I spent days agonizing over the right words to convey my excitement, only to come up lacking. So, hopefully the abundance of pictures (with more to come, I am sure) and related tales is enough to express a certain pleasure that spring is finally here–maybe(?)
Our humble beginnings of a spring garden resulted from a number of external factors that have occurred in the last few months:
- I read Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and Parable of the Talents. Though the themes were dark and hauntingly premonitory, what resonated most with me was the increasing criticality of self-reliance and resourcefulness.
2. I was reminded of my father’s garden—which I thought embarrassingly undignified as a teen—in reading these words not long ago; ‘in just two generations, we have lost the ability to grow our own food.’
3. I am struck with the increased numbers of tumorous and cancerous conditions around me, as well as the effects on our children that are routinely traced back to commercial farming.
In any case, I was led to one conclusion: we need to get more serious about our garden.
4. I also have to marry my enthusiasm for summer goodness with the reality that we have only a few years in this house, if the Lord says the same. With our last homeschooler in high school, I spent far more time researching container gardening and being creative with small spaces.
Not too long ago, I watched a video that encouraged me, the will-be small space gardener, to look at our property in a different light. So, this spring our front entrance looks markedly different from the decorative plants that normally welcome our guests:
There is a funny story behind this lettuce. I thought to plant both it and a few strawberries while the air was cool.
By the time I shopped for lettuce, local retailers had ceased in selling it—too warm. So, as we traveled to Ohio for the Great Homeschool Convention-Midwest, guess what my husband found in Cincinnati?
(I can just imagine the hotel staff’s conversation as they worked around this).
Once we made it home, with lettuce, kale (and free tomatoes) in tow, we have worked some every day.
5. Another factor is cost. As a friend of mine says, I am not trying to go broke saving on food. So we have invested in the places where it counts, but also kept an eye out for cheaper alternatives where it makes sense. With Pinterest and YouTube to the rescue, we have done more with grow bags, grocery bags, lined drawers, and this year, an old bookshelf.
Funny how an attempt at an herb and veggie garden can represent so much more than a collection of plants. What began as a twinkle of an idea in my FIL’s eye has now become a viable alternative to produce shopping—at least with a little more practice time (and hopefully not too much money).
So we begin, with more to plant, and so much more to learn. I am excited to keep you posted, and to hear from fellow gardeners! In the meantime, enjoy a few posts from gardens past: