Living life wrapped in the craziness of… to put it simply… life can easily leave one overwhelmed. So often we cannot stop and smell the roses, because we are already planning out tomorrow. That is one thing I adore about my garden and animals. I have to go out and tend to the animals a few times a day. I have to go and collect the produce every few days. I have to stop being busy and step out into the sunshine and fresh air.
After five years of trying to get a good soil, grow a plant that didn’t look like Charlie Browns Christmas tree, and actually collect food for more than half a salad… last year I finally collected enough to eat regularly, share and store a few squash for winter. It was exciting!
I spent the next number of months watching the sun. How did it go across the yard? Which areas got morning sun versus afternoon sun? What spot got sun almost the whole day? What area got no sun at all?
As the leaves began to fall and the grip of frozen death crawled in, I started planning this years garden. What seeds did I have stored up from the previous year? Would I need to get any other seeds or plants? What planting rotation would I have? Then came the big question…. How much space will my parents give me?
|The main garden.|
I talked to them, shared my plan. And they liked it. **In my best Mufasa voice** “Whatever the light touches, Abigail, shall be your garden.” Oh yeah, score!
With my parents blessing I started planning. I can elongate the garden on this side, stretch it like a pie slice on that side, there is an 8x15 patch over there, the edge of the deck, around the one side of the pool. AH, but when it rains the water drains over there like a river, better make that an 8x10 patch. I can put these seeds here, those seeds there. The herbs can go up there. It was a beautiful thing. I mapped the space out twice until I was satisfied.
I waited patiently for the frost to end and spring to arrive. When I say patiently, I mean patiently! The first day of spring was meet with almost 6 inches of snow. May first came and went with frost still arriving in the morning. Then finally… at last!... it appeared to be safe to start as the frost melted away over night into soaring temps and a cooking sun.
|Around the deck.|
Soil was delivered and the garden was laid out. The plants that were started were tucked into the soil. Four hours of crawling through the garden gave way to hundreds of seeds sinking into the warmth of their home. Hard work left me refreshed and hopeful. This garden would be a beautiful thing.
Little by little the seeds gave way to life poking up from deep within. Leaves started to emerge. Flowers glistened across the stretch of land. Arms reached out to claim their space. The garden has started to become fruitful.All together I have about 1/10 of an acre covered in plants. I am still working on using the whole space to it’s full potential, but I’m still a work in progress as this is only the sixth year of trying for a green thumb. This little space consists of 2 kinds ofradishes, red beets, carrots, cucumbers, candy onions, 7 kinds of peppers, watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, eggplant, ground cherries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, strawberries, 6 kinds of lettuce, 5 kinds of tomatoes, 4 kinds of beans, popping corn, sweet corn, red skin potatoes, sweet potatoes, 6 squash, zucchini, and a mix of edible flowers and herbs.
|The squash jungle has since met in the middle!|
I look at my squash jungle and it makes me smile. Snipping lettuce, pulling tomatoes and sending the abundance home with others makes me feel refreshed. Digging my gloveless hands into the dirt and pulling up the radishes renews me.
It’s the little things in life that we should stop and enjoy the blessing of. It’s laughing at the thought of the oilman needing to delivering oil and protecting the jungle from his hose… which I thought I had thought through prior to planting, but the great green jungle took over. It’s a choice to plant that much. It’s a choice to keep up with it. It’s a choice to enjoy it. It’s a choice to find the blessing in this little thing called a garden.