Lunar Seeds

Sara Gadd

Lunar Seeds: Organic Process in the Digital Environment

Introduction
The waxing and waning moon has a profound effect on the growth of our earth’s plants and seeds. In response to lunar cycles, the water table, which is deep down below ground, rises and falls altering the pressure that it exerts upwards upon the earth’s surface. During the first half of the lunar month the moon increases its gravitational pull upon the ground beneath our feet. As the moon wanes the gravitational pull diminishes and the pressure upon the earth is released. The drawing upwards of water is a phenomenon felt by all seeds and plants, animals and insects alike. The moisture rises and fallswith each lunar cycle.

Moon Gardening
As an organic and environmentally sustainable way to garden, lunar gardening is both morally sound as well as sensitive to the processes of the earth and the moon’s gravitational pull upon the earth’s water content. For the past forty years, head gardener at Tresillian House, John Harris, has evolved this method of managing plants and soil in accordance with the interaction between the moons phases and the ground water table. In doing so, he is rekindling ancient traditions once used by the Romans and Greeks in the cultivation of seeds and plants. The methods can be useful worldwide, both for industry and for the individual, aiding propagation, harvesting, storage and general horticultural management. These lunar methods are harnessed in New Zealand, Indonesia, Scandinavia and around the Mediterranean yet under used in the UK.

Seed Propagation and Process
The research project aims to follow the process of seed development under the methods of lunar gardening, mapping growth patterns of different genus, which evolve from more traditional and older forms of horticultural practice. Under laboratory conditions for propagation we would get very different kinds of results, but here we are looking at the process of growth through traditional methods of gardening and observation.

Generating Digital Environments to Display Organic Processes
The preliminary phase of research will be generated through collaboration with the lecturer and designer Duncan Hepburn at Napier University. This collaboration is aiming to then develop ways of integrating the processes of seed growth into digital outputs. The research aims to harness digital technologies in environmentally sound ways, using three dimensional modeling to generate knowledge about organic practices and processes. As philosophers of technology have pointed out, the digital and technological world needs to be harnessed in ways that support and further our knowledge of the earth and environment around us, rather than working against this in an alienating way. Here the project will draw upon Ph.D. research by Sara Gadd.