding down winding hills, catching some surf, or playing whatever instruments he has at his disposal.
Dani is a farmer, newsletter author and designated vegetable taster at One Gun Ranch. She’s from Big Bear Lake, CA and can never get enough of the outdoors; you’ll find her hiking, doing yoga or skiing and snowboarding during her time off. Dani grows food because she believes that it is underrated as the cultural glue that bonds all earthly beings together, but more simply put: there’s nothing better than growing what you eat! She loves getting her hands dirty, experimenting with different growing techniques and marveling at nature’s little miracles.
Ryley, our bright-eyed volunteer coordinator, is originally from Dallas TX, but has lived in the Southern California area for the majority of her adult years. She enjoys all outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and picnicking. She will take advantage of any chance she has to be outside. She chooses to dedicate her life to gardening and farming because the more she learns about the subtleties and interworks of mother earth, the more she learns and appreciates about herself and the people living around her.
Growing tip: Our top five easiest crops to grow
During this twilight phase that lies between the planting of summer and fall crops, you may find yourself at a loss. The days are getting shorter— too short for light-loving tomatoes and peppers— but temperatures are still too warm for our cabbages and broccoli! Please enjoy this list of the five crops we’ll grow no matter the time of year!
- Radish: These sun-loving, spicy little bulbs are quick to grow and virtually pest-free.
- Pea shoots: Plant them in the shade and harvest before they reach 3 inches tall.
- Beets: They love the summer heat, but if planting in the winter, make sure they get as much sun as possible.
- Onions and Carrots: Both grow year-round and very well together; the only downside to growing these root crops is the three to four months of waiting until they’re ready to harvest.
- Chard: It loves the sun, it loves the shade, and it loves being harvested. What more can we say?
Produce of the week: Shiso
Shiso is a leaf in the mint family that is often used in Japanese cooking. The plant has a perfume-like flavor and is popularly used as a paste, or roughly chopped in salads.
Shiso has other uses than culinary; while the green shiso variety is best for eating, the red variety is used to canning as a natural dye, as its flavor is more pungent