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Becoming Unified: A Spiritual Journey of Double-Digging
By Joe Huber, Victory Gardens for Peace Mini-Farm Apprentice

Joe Huber becomes unified with double-digging at the Green Belt Mini-Farm.
Joe Huber becomes unified with double-digging at the Green Belt Mini-Farm.

Double-digging to me has been a spiritual voyage through a kinetic experience with the help of a spade, a garden bed and a realization from Aikido.

My first exposure to double-digging was during the 3-Day Workshop in November 2015. During John Jeavons' double-digging class, he mentioned a phrase that has always stuck with me and I resonate well with—"Find a way to unify with life energy (which is the definition of Aikido) to help make double-digging less labor-intensive, and more skill-intensive."

While meditating on the definition of Aikido and with plenty of 'trial and error' to make double-digging more skill-intensive, I was lucky enough to stumble upon a comparison of movement of energy in double-digging to the movement of energy in walking.

To boil it down, the essence I saw in double-digging is to convert the energy inherent in me into the spade in the most efficient way to double-dig the garden bed. This is the same pattern I saw with walking: to convert the energy inherent in me—from my left foot to my right foot—in the most efficient way to gain distance. That's Aikido to me: Becoming unified with the surrounding energies—to output energy efficiently.

The "becoming unified with the surrounding energies" allows a labor-intensive task to become a skill-intensive task, and this transition was my spiritual journey. Once I became unified it was as if the bed dug itself.

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