My dearest…

IMG_0348Dear tiny seed,

I’m so glad you’re here! I pored over seed catalogs all winter searching for just “the one.” I did some online research with the local extension service, borrowed a couple of texts from the library, and googled you, just for good measure. I looked into companion plants and searched for the best sized container for you. I’m getting some special seed starting soil just to make sure you’re comfortable during your first days and have picked out a nice, sunny spot for you to stretch your legs. I’m looking forward to our time together.

-Eager gardener


plant-7407_1280Dear tiny seedling,

I can’t believe you and your brothers made it, you beautiful little sun worshippers! Yes, I know those clippers are getting a bit close, but you don’t all fit. You want your own room, don’t you? The sun’s a little too warm? Let me move you. The shade’s a bit too cool? How about over here? You don’t want to spend the night outside? Come sleep in the window. I can’t wait until you’re a little older!

-Hopeful gardener


IMG_20150809_082328_hdrDear growing plant,

Well, look at you! All grown up and looking fine. You’ve got great color, strong growth… just look at those lovely leaves! Don’t mind the compost tea bath. It’s to keep pests at bay. What pests, you ask? Hopefully, you will never know. These are things your mother gardener worries about. Just keep doing your thing.

-Happy gardener


Who knew okra was so pretty?
Who knew okra was so pretty?

Dear flowering plant,

You are looking lovely today. Those flowers are simply radiant! Whoops… you lost one, or two. I must retreat to the interwebs. Just stay calm, I will be back shortly.

-Panicked gardener


Mini bells!
Mini bells!

Dear fruiting plant,

I’m so proud of you! Look at those gorgeous tiny fruit. Well done, plant… well done! So, uh, how long do ya think before those ripen up? Just curious.

-Hungry gardener

“Si hortum in bibliotheca habes, nihil deerit

He who has a garden and a library wants for nothing”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

The Week

As some of you may have surmised, I am taking an online course to improve my writing and blogging skills. In other words, I’m doing my best not to bore ya’ll to death. Not much work going on in the garden right now as I am resisting the urge to expand, but who knows what will happen come payday? I did get a chance to take a couple of photos of the garden’s goings-on and maybe I’ll get a chance to get my hands back in the dirt this weekend.

plant-259806_1280

Fueled

By Marcie Hans

Fueled by million man-made wings of fire
the rocket tore a tunnel through the sky
and everybody cheered.
Fueled
only by a thought from God –
the seedling
urged its way
through the thickness of black –
and as it pierced
the heavy ceiling of the soil –
and launched itself
up into outer space –
no
one
even
clapped.

Garden Treasures

X marks the spot when looking for buried treasure.

IMG_0481
Tiny cabbage treasures.

When in the garden, tiny seedlings mark the spot. That spot where I planted a little, dry seed, and watered the brown earth that covers it. That spot that represents an exercise in trust, in hope, and sometimes… futility. My neighbors watch as I water a container full of soil. “What’s that?” they’ll ask. I proudly announce, “This is cherry tomatoes, and over here, these are beans!” We stare at the pot full of soil with a little popsicle stick garden marker denoting the plant variety and sow date. My neighbor smiles… and leaves.

I, on the other hand, remain. There are tiny treasures just beneath the soil. Some will emerge, some will not. Some will surpass even my imagination of what they could be, or become.

All Farmers Are Gamblers

“All farmers are gamblers.”

This could have just as easily been the tagline for this blog, but it just wasn’t hopeless enough. To say that a farmer gambles is to say that the weather, or the market, or biblical-type pest infestations puts the farmer’s investment at risk. He knows how to grow vegetables. Much of what he knows won’t mean diddly in the face of severe drought, or monsoon, or the fact that the previous winter was too mild to kill off vast numbers of hungry garden pests. Therein lies the gamble.

My garden is not a gamble. It is an experiment; a classroom. It has been, in the past, an absolute failure. One might say, a complete waste of time and resources. That is, if the only benefit were vegetables.

What I’ve learned about gardening fills pages of a binder reserved just for that information: planning and preparation, recommended and tried and true vegetable varieties, companion plants, organic pest control, composting, storing options and recipes fill the pages. Yep, I’m kind of a nerd that way. And, yet, I know it is only a drop in the bucket of the knowledge, insight, and instinct I hope to possess in the years to come.

What I’ve learned in my garden is mostly about myself. Playing in the dirt, like riding on a bicycle, is as fun now as it was as a child. In the garden, I can accept not knowing everything and not be paralyzed with fear. I allow myself to fail over and over again and I’m totally okay with that.

To outsiders, it does not seem rational. My neighbors shake their head at the crazy garden lady out in the heat. My friends are just glad it’s a healthy occupation and have no hopes of ever being on the receiving end of a bounty of seasonal produce. My family celebrates by beautiful garden, but help me save face by never asking about the harvest.

Some day, I tell myself, some day…

So, maybe, I am a gambler.