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!