“It’s difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.” ~ Lewis Grizzard
What a crazy March this has been! We finally got our spring vegetables, including peas, kale, beets, carrots, radishes, and more lettuces planted in the garden this weekend. But looking back at the past couple of weeks, you have to wonder if winter is finally over.
1. To choose open pollinating vegetables whenever possible so I can save seeds for next year.
2. To sow seeds indoors and grow my own transplants.
3. To focus on herbs with both culinary and medicinal roles.
4. To harvest and dry herbs for teas, soap, and salves.
5. To freeze and preserve fruits and vegetables from the garden.
I’ve been working in the garden all morning and decided it was time to take a much needed break as well as grab some lunch. I am afraid those beautiful days from earlier in the week of low humidity and highs of 80 are gone for the summer
I thought I would share some of the photos of my gardens from last spring. First I should warn you, I have my gardens subdivided into several smaller gardens. I am definitely a perfectionist by nature and perhaps a bit of a control freak. This allows me to keep my sanity by being able to get in and work in agarden finishing whatever needs to be done. I also like to focus on different types of plantings in different areas. Let’s see, there is the…
And one garden that is still under construction — the fragance/herb garden. Someday on the list would be a night garden (only white flowers) surrounding the back patio and a small fruit tree orchard. I am thinking 2 apples, 2 pears, and 2 peach trees along with a handful of blueberry bushes. I have to admit though, being so spoiled by all the wonderful fruit and orchard vendors at the farmers market this one might not happen any time soon.
I recently heard the following sports quote…
That’s when it hit me, I was in a slump! No, not a batting slump, but a mental slump.
As a proactive optimist, I have always been one of those folks who could do anything I put my mind to. Expand the farmers market entrée menu? Love to. Return to school at 43. No problem. Deciding to coach high school soccer, cook for Virginia Lamb, be super mom, and go to school simultaneously? You bet. Adding physics on top of my math major? Why not. Somewhere along the way, I heard the warning signs. You know the nagging thought that one has crossed over into survive mode instead of thrive mode.
Then summer break hit. The crazy intensity was over. I looked around and was all but paralyzed by the amount of life that had piled up. The weeds had taken over my gardens, the sheep needed to be shorn, there was fence to be fixed and painted, and the list felt endless and overwhelming. Instead of digging deeper and finding strength, I just froze. I kept hearing over and over again in my head all the things I had to do. That is when the slump hit. I was functioning day by day. I still loved spending time in the kitchen. But somehow the spark had grown dull.
So I reached out to a fellow gardener from the northwest. Reading her daily gardening adventures, I slowly began to feel the need to play in the dirt. You see, gardening has always been a representation of life to me… the work that must be put in to reap a successful harvest… the often necessary solitude of weeding, watering, and transplanting to reflect on life. My gardens reflect my moods, my inner strength, and my clarity of vision. Lately, I had been avoiding the garden as the weeds seem to bear witness to the endless list of chores I had hanging over my head. Then it hit me. I always have an endless list of chores. And when it grows too short, I add all kinds of interesting to-dos to the list like learning to make pasta, wanting to making homemade soap as Christmas presents, or reading up on medicinal herbs.
It wasn’t my list. It wasn’t the weeds. I just needed to unwind and recharge. I needed a mental make-over. And the one thing that always brings me back into balance? Gardening.
Bear with me over the next several weeks, as there are bound to be posts that encompass weeding, tilling, and lessons learned as I recapture the beauty of my gardens.