If you’re on this post you’ve probably seen the #TheCultOfV hashtag and wondered what it was all about. Or you’re just looking for a cult to join and stumbled across this one I guess. In which case welcome, and I’m glad you found The Cult of V instead of one of those cults that’s all about doing unspeakable things to vulnerable people and generally being an arse, I guess.
Looking for my gardening blog? Find it here.
So what is the cult of V?
The cult of V started as a joke tweet:
But once I started kidding on about the rules of my cult I realised that actually a group that shared these values and ideas could probably spread a lot of love and grow a lot of happiness in the world. What if we got a load of people who all believed in growing a better world together in one (virtual) room? Anything could happen. From small acorns mighty oaks grow. So here we are.
Core principals of the cult of V
When I was first tweeting about this I gave this as my overview of what the cult of V was all about:
And now I’ve pondered on it some more I’m going to expand a little.
In the original tweet I said “it’s about food gardens and looking out for each other.” At first glance they may not seem to have an awful lot to do with each other. But this is a cult, and cults are borderline religious, and when things get metaphysical they’re allowed to get a bit metaphorical.
At their best, food gardens are a delicately balanced ecosystem. There are producers and pollinators and plants grown purely as green manure. When they’re working well together food gardens don’t just feed the gardener, but also support a whole range of life, from microorganisms in the soil, through bugs and minibeasts and out to birds and small mammals. When we clear away what’s not working for us and start of small seeds, it has a positive effect on everything around us. Whether you’re planting tomato seeds to feed your family and your neighbours or planting the seeds of self esteem in a shy child, the little acts of kindness we sow can grow in all sorts of ways we hadn’t forseen.
Gardens are constantly changing, evolving, going into periods of quiet hibernation and then bursting into life again. People are much the same. The Cult of V recognises that we all go through periods of growth and development and change, and sometimes that looks a little messy, but everything has its time and its season and we need to go through those fallow periods to really bloom.
Nature teaches us that nothing is static. Change is constant, even if it looks slow from the outside. Life finds a way, and so will you.
Seed swapping as a sacred duty.
Got too many courgette seeds? Give them to someone who doesn’t have any. Got knowledge that someone else needs? Share it. Got food when a fellow cultists has none? Mail them some pasta. Give what you can freely, just like our metaphorical food garden.
Equally if you’re in need, reach out to ask for help. Giving is great but there’s no shame in taking too. We all need support now and then, whether we are human beans or runner beans.
Planting fruit trees in public spaces gets you into heaven
Nah I’m not talking about the afterlife kind. I’m talking about the tangible kind of heaven we can experience right here and now. Imagine if everyone planted a fruit tree or tomato plant at the front of their houses or on a local roundabout or along the verges. Wandering down a tree lined street picking food as and when I need it sounds pretty idyllic and heavenly to me. This is our world, and we can make it whatever we want.
Not able to plant trees? We can get metaphorical again. Give what you can freely. Put art out into the world. Tell a musician that you love that their song makes you want to dance. Smile at people. Compliment a stranger. Pick up rubbish when you’re out. If we all do little things to benefit other people, we can make the kind of world where that’s normal. I’d like to live there, wouldn’t you?
Composting as a metaphor for how no one is useless
This one is pretty self explanatory. In the food garden, nothing is wasted. Loo roll tubes aren’t rubbish, they’re essential seed starters. Dead plants haven’t outlived their usefulness, they’re perfect for the compost heap. Those weeds are medicinal, nutritious and make great fertiliser. That broken bedstead cluttering the shed doesn’t have to go to the tip, you can make it into a raised bed. We can turn things that seem crap on the surface into beautiful things, so long as we have patience and show them some love.
The same is true for people. We all have our part to play to keep the world in balance. Your worth is inherent, only you can bring your particular perspective to the table. There is no low so deep that you can’t grow your way out of it, and all the most beautiful flowers start off in the shit. Wherever you’re starting from, however insurmountable your obstacles seem, no matter how tough it gets – you belong here, there’s a place for you here, this is your world too.
If you can’t garden because you have no space, or physically can’t do it, or you have a black thumb and everything you touch dies, there is still a place for you in the cult of V. All we need you to do is sow kindness, cultivate compassion, support each other, and strive for growth.
And maybe sending your cult leader some cash
This tweet was also a joke:
But if you have a particularly bountiful cash harvest and you want to share your crop with your dear cult leader (who will likely spend it on plants tbh, and be very grateful for it), you can throw some change in my tip jar here.
The Cult of V is free and always will be. Kindness costs nothing.
I’ve not had many FAQS yet, so I may add to this as I go along.
Elyse wants to know “Will there be chocolate?”
What kind of monstrous cult leader would ban chocolate? If chocolate makes you happy, you go right ahead and indulge yourself in it. Self care, in whatever form that takes for you, is absolutely vital to the Cult of V way. A happy gardener makes a beautiful garden. You can’t change the world if you’re burned out, stressed out, or unhappy.
All I ask is that if you have a huge hoard of chocolate and another cultist has a need for chocolate but no chocolate at all, that you offer to share. That’s just good manners right? It’s part of the cult of V way, and comes under seed swapping as a sacred duty.
Speaking of seed swapping….
Simon says “Good morning your holiness. Can you be more specific in regards to seed swapping please? Just checking whether I joined a gardening cult or a sex cult.”
See my metaphysical metaphorical definition above. I’m a permissive kind of cult leader and what you do with other consenting beings is entirely your own business. For clarity though, I’m really only into receiving vegetable and flower seeds in the mail.
Carter asked about the dress code
Again I’m a very permissive cult leader so you wear whatever makes you comfortable. Love to live in PJs? Indulge your comfy self. Prefer to glam up? Look fabulous and feel fantastic.
That being said, the humble dressing gown is The One True Garment. There is no better item of clothing. It can double as a blanket, a pillow, a duster, or an oven glove. You can throw it over naked skin, PJs or full clothes. It’ll never ever judge you for gaining or losing weight. Dressing gowns just wrap you in great big snuggly hugs and don’t worry about the tyranny of waistbands. They even have pockets big enough for seed packets and secateurs. What more could you want of a single item of clothing?
Miranda wants to know if you can reside in a different country and still join
Of course you can! The Cult of V transcends borders. Borders are made up imaginary lines anyway and not really real. There’s only one planet we live on.
If you have any more questions let me know and I’ll add to the list.
How do I join?
Obviously after reading all that you want to join the cult of V. Who wouldn’t? Of course you can just live by the principals, stubbornly wear your dressing gown everywhere and start growing a better world right now.
But as I said, being a cult of V member is and always will be free, so you may as well join up officially and get:
- A unique membership number and print at home membership card
- A 3 monthly-ish newsletter from the cult leader, with gardening info, updates about strange stories, and general chatter.
- If you share a postal address you’ll get a card from the cult leader around yuletide.
- (Eventually) you’ll get the option to purchase Cult of V merch.
- And, best til last, you’ll get access to our cultists only forum where you can chat to other members of the cult of V and ask for gardening tips and advice, ask for or offer mutual aid, share your ideas to make the world a better place, share dressing gown selfies, and connect with other amazing cultists.