In the garden

You know me well enough by now to not expect me to show tidy rows of perfectly weeded vegetables in my garden. In fact, I think I'm more likely to show you my weed patches and flaws than some embellished story that resembles perfection.

But down in the garden yesterday morning I was struck by this perfect thing that happens there.

We plant these small hard seeds in the earth, then watch them explode into an abundance of food for our family. Truly. It's perfect.

Take green beans.

We can pull a single seed from a single pod, then grow armloads of food from that one.

I like this math.

It makes me feel that despite my garden-shortcomings we'll have a harvest yet.

So in the garden this summer we have beans, peas, greens, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli, kohlrabi, and so much more – and each plant sprouted perfectly (against the odds) – from a single tiny seed.

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

My garden always takes off mid-summer and grow food in spite of me.

I'm thankful for that.

After three weeks with both arms covered in poison ivy I was finally able to get back into the garden for a harvest and a status check. And goodness! There's a lot happening in there.

This garden, I tell you. It's tenacious.

Fortunately we also eat weeds.

So many weeds! Oh, but there was one exception to the more-weeds-than-veggies in each row equation: the hugel bed.

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

Remember my crazy project this spring when I piled firewood and brush in my garden and covered it in compost? Yeah. It's the best part of the garden. Hands. Down.

I have halfheartedly pulled a few weeds in that bed, but otherwise it's an impenetrable wall of tomatoes, peppers, strawberries, and beans. They are so happy, so productive, so not needing anything from me but some harvesting.

Yes! Now that's my kind of gardening.

Needless to say, I'm sold on the concept of hugelkultur, raised beds, and deep mulching. It has made at least this one row of the garden a painless, joyful adventure.

Meanwhile, in the next bed (despite frequent hours of sweaty work pulling weeds)…

In the garden (fortunately, we also eat weeds)

Somewhere in there is my garlic.


Embracing the journey, planning more raised beds, and yes, wondering if smartweed is edible…

A person could get lost in there!





5 thoughts on “In the garden

  1. KC says:

    Funny to see so many weeds. Weeds like that are just not a problem here. We get weeds only after the summer rains and they grow slow enough you can keep up on it no problem.

  2. ~Yola says:

    lol, I was just coming back to post the link Jen posted…, how quickly the comments go up! I did want to point out though, the last comment on the ‘eattheweeds’ site sounded intriguing, peppery weeds as pickle flavouring! Unfortunately my Food Traditions of the Salmon Nation book makes no mention of using this plant. I wish I had my book on traditional Native medicines handy, I’d love to check up on how it can be used to help with menstrual bleeding, when it gets unpacked I’ll have to let you know if there’s anything there.

  3. Rachel Wolf says:

    How funny, Jen! That was the same link I tried to put in where it says “smartweed” but I didn’t copy it properly so it didn’t show up. I did taste some after this post and it wasn’t the least bit peppery… maybe it’s a different variety.

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