My Reasons for Gardening

June 2017. When is it going to rain? Vegetables and fruit trees haven’t had a drop for a week. The garden looks great though. It’s neither pretty nor perfect, rather the opposite but things are growing and this is what it is all about.

 

Mangold. Did you know that there are white and yellow varieties?

First thing in the morning I check on the garden and greenhouse. I water, kill slugs, pull some weeds and mentally list things that need to be done. By the time I am done, both my morning exercise and moderate sun exposure are completed too. I come home fully awakened and very hungry.

I brought a new cucumber with me and I look forward to eating it with my breakfast. Will it taste bitter? And why do homegrown cucumbers taste so good even with a tinge of bitterness? I don’t think I would tolerate such a “fault” from a grocery store cucumber.

Working from home is a luxury I enjoy thoroughly. I start working when I am actually fully awakened, not at some set office time.

My fingers are still typing fast but my eyes start to get tired looking at the screen. I feel a nudging feeling that my body often gives me when it’s time to go out, to move. I listen. This gives me a perfect excuse to pause and go out. I “attack” my garden full of enthusiasm fueled with a tad of frustration after sitting still for a few hours. It is at these moments the grass is dug, turned and converted back into the bare soil.

Tomatoes. Can you remember what they smell like? Heavenly!

“The heavier the job, the more pleasure I seem to get (accurate to some degree).”

Lush potato plants have started to flower and onions stand in a row like little green commandos. I picked reddish and chives and came home to make a hearty Salad Grandioso (I named it myself, a giant salad that I make from anything I find in the fridge and garden!! The size is big and that matters).

I am back to work with new energy and inspiration. My mind is still alert after physical work. Unsurprisingly, I am most productive in front of the computer after such working breaks. I remind myself to Google about how to pinch side shoots of tomatoes and I really hope I will have the trouble of learning how to store carrots and beets. I am not even sure if I succeed in growing any of those but I will do my best.

“A new world has opened to me when I started gardening.”

Abstract concepts such as plant types, hardiness zones, seed collection & preservation start to make sense. All of a sudden I am caring about soil temperature, thinking that soil worms are cute, wishing for more rain and, sadly for slugs, getting used to killing them in the thousands. Gardening is that specific task that you work on and when it is done it looks done. It is tangible and highly satisfactory. Gardening is my work out, mediation and source of food. It gives me & my family pleasure and it saves me money.

It connects me to the soil, to weather, to nature. It connects me to my roots. I am Ukrainian after all 🙂

“I taste the first strawberry of the season. I close my eyes. Billions of juicy bombs explode in my mouth… no kidding.”

 

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