Today’s post is brought to you by my garden.
I’ve kind of struggled a bit lately about ideas for blog posts. I keep putting it off day by day, which turns into a week – and more; and then I finally get to the point where I’m like, okay, I really need to post something. And then I don’t have any good ideas.
I mean, really, who has time for buying, cooking, and photographing picture perfect dishes? I have a confession, I don’t. BUT, BUUUUUT – I’m really trying to. The fact is, most days, after work or the end of the day, I’m concerned, primarily with putting food on a plate. Sometimes I make some pretty awesome things, like sweet potato and black bean tacos, or wonton soup, which Amber proclaimed one of the best things I’ve ever made. And while they were both really good, I didn’t once stop and think about clicking a few photos. And I guess that’s my bad.
So another confession, I don’t have a recipe for you. I’m kind of skirting around that issue in order to try and bring you something fresh and amazing for next time 🙂 So instead, here is some prose about gardening, and some pretty great Instagramed pictures of the garden that I sowed the seeds for along with my roommate, Alex. We established a few of our favorite things for a spring and early summer harvest, upon which we will rip the soil and plant an abundance of summer veg!
The first day that we started on the garden was kind of a perfect day. The morning had a certain welcoming quality to it – without a cloud in the sky, the sun was warm despite the briskness of the air, and there was the faintest of breezes to tame the sweat on my brow as I turned the soil with a shovel and then smoothed the top layer with a rake. There were, on that day, so many things that I wanted to accomplish. But those thoughts were all pushed to the back burner. The day was meant for gardening.
Our month-long surge of rain had finally eased, making way for clear, spring skies. And I was antsy to get my hands dirty. All other activities had to wait; that morning, the dirt and I would become one, and that’s all I really cared about.
A quick trip to the nursery earlier that morning showed that everyone else had the same idea; the parking lot was teeming with eager gardeners loading up their trucks and trunks with bags of soil and flats of youthful plants. Dragging behind us a cart to load up, we rubbed our fingers on the leaves of thyme and sage, breathing in their sweet aromas. Our cart began to fill with pony packs of kale, mustard greens, and cippolini onions, thyme, oregano, and sage. A handful of seed packs in our pockets, we hoisted a few bags of soil onto our shoulders, and paid the kind gentleman behind the counter and made our way to the car before we bought everything they had to offer.
In the garden, the feeling the rake in my hands was beneficial. I knew that tomorrow there would probably be blisters on my palms and my back would ache, but my efforts would be rewarded with patience, and the catharsis of working the soil was equal to a good work out with a punching bag. The feel of the sun on my back and soil underneath my fingertips were all I needed.
One thing I love about gardening is the labor. I very rarely get opportunities to shut my brain off, but gardening provides the perfect outlet for empty thoughts. I literally have little to know feelings stirring as I till and rake and pull at the ground. Being able to completely turn off the brain and worry only about the evenness of the soil and pulling large rocks and weeds is so gratifying.
Every project is never as easy it seems, and we found this out early on. After raking away wood chips that the previous owners had put in one of the triangular planter beds they had made, we discovered plastic ground cover underneath… “who would do this!” we cried. That bed would prove more work than we were willing to take on that day, so we focused instead on the other, making sure it was primed with a layer of good soil on top, and then sowed our seeds and planted our plants, and patiently waited.
Time has passed and seeds have sprouted, and greens have grown, and we are likely just a few weeks away from harvesting some of our labor. We also found out that seeds do in fact have an expiration date. We thought that perhaps the date on the seed bags was like milk, a suggested date of use. But in fact, these seeds did not take. Although, the size-ten foot of our other roommate Jon may have something to do with that, as he planted his foot (no pun intended), unknowingly into the soil in a few places which may have buried some of the seeds deep into the ground.
But every day I go out and look at the plants and talk to them a little bit while watering, because I like to believe that that really does help. And soon, very soon, I will harvest some of the bounty, and make something delicious to share with you. Until then, I suggest planting a garden of your own and watching it grow, it really is one of the simple joys of life.