Gardening | Fall Harvest
Okay fine, Fall. I realize that you’re gone and I’m okay with it. For the first time I’m actually not in agony that Winter has arrived but if I see a tree with leaves left I do soak it up.
I deeply believe that we are called to work with our hands. I also believe that there is a deep connection with both God and the earth when we plant a seed and it grows to be strong, healthy and produce whatever it knows to produce, flowers, veggies or just abundant leaves. When we found this home, I wandered over to a four foot high, very expansive fenced in area that hosted a small shed and an antiqued weather vane spinning slowly overheard. I lifted the latch that I knew had been opened and closed so many times before by the ones who loved our home, by the ones who tilled this earth, built this fence and poured countless hours into this land. I could tell it had been worked and reworked. I wanted to honor this space.
I look forward to gardening every year no matter where I am. I’ve learned so much for each of the three Summers that I’ve lived in this home. The first year, Justin and I started our seedlings indoors. We put them out a little late and I tended to it when I could. The weeds quickly overgrew and the tomatoes weren’t watered consistently enough to ever produce much. The corn grew fast and aplenty, however, somewhat pithy and tasteless. The heartier vegetables did really well and I loved the produce I enjoyed during meals and was able to give away. I also loved how BIG it felt. I could go down to the garden and it swallowed me. It felt polar opposite of where I had come from shortly before and I relished in it.
The second year I was busy growing a baby and Justin insisted that we skip it upon Amos’ July arrival being predictable and it seemed like too much. So we passed. And I learned that I longed for it.
This year we didn’t seed in the house. I planted 1/2 and bought 1/2 as starters from the nursery. I dedicated much time to tending. I watered regularly. I spent hours weeding from between the plants. I researched things on google and in books. I asked a lot of questions. I would dedicate Amos’ morning nap to time watering and sipping my coffee in the garden. Checking on Audeen, my little dill weed that grew from the sweet old woman who gardened here before. This routine created stillness. At the start of the seasons I spent the time just hustling through the tasks while getting excited about what was to come. In the midst of the growing I slowed. I took my time. I allowed myself not to feel guilty while in it instead of working away indoors. I turned off the music. I prayed and thought. And at the end of it, while somewhat sad to pull the roots from the earth, collect finished fruit and pluck undeveloped produce from their vines because it’s fun to harvest and they’d freeze, I felt the pull of not having that time set aside anymore. The looking forward to of working in the garden would subside and that felt like a loss. But also the thoughts of life things I’ve been thinking through while working over the Summer also felt like they were turning a leaf. And so it makes sense to uproot the things that have grown and to pass them into the compost to renew into richer soil which will help the fruit that will come next year. I have cherished my time with Amos in the garden. In one short Summer stent he developed from only sitting exactly where I placed between him the gate and the garden’s edge to dragging the hose over to the plants and trying to water them. Even now, 3 weeks after we’ve pulled everything up he wants to go to the garden, to walk around the softer soil, play on the stacks of compost we have churning and try to play in the garden shed. I hope he and I share dozens of sweet summers in a garden, or at least growing new fruit and learning how to make it sweeter and stronger in the seasons to follow.