Stick Your Head in There

garden1Harvest time of the year helps the creative juices flow. Perhaps it is the quality of the food we get that helps lubricates the rusty gears. We’ve been harvesting in dribs and drabs for some time now, but the tide has recently turned, and the garden is officially gushing. It is lucky that Alice knows how to process all this good food, because even with determined eating, I doubt we could keep up if we tried.

Harvesting food makes me think about money, and how completely most of us have embraced this strange system. I’ve been hungry in my life, and thirsty, and cold. When these primal feelings hit you, money is the least of your concerns. You don’t think about what a pizza costs, you just want that pizza. A good garden allows one to bypass at least a portion of the money system. It seems like magic when you are doing it, but harvesting food is reality, while money is the magic something we’ve made up to get us out of bed in the morning.

I wonder if that isn’t part of the satisfaction I get from our lifestyle. For most of my life, I’ve not trusted the financial system we’ve become a part of. So when I can grow some of my own food, and not depend on the trucks arriving at Walmart, I feel more self sufficient. When I walk by my completed woodpile, smell it and feel it, I know that come what may, we will likely not be cold this coming winter. It’s like the feeling I get when I take my first step down a trail with a loaded backpack. As long as I’ve planned correctly, I’ll be good until I pop off the trail on the other end.

garden2Our garden is doing its best to become 3 dimensional. Cucumbers, pole beans, and squash all love to climb, and climb they do. I’ve planted the cukes and pole beans next to each other, and given each their own trellis. But do you think they’re satisfied? Noooooo! The cukes are climbing the bean trellis, and the beans are wrapping around the cukes, python style. In order to get the food out of there, I have to stick my head right inside the green jungle.

The rewards are large. I get the sights and smells of this tropical paradise when I get down on my knees and poke my head around. And I find hidden treasure… a cuke that has escaped my notice for several days, a trove of green beans dangling seductively behind a green curtain. My “shopping bag” fills to bulging and I drag it inside and dump it on the kitchen counter. There will be fresh veggies for salads, frozen ones for the main course, and cooled ones like onions and potatoes most of the winter.

If you have a spot of land, I encourage you to plant a garden. Especially when the news we receive about world events is depressing. I challenge you to stay discouraged when you pick a perfect tomato off a plant you’ve watered, weeded, and trained all summer. And that first bite! Oh Momma!

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