From soil to seed to pan to freezer to pot to pile to soil.
There’s now a “stock bag” in the freezer as a permanent resident. Carrot tops, onion skins, garlic butts, celery ends: they all go in the bag as they depart from their meatier bits that are bound for the pan.
When the bag is full, it goes in a pan to boil and salt, salt and boil, until there’s the most lovely green broth with which to base a soup.
The simmered remnants go to the compost pile, where they transform into soil to feed the future harvest of carrots and onions…
My chuckles at the “gardening is cheaper than therapy” shirts. My body’s whisperings (and sometimes its loud insistence) that running isn’t on the list of options most days these days. My back’s reminder that I sit a lot during the day.
If the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, then perhaps I won’t admit it as a problem. A discovery, let’s call it.
I need to dig.
My mother-in-law wants to seriously expand her garden this year. My father-in-law confessed he wasn’t looking forward to the load of compost in the driveway. I confessed that if he didn’t call me over when it arrived, I’d be finding something else to shovel anyway.
Like a few weeks ago when I decided my pathways were too wide and my center bed too small.
A bit of therapy here. A bit of exercise there. A bit of soul-filling-earth-bliss in the side and I have more room, easier access, and found some sweet potatoes to add to breakfast scrambles in the process.
The right bed already has three rows of corn sown in the center. It’ll get melons on a trellis on one edge, I think. Maybe on both sides… The left bed is going to try a stagger of peppers and tomatoes… I’ve had promises of sturdy, homemade cages this year. He knows the way to my heart.
Tis the season for growing compost piles, for weeding unwanted seeds from the stockpile, for starting a wishlist for next year and reflecting on the season’s passing.
I think it may be the last year for the raised beds. And I think I’ll help them go. They harbor ants nests I can’t beat back or cajole away. They permit sweet potatoes to bunker under the walls, lessening the harvest and sowing the next generation of ground cover in the same allowance.
But to do so would require remapping the irrigation installed by our predecessors. And that is not in the time budget between now and the early sowings of spring when we’ll try for more peas and beans and carrots and things.
So perhaps another year, I’ll eke out of these tiring lengths, and perhaps next winter we’ll be moving, or the kids will be old enough to require less of my ship’s side to barnacle upon which will both ease and sadden my heart, and also increase the time budget a smidge, methinks. We shall see.
So the beds will rest, the compost will grow, and the caterpillars will continue to feast like royalty upon my cauliflower dreams.
“Hope you don’t feel like I think you’re doing nothing. You’re doing important work.”
Exactly what I needed to hear today.
I find myself with conscious gratitude surfacing more and more as bed rest continues. Is it the slowing down that allows room for it to grow? Is it the perspective shift front and center bringing gratitude into focus more clearly?
I’m grateful for mother daughter strawberry picnics on blankets with airplanes flying overhead.
I’m thankful for an over-extended partner extending himself even further to keep us all going, garden included.
I’m grateful for our small village who wash dishes or do “splash splash” (bath time) or just sit and talk politics and nonsense with me.
I’m grateful for fresh muffins made while I sleep in and for the financial ability to stomach a pretty decent property tax hike.
I’m grateful for “smoo” (smooth) and “buhpee” (bumpy) pebbles, and the daughter that carries them to my pillow and blanket fort to tell me about them.
And I’m grateful that for another day, our little Blueberry is still growing safe and sound in my belly.