One morning while apprenticing in Tokyo, my teacher Kenji walked me through the scene of his latest creation. He led me along a path through the village and past the edge of rice fields to where the farmed valley met a tender forest. We rested in the cool shade of a Japanese maple, under winding branches that reached for the sun. As time began to slow, I felt unencumbered and transported. He stopped for a moment while I stepped back to break my reverie and survey the scene. Held in the palm of my hand, a miniature potted garden. Each step along our journey could be traced in those tiny spaces. The hill, a mound of moss; the path, a sandy bar; and the arching maple tree no bigger than my outstretched palm. Here at the bonsai master's workbench a clumsy beginner was able to understand the power of nature at any scale to open new worlds.
Curiously, when one brings trees under their care and makes them a part of everyday awareness, the roles of nurturer and nurtured seem to change, and somewhere along the way trees secretly instill lessons on mindfulness, patience, and acceptance. Realizing that in a busy urban world where daily encounters with nature can be increasingly distant, we sought a way to bring the quiet solace of a childhood home, rolling farmlands and quiet valleys, back into our lives. Dandy Farmer's goal is to put beautiful trees back into peoples' hands and homes and to help keep nature at our fingertips. We like to think all plants have a special ability to touch our core, and that when they do, we become healthier versions of ourselves.