remembering to slow my footsteps and take deeper breaths. and that rushing is never necessary.
keep my children connected with their food, reminding them that soil is the essential foundation for everything we do.
"the meaning of life is just to be alive. and yet, everyone rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves." alan watts
i read this quote, but i don't know where from. i've read some of his books particularly cloud hidden whereabouts unknown from the $1 bin at the trident in boulder. but it never struck me how selfish the quote is.
"there is inherent, intrinsic value in living intentionally, but if your motivation is to make your life easier and more enjoyable, you'll burn out. you'll turn into a cynic instead of someone who oozes joy. you'll become a snob, looking down at everyone else who's not as enlightened as you."
that quote is from tsh oxenreider in her book notes from a blue bike which i finished last night after getting my kids to sleep.
i have been gardening for years, growing something new every year. i think of gardening as a learning experience, for sure!
2017 brings fairytale eggplant, bushy cucumber, nasturtiums and breadseed poppies. tucked between these are celeriac, chamomile, cornflowers, various pole and bush beans (both dry and snap), turga & bedford monarch parsnips (i searched through 12 seed catalogues to find the two varieties i wanted most!), albino beets (trick the children), watermelon radish (again with the children tricking), varieties of lettuce, calendula, yarrow, sage, many varieties of mint (peppermint, pineapple, lemon, orange, chocolate and spearmint), as well as paris market carrots, borage, sculpit, alpine and everbearing strawberries, savory, thyme, oregano, marjoram, lovage (7 feet tall right now! check our my instagram @mamakellybeth) corn (my first time growing straight-up sweet corn instead of mandan red clay, green or blue parching corn), raspberries, blackberries, horseradish and other flowers and veggies i can't think of right now.
there is also an organic orchard in the garden, with apples, plums and pears. my husband grows hops here as well.
i forage and wildcraft for food, berries, herbs and roots. burdock, dandelion, chicory, oregon grape--these roots all have a beautiful home where i seek them out every year from secret spots across colorado and i sew more seeds from those i've saved so that there is always an abundance the next year.
do you have a garden in your community that you are a part of and if not, would you consider growing your food and herbs in a community garden?
there has been nothing richer for me than to raise my two children amongst the food we eat.
their seasonal appearance denotes your passing, not her own.
a poppy in the friendship garden
i have been thinking a lot of community. I suppose I always consider community, but right now I am considering myself in my community and where I want my community to be. rather where would I bloom in my community. is that here, in golden? is it somewhere with a longer growing season? is it somewhere where fertile land is attainable? and if the place does have land, who are the people surrounding that land? how do they treat it, what is their sense of community. and I keep going in circles because we all want to make our home work for us instead of seeking a new home. once we are tied to our community, change is hard. are we innately creatures of habit or can we scatter around with shallow roots?
this mama wants roots. I'm ready for my family's perennial home.
yesterday a friend said to me "the smile you get when you talk about your soil? that's the smile i get when i bake the perfect loaf of bread."
we sowed cornflowers and breadseed poppies into the cut flower garden while our children wandered around playing happily and unassisted. for three years our little girls have grown up in our community garden. now we have sons who walk and explore on their own. my son, otis, goes right to the butterfly garden to play in the wallowing pond and ruffle the feathery leaves of yarrow.
my perennial and/or self-sowing herbs are coming up beautifully already. chamomile, lovage, sage, tarragon, stridolo, thyme, raspberry canes dotted with new lime-green frills. blue violets have already been harvested, picked by the tiny hands of my daughter. the violet leaf harvested a bit every week. a rainy night means greener plants, softer soil, happier earth.
we have always tilled our soil. not entirely, not deeply. but enough. last year i decided i wanted to build it up and build it up and added compost, and after i planted garlic and more compost and soil, i added hay from our local mill. then cover-cropped with oats.
my garlic looks amazing, and i've watered as needed and added more compost and soil to the garden.
yesterday i planted my root veggies-albino beet, watermelon radish, parisian carrot, turga parsnip, bedford monarch parsnips, cylindra beets. and frisee. when i went to hand-rake the soil to add the seed, i was amazed at how soft and luscious, dark and silky it was between my fingers. this is going to be one great gardening year!