Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Garden update

This is when it all starts to get good. Last night we ate these amazing things, with broccoli and spinach and kale from the garden. And Sunday we ate big plates of salad-- spinach, lettuce, beet thinnings-- with deviled eggs. Eggs and greens, greens and eggs. It must be June.

You may notice from the above picture that all the bishop's weed is gone from the circle garden. At least from this distance, it appears that way, but the rest of the summer will require near-daily vigilance to ensure any sprouts that emerge don't spread to conquering capacity. And there will surely be sprouts. Yesterday I was crawling around in the mud with a trowel forking pesky little volunteers out of the ground. 

After a very slow and bumpy start this spring, finally everything is thriving. Squash, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes, peppers. Potatoes. Everything. This weekend I led many many party guests through the garden, everyone exclaiming and showering compliments. The compliments were nice, don't get me wrong, but felt beside the point. Also, I felt myself being pedestal-ized when I'm still honestly a novice. It's hard to really wrap my head around, but all of this work? The fancy brick paths and raised beds and picturesque-ness of the whole thing? I did it for me. I did it to satisfy a nearly lifelong longing for that feeling. That look around and smile and sigh and think, we are fed, and this is pretty. 

The food and the flower beds, on the other hand... I was all too happy to receive compliments for those things. Oddly. The vegetable garden is simultaneously the least private and most private place here-- closest the street but most fiercely mine. Maybe, just a place to scratch my only-child itch. 

This is not to say I rue those compliments. Compliments are kind, and welcome-- but they also come from distance. Compliments are shouted across a fence, the divide between understanding and good manners. When you don't know what else to say, you offer a compliment. Someday, someday soon, I want to lead garden tours where people are asking about mulching, talking about their own soil, their own crops. Speaking the language of growing things, so we can celebrate it together, from even footing on the same side of the fence.

Ok, musing over.

This picture is for Steph.

Now that everything-- save for late plantings of cucumbers and bush beans-- is in the ground and mulched (mostly) I can turn away for a hot minute and do other things. I am trying to get back to working on our house exterior, but now it insists on raining five days a week. It took a few good downpours to sate the bitterness over last summer's drought, I'll be honest, but now I am ready for things to dry out for five days so progress can be made. There's really no such thing as perfect weather, is there?

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rachellake said...

I totally understand where you are coming from on the garden compliments "pedestal" perspective. I had friends over last week who wandered around and talked about how "they didn't have time" to grow food. It's very uncomfortable having people praise you for practices that come naturally, that seem like your calling. I'm not growing food to show off, or rub it in their faces that my food is better than theirs, I'm gardening because it feeds my soul. Oh for a group of like minded garden nerd friends ;)

Becky said...

I envy you with your space to do what you love. I used to garden and grow food. I miss it tremendously.

Kristina Strain said...

Thanks, rachellake, for your understanding. That is exactly it-- these things come naturally to me, it isn't a competition, it's about feeding that soul.

Becky-- I wish everyone could have at least a 4x8 for a garden. Sniffle. At least this way you can live vicariously. :)

momto5 said...

well, i think your garden looks amazing. it keeps you fed and looks wonderful. i wish i could talk about soil and planting, lol, but i am guessing we have two every different climates we are dealing with.

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