I was talking with John in the car the other day, rambling on about my latest garden ideas: “You know, I saw some packages of late planting potato sets, maybe after I pull the carrots I can plant potatoes, and maybe then some kale and…” John’s comic reply took me by surprise: …”and next, livestock.” I was surprised, and not because he was being funny. It was because I was thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” When I started musing aloud about how maybe we could get some chickens, have fresh eggs, and, after all, they have places to send the animals to “prepare them” for your freezer….poor John. He thought I was kidding. Thankfully, it then dawned on me that I really wouldn’t want to clean out a chicken coop anyway.
I can’t help it. I just think the idea of growing and nurturing something yourself and then being able to eat it is just SO cool. Sure it’s a lot of work. Yes, I’m out there sweating, digging, sowing, watering. But not only am I losing some weight without really trying, I really feel like I’m teaching my kids something valuable. Julian, my dear son who despises most vegetables, announced he would only eat the carrots if they came up. He explained to me how he’d tried sugar snap peas at school and that he didn’t like them. I asked, “Yes, but have you ever had a really sweet string bean fresh off the vine?” This stumped him. He agreed that he would at least try them if they grow well. What more could a parent ask?
And so, I am joyfully encouraged as I see the first sprouts of cucumber, watermelon, carrot, pumpkin, sunflower, basil, and dill peek their heads up.
I thrill as I see my tomato, zucchini, string bean, bean parsley, oregano, rosemary, and cilantro plants stretch ever higher towards the sun. I wait and hope to see the onion and shallot plants start to push forth greens out of the ground. I’m already thinking ahead to when I’ll have to sow my lettuce and spinach plants. And I’m toting those bricks and planning those borders, to see if a veggie garden (with some flowers) can make as good a landscape as a finicky, boring old lawn.