As I was watering and weeding the garden, my mind wandered back to two interviews I conducted recently for an article I wrote for my local newspaper, The Charlotte News. It had been decided that the issue soon to be published (it’s a bi-weekly newspaper) would be focused on agriculture. I wanted to offer an article on home gardening as another form of agriculture prevent across the country and particularly in Vermont. I also wanted to focus on being rooted in the land.
When I think of my own reasons for growing most of our vegetables and fruits, the desire to have a close relationship with the place where I live is first and foremost. It’s lots of work to start the seeds indoors in the late winter, prepare the beds, transplant and direct seed all that will grow. Then there’s constant monitoring for weeding and watering and keeping critters and insects at bay. Then there’s more work harvesting and putting up the food.
It would be much easier to shop at the farmers markets or grocery store. But then I’d lose that direct connection. I’d just be looking at what surrounds me. I wouldn’t be intimately a part of the land.
When I interviewed the two women in my community to round out the article, I found that they had similar reasons for the gardens they tended. One talked about being more aware of the changing seasons and the cycles of the moon. Another talked about how incredible and miraculous it was to plant a tiny seed and see the abundance offered by the resulting plant.
They both enjoyed the aesthetics of the garden–the textures and intermittent flowers. I commented that sometimes the beauty overwhelmed me and I was reluctant to pick the vegetables and destroy the aesthetics, until my rational mind took over and realized how much I would enjoy the harvest for dinner or in the winter to come.
Love of the land. Feeling connected and grounded. Loving the beauty. Being outdoors with hands in the soil. Lovingly picking some strawberries or beans or chard or beets…..