Sacred Land: Intuitive Gardening for Personal, Political and Environmental Change, by Clea Danaan
Llewellyn Worldwide, 9780738711461, 266 pp. (incl. end notes appendix, sources and index), 2004

Last year was the first I attempted to grow anything in our vegetable garden. I knew I wanted to grow organic, but I went in more or less blind. It wasn’t a raging success, but we did get a few peppers and tomatoes. This is the book I wish I had read prior to starting my garden, unfortunately it wasn’t published then, but, lucky you, it’s out now.

Sacred Land is divided into four sections, Earth, Air, Fire and Water, each element lending its emphasis to a particular facet of gardening in a creative, but clear way. The various elemental principles inform specific gardening techniques, garden allies, and meditations. Each section is prefaced with a short section highlighting a particular goddess of the land, and concludes with a look at how a “sacred sister” is taking action utilizing the elemental principles expressed in the chapter, and further resources to aid in garden care and community building.

One flaw is that it is geared solely for women. Men can read it, but the language and imagery used is exclusive to women, no gods of harvest are mentioned, nor sun gods nurturing the land. Even so, men should read it for the tips – even if the meditations won’t always suit.

Sacred Land is a cornucopia of information on everything from soil, nutrients, composting, insects and critters and more. It’s a great starting point for anyone interested in exploring ethical, organic and environmentally aware gardening.