Learning and growing, learning and growing…

Hello all, it’s Tina.

I have been thinking a lot about what this garden means to me and what it shows us about the rest of our culture these days. We had a new friend over yesterday evening and he brought his 2 kids with him (ages 7 and 9 approx.).   I was amazed at the excitement of the kids, but yet puzzled by the lack of interest in the plants and the huge interest in the chickens. It was as if the plants were just landscaping, something to walk through to get to the more exciting chickens. I suppose I can understand this excitement though, it’s not everyday that you get to see a chicken in a backyard.  But then I started thinking…most of the questions that kids ask when they are around the yard are the same questions that adults ask. When did we start becoming so detached from how things grow or what happens when chickens lay eggs? I feel a little bit behind on some of the questions too, but I try to take time to read and learn about the process. I only wish that I had grown up in a time when this was just how people lived. You grew what you ate, raised your own meat, knew how to slaughter and butcher, can and preserve, dry and ferment. On the flipside of that coin though, I am stoked to be learning now and it makes it that much better so I don’t just take the knowledge for granted.

When I was growing up, I remember helping my grandmother in the garden with green beans and zucchini. I remember peeling the green beans at the kitchen table and the pots on the stove for canning. I remember devouring zucchini bread with great affection as well. I don’t really remember the shoveling and the mess and the sweat that come with playing in the yard though, as I suppose it didn’t matter then.  Those memories are dear to me and I am glad that I had even the smallest awareness of how things grew.  Then I think about how Brandon grew up.  He had chickens, corn, rows of tomatoes and beans and even a horse or 2 I believe. He has years of experience on me, but there are still things that he sees the wonder in now in our yard. He’s never seen an artichoke grow or grown the variety of green corn we have in the yard. He’s never had to worry about water and irrigation, but gets excited over how our drip lines were installed so easily and are working so well.

The garden in our yard is always new and exciting to me. I love to watch the journey our plants take as they grow, almost like watching a child grow. I have taken to heading out to the beds in the morning while the light is still gentle and warm and take photographs of the baby fruits and vegetable. I love knowing that each day, something will be different than the day it was before.  Watching a baby pumpkin plant pop through the soil is magical!

I wish that everyone could experience this like I’m getting to experience it now. I hope that I keep finding it as exciting and new each year that we grow something. We spent an hour last night going through the seed catalogs again picking out the seeds for our next planting season this fall.

I’m attaching some of my favorite new photos of young plants. I find such wonder in the process and can’t wait to reap the benefits.

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