We planted our first garden in three years this spring.
And to quote Lupine and Sage, we never want to live without one again.
The magic of wandering up the hill to see what we might harvest for our dinner is a delight unlike any other. And the few sunflower seeds we planted on a last-minute whim have kept us (and a few friends) in bouquets all season long. Prolific wild things they are!
I find, too, that heading outside to tend to the garden invites more magic into our ordinary days.
One morning last week Sage headed outside and returned moments later with a barn swallow fledgling that was trapped in our shed. A few hours later Lupine called from the chicken yard for everyone to “come quick!” – she had found a baby snapping turtle!
The turkeys chatter from the tree tops, the barred owls hoot in the forest, and sandhills wing overhead.
It’s good medicine.
We leave town in a few days for another epic road trip, so our little garden will be on its own. We’re picking all that we can now, but the rest we’ll just let go. Lessons in allowing, I suppose.
Hopefully my chamomile will be busy self-seeding for next season while we are away, and perhaps our farmsitters will make good use the abundance of zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes that these four little beds are still cranking out.
We can only hope.
As for next year, we’ve learned a few lessons in the garden as well. Like: planting in straight compost means too much nitrogen for peas, beans, strawberries, and so many other plants. (Oh, how I had hoped for an abundant green bean harvest! Next year.)
Also: hay bales compress and break down far more than you expect, and after a month or two your raised beds aren’t quite so… raised. It’s all good. The beds are still ridiculously productive just the same. (Even if we do have to reach down in to harvest.)
We’ll make a few changes next year, add a couple more beds, and give it another go. I can hardly wait.
Because all of these struggles are just a part of learning our way back into gardening. Of making it fun again. Which it is! That giant garden was a chore. This little one is a delight.
For our family anyway, smaller is better.
What a great lesson we have learned: you don’t need to do it all, but life is better when you get out there and do something.
What are you loving most in your garden this season?