Woody Wodraska’s 40-year gardening career has taken him to 17 gardens and another dozen agricultural endeavors in almost as many states and provinces. Always the questions arose—how to grow food, how to live in beauty and abundance with grace and in harmony and in co-creation with Devas and Nature Spirits. From backyard family gardens to a CSA enterprise feeding 100 families, Woody started from scratch or built on other gardeners’ vision.
FROM THE AUTHOR’S LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT This is how I want you to dispose of my meat body. I’m assuming I have died on the farm without benefit of outside experts, and that we can keep it that way. No doctors, undertakers, EMTs or others who will try to make an emergency out of the whole thing. Do what you have to do to get my death officially noted, but don’t let them take my “remains” away. No no no. For the most part my body has been built up of the produce of Aurora Farm, and now it’s time to give back. Compost me. Please have someone turn the most recent cow stall compost pile over onto the space next to it. This will leave a nice, damp, wormy place at grade level where you are to dig my grave. Not too deep. This grave is to be built UP, not dug down. Now bring what’s left of me down there to the compost yard. Should be easy, for I never have weighed much and a lot less now. No box. No concrete “vault” for goodness sake. Just a shroud of some sort, or maybe my barn coveralls, which are probably on their way to being compost anyway. Lay me down, there among my friends the worms and say a few words, play a little music, then cover me lightly with soil and all hands grab a pitchfork and rebuild the compost pile over me. Add the Biodynamic preparations. A year or so later go ahead and use the compost on the gardens. Whatever good energies I’ve managed to bestow on it will spread and diffuse into the landscape. Don’t scrape past the grade level now. My bones will still be there and we don’t want to startle anyone. Build another pile on top of me. And so on. Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, meat to worm to compost to garden. And so on. Thank you.
Woody Wodraska has been a writer of non-fiction since college days. He lives in British Columbia with his wife Barbara Mary Victoria Scott. Woody and Barbara have founded Aurora Farm Family Foundation with the mission of teaching gardening, seed saving, beekeeping and other food-growing arts. Current project is gardening classes at a local college in Kaslo, British Columbia in conjunction with The People's Garden across the street from the college.