Saturday, July 5, 2008
Again, almost a month since the last post. But alas, things have been busy. Last week, I wrapped up school for the summer, finally allowing me some free time to tackle that long to-do list, including catching up on the blog.
There are so many things to write about and I hope to bring them to you in the coming weeks. I’d also plan on reorganizing the site to better present the wealth of resources available to us in our efforts to become more sustainable. Stay tuned.
In the meantime – and in the spirit of Independence Day – I wanted to share a bit of our own attempts at small-scale food independence, a.k.a, the home gardens. This is the first year where we’ve gone all out. The pictures show our collection of raised beds where we’re growing peas, pole beans, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, three varieties of tomatoes, zukes, cukes, summer and pattypan squashes, and finally some silverqueen corn. We’ve already harvested spinach, lettuce, and mesclun.
By the fence we put in blueberry bushes and raspberry vines. And on the far side by the stonewall is an attempt at a pumpkin patch for the kids. We’ll see how the latter turn out, as it doesn’t get a full day’s worth of sun. We still have a Concord Grape vine and some rhubarb to plant.
To me, it’s all an experiment. Trying to see what works and what doesn’t. I have a notebook filled with observations and thoughts about how to approach things differently next year. But the prospect of next year’s bounty is only one of the reasons why we’re having so much fun with this. There’s the fact that the kids are getting their hands dirty and looking forward to helping pick what’s ripe. And don’t forget that feeling of walking out your door and walking back with the makings of a fine salad. It just doesn’t get any more local than that.
Casually, I’ve observed more gardens this year – big and small. Maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s high food prices, maybe it’s a yearning for some greater level of self-sufficiency. The gardening bug is definitely contagious. The more people I talk to about what we’re doing, the more I hear the refrain, “Hey, I want to give that a shot.” We’ve even given some extra tomato plants away as gifts. There is nothing more satisfying than sharing the bounty-to-be.
Here is to the long days of summer and the little bit of goodness that comes from a seed, a clump of compost, the quenching rain, and warm rays of sunshine. It’s a true recipe for slowing down and enjoying a bit of happiness close to home.