May 21, 2024

Tending My Garden

"We must cultivate our garden."

- Voltaire 

Today, I turned off, tuned out, and cultivated the soil. Fingers, meet Earth.

At one time not too long ago everyone had a space to grow food. 

Tending your garden was a normal part of life. Everyone's fingers got to enjoy the Earth and all the good things that came from the soil.

"The garden was where you found eighty percent of your food, of course, but it also provided medicine, fragrances, dyes, and aromatic herbs for the home, laundry – even laying out the dead." 
- Karen Atkins

You don't just get food, medicine, fragrances, dyes and aromatic herbs from a garden.

Growing your own food has many mental health benefits. It's an important ancient connection that can't be replaced by a complex global industrial food syndicate based only on profit, rather than good food and health.

If we tended to our own gardens more often, life would be more fruitful, with less worry and stress. We would be more fit, and much happier while providing for ourselves.

In my little garden space the garlic is up, poking through the mulch that has kept it warm during the dark, cold days after planting it last fall.

I dumped in some black soil and a bit of manure and spread it all about.

This year we decided to go with what we already had, rather than get starts from a greenhouse.

What we have is seeds, some bought new this spring, and some saved from last year's garden delights.

I planted radish, kale, peas, dill, summer savoury, basil, carrots, beets, cucumbers, and romaine lettuce seeds.

Because we decided not to buy starts this year, we will not be growing tomatoes. 

We thought about what to replace them with, and thought about something that was a high value crop like tomatoes, and that we had seeds to plant.

Winter squash was the answer. They are expensive in the store, and the keep very well on the shelf for months without any processing.

I am trying not to worry too much about what is happening in Constantinople, or any other national capital, including my own.

Fools will do what fools do.

I am being content to pay attention only to what is happening in my own 8 X 16 raised bed garden and various spots around the yard where we grow things.

I am going to enjoy the returning sun and all that comes with the warmth it provides. Like the barn and tree swallows zipping through our yard as I water my precious seeds in the soil.

Giving thanks for my little peaceful corner of this crazy world, you will find me cultivating the fruits of my labour, then preserving and feasting in the fall.

I predict more and more people will be joining me as we work toward increased self-sufficiency and independence outside of the teetering industrial food system.


  1. Anonymous5/26/2024

    Though we live in a small condo (so that we can walk to school and work, store, library etc), we have a large planter box and grow some herbs we use frequently- mint, Greek basil, cilantro, and also some lacinto kale. It is enjoyable to look at, tasty to add to meals, and it does give me peace to tend to our small planter box! Happy growing! Nadya

    1. Anonymous5/26/2024

      That sounds beautiful. And tasty. We have to do what we can, where we are at, with what we've got. So much is possible, as you highlight.

      - Gregg


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