The Stehekin Garden

I know a wise old gardener. He tends two acres in a mountain town that you can only get to on foot or by boat. His neighbor tells me that he has tended this garden for 46 years. His name is Karl and, though I have not known him long, he has taught me many things about life. I always stay longer in The Garden than I think I will, and I always leave knowing a little more clearly how I want to lead my life.

Karl says that life is about vibration and that it should be one’s goal to attain the highest vibration possible. As humans we absorb vibration through the foods we eat. Foods range from high vibration, like his simple, organically grown lettuce and bok choi, to low vibration, like refined sugar and alcohol.

To raise your vibration you need not eat a lot of high vibration food, just a variety. That is a why a salad always tastes better than it’s individual parts. Color is a good indicator of variety; if your foods are different colors then you are eating a variety of vibrations, though a food’s vibration is not set by its color. A foods vibration is influenced by how it is grown or, in the case of Karl’s goats, how our is collected; Karl sings to his goats while he milks them. He maintains a peaceful atmosphere for the goats and the garden at all times.

To maintain a high vibration in your body you must avoid low vibration foods and negative thoughts. You can only change yourself, not your circumstances. “Change yourself, and you will change the world,” Karl says. Stimulating foods like meat and sugar are addictive and should also be stricken from the diet. He then goes on to explain his eating habits. Your body has two cycles. Your assimilative cycle is from noon to midnight, and your eliminative cycle is from midnight to noon. Therefore, you should eat lightly for breakfast since you are still in your eliminative cycle. Fruit is good but eggs are too heavy. (Eggs, incidentally, are also better to eat before bed as the cholesterol helps with cell regeneration.) Your biggest meal should be around noon at the beginning of your assimilative cycle, and your last meal should never be less than two hours before you go to bed. Three is better, he adds, and do some simple exercise in between. (Health coaches also discourage eating too late or too much in the evening because elevated blood sugar levels interfere with the natural uptake and release of hormones that keep your muscles and immune system strong. Remember that the body’s temperature normally decreases and circulation slows when you go to sleep and since exercise increases these you should be careful not to exercise too vigorously.)

Vibration is about positivity. Having a high vibration let’s you see your circumstances, and therefore the world, in a positive way. To this end Karl works hard – 16 hours per day at times – tending his goats, his bees and his garden. He eats one meal, dinner, and snacks when he’s not too busy during the rest of the day. He makes syrup in February and grows seasonal vegetables all summer long. He doesn’t smoke or drink or eat stimulating foods. He makes goat cheese and yogurt, and sells it alongside his raw honey and special recipe crackers that are baked across the street at the Courtney’s bakery. When I was there you could also get cherries and a delicious little fruit called an aprum – a cross between an apricot and a plum, that, unlike a pluot, is much more akin to an apricot with it’s sweet juicy yellow flesh.

To visit The Garden and meet Karl for yourself, first make your way to Stehekin. The Lady of the Lake ferry runs twice daily from the more accessible town of Chelan, a few hours drive from Seattle. Alternatively, it is a wonderful 20 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, or several other routes of varying length, to High Bridge ranger station where a shuttle to Stehekin picks up four times daily. Stehekin is, for through hikers, mile 2580 of the PCT.