this morning’s harvest
I always suspected that I’d like to garden. There was a point in college where I filled every nook I could find with houseplants, and my mom complained that my room was starting to smell like a cow barn. But other than a few potted tomatoes and hot peppers, I never took up serious vegetable gardening until this year. Supported by Jack’s penchant for hard labor, we built a tremendous garden, which has been very successful considering our lack of experience. Even the “failures,” such as our winter peas, teach us something, and I appreciate them.
What has surprised me the most is the pure joy I feel when sharing our harvest. I’m almost always ready to eat, but even more than even more than chowing down on the bounty myself, I love sending friends from our home with arms full of delicious veggies, fresh eggs, pungent garlic. I’m currently at the Phoenix airport, waiting for the plane that will take me to Houston, and I have eggs, squash and tomatoes tucked safely away in my carry-on. Luckily TSA hasn’t identified garden produce as a security threat, as I’m eager to share the fruits of our harvest with my family.
Its about more than good food, although I’m not afraid to say it: our veggies and eggs are de-lish! There is a simple beauty in every tomato, a sublime wonder in the crookneck squash. Our garden is something that we worked hard for, watering in the heat day after day, cleaning the chicken coop, digging and mulching and weeding. But despite the labors, every time I pluck a zucchini or gather an egg from the nest box, it feels like a gift, a small miracle. Our food speaks to me on a deep level, and its no surprise: our garden is sustainable nutrition, aesthetic perfection, spiritual wonderment, community connection. And its an archetypal experience too, coaxing life out of the ground as humans have done for thousands of years. It is the past, the now, and the future. It is a simple, humble thing, but I believe having a garden has been the most important recent development in my life.
So, inspire me with your stories of gardening. I’d love to hear about them.