Celebrating Plant Appreciation Day with Michele Bumbier
We are all familiar with the age old question: if a tree falls in a forest does it make a sound? According to Michele Bumbier, the Fleet Farming Program Coordinator of the Orlando branch, the tree may just do more than that.
Bumbier says that all plants, though many may not be aware of, have communicative properties. As International Plant Appreciation Day approaches on April 13th, Bumbier says this is even more reason why people should celebrate these stunning organisms.
Growing up, Bumbier always questioned how she could contribute to society. She says the horticulture program at Valencia College was the major catalyst that led her on the path to “working for the Earth” and “being a voice for the plants.”
Not only does she work with Fleet Farming, the urban farming program of IDEAS For Us, she is also a student and teacher at the Florida School of Holistic Living. There she teaches herbalism and the many different ways plants can be used for medicinal purposes.
But Bumbier says plants are important in ways that extend far beyond their power to heal physically.
“I think it’s really important that we heal ourselves visually. I really like to sit with [the plants] and be in the presence of the spirit of the plant. Gardening for me is mostly a spiritual experience that allows me to reconnect with myself, my ancestors, and with the land.”
Bumbier says she is able to connect with plants through meditation. She says it is important to soften the mind so that the plant’s messages can come through.
Bumbier says she frequently meditates in her own garden which is home to many organisms including elderberry trees and Plantago major.
In addition to connecting spiritually with the plants, Bumbier hopes to celebrate International Plant Appreciation Day by creating a day of action with Orlando Permaculture, a group she is involved with, which teaches permaculture installation throughout the city of Orlando.