In a previous post, I discussed growing food as a means to find some sense of spiritual connection and fulfillment in your life. Do I “walk the walk?” Yes I do. In-fact, it has become a part of my life. It is impossible to think of a life without growing something. Plants have taught me patience, built perseverance into my character, kept me fed, and provide wonderment with their blossoms, foliage, and fruit. I am closest to “home” when I nurture and harvest that which nature provides.
Do any of you wonder what I grow? I hope so. That would mean that you are open enough to take the time to think about it. To satisfy your natural curiosity I will create a Garden Series blog on my website that will show a growing season for select plants or areas of my gardens and orchard. If I have time, (my work schedule is always full, but I can prioritize) I may also write some tips about growing certain plants or trees. And if the series takes off I may also create a blog that could teach you how to do certain things. (Ex. canning, grafting, creating new plants, pruning, genetics, mechanical, etc., etc.)
Do not expect a perfectly groomed garden like those you see on TV shows. That does not depict real life… that is “show biz” gardening. Like a fashion model or actor, they are groomed by many people before the cameras roll and a lot of money has been invested in them. I have neither. What you will see are plants and gardens that are maintained mostly by one person and maybe another if I get lucky. There will be weeds at times and I rarely have time to do cosmetic grooming of the lawn.
Do not stop yourself from gardening because you cannot do it perfectly. If you want your tomato to look nice, then put it in a basket on your kitchen table. Nobody will know that you picked it next to a weed. Always remember about diminishing returns. A perfectly groomed garden might mean that you could have grown more food if your garden did not look so perfect. There may come a time when you will understand all too well what I mean. That being said, a garden with too many weeds will become unhealthy. Find “your” balance.
I have more time for growing than most people because of my work schedule, nonetheless, I work nearly constantly when I am awake. (And I am certainly NOT complaining) Some of that work is R&D that involves agriculture, but it is “work” in the sense that it contributes to the health and welfare of my family and gardens, and/or could lead to some monetary income to keep the homestead running. As much as I am a farmer, amongst MANY other things, one still needs to be resourceful enough to pay for energy, taxes, and healthcare. The last I knew, doctors stopped taking broccoli as payment for services. And the pharmaceutical companies would be peeved to learn that I use stinging nettle for joint pain instead of their drugs. Therefore, giving them some herbs for payment is out of the equation.
So… why should you be interested in the Gardening Series blog? A better question is, “why not?” You are NOT too busy to learn about your world. Even a mom that works a day job and takes care of a child can find time to see the world through the eyes of one of its caretakers. Maybe… it will bring you forward enough so you too can be one of the caretakers.
It does not require much time at all to put a seed into a pot of soil and give it some nourishment. Maybe one of your excuses is that your child is a bit difficult to handle? Well... let them join in! Our children are whisked around like rag dolls and are kept from nature. Bring them IN to nature, let them help you work, and watch them grow. (Children and plants) Most kids are not kept busy enough to burn off (natural) pent-up energy. Do not let computers and TVs baby-set them just to make life easier for you. Life is supposed to be difficult. Grab their hand and engage them.
If any of you are lucky enough to have a large apple tree in full bloom, then give yourself a sense of wonderment by climbing into the middle of the tree on a sunny day and looking around you. I can tell you with certainty that it is about as close to the feeling of “home” as you can get. Be open to it and it will happen. (Tip… look at the cover of my book called YonTathia)
To start the series I will create a “Beginning” post. It will be a color photo that actually looks black and white. It has several meanings. To some it may look stark, dead, cold, and lifeless… much like our lives at times. That is not what I see. I “feel” nature waiting for its chance to spring to life. Plants are patient, but persistent. We live in a false world where we need instant gratification. Nature does not work that way and neither does your spirit. Both need time to grow in order to become strong and true. There is no better time than now to nurture them. At the end of today, you will have one less day to make your journey. Do not deprive your real life of the chance to bloom.