I suppose I should tell you the truth. You know, those heirloom tomatoes that were reaching for the sun? Well, I watered them with a small amount of diluted fish emulsion and they didn't really like it! I think I burnt them. The leaves look pretty crisp. I have planted new seeds, but they are not coming up as fast as my first batch. I am hoping that with a few warm days things will speed up. On the bright side, I have harvested my brussels sprouts, and I have lots of spinach and beets that are ready to pick. I need to make room for the tomato transplants that I bought from a neighbor a couple of weeks ago. He started his seeds around Thanksgiving in his small greenhouse. His plants are five or six inches tall, they look like they are ready to take off. I used to think that you didn't need a greenhouse in Phoenix, now I can see that it would be so much easier to have a place to keep everything together. My dining room table seems to be outgrowing its new purpose! But, I don't think my husband is ready to build a greenhouse yet. He is just getting over the fact that we might need to expand the chicken house!
My husband and I have been gardening for many years, not so much for the food security, but for the beauty, satisfaction, and peace that gardening and growing things bring you. We started small, a couple of tomatoes, a few zucchini, and lots of flowers. It didn't really matter how much we harvested. We really didn't eat from our garden. We didn't know how. The lettuce was always a little bitter . The tomatoes always had holes in them and there was a Safeway just down the street. The important thing was that we were having fun. We loved working together with our children beside us. There is something comforting about watching your kids play in the dirt or happily run down the brick paths with nowhere to go. Our garden was the center of the earth ,we were firmly planted there and that was all that mattered. A couple of years ago, something important started to take place. A shift began to take shape, not only to us , but to our communities. The meaning of food began to change. Where the food came from, what was in it and how it nourishes us. Perhaps the connection between what we eat and how we feel finally began to set in. For us, it was time to get serious. It was time to eat from our garden.
" I am a mad gardener. I mutter and rant, and at night I shake dry seeds out of my unruly mane of hair. The garden is in my bones, in my gut, and in my hands. "
Wendy Johnson , Gardening at the Dragons Gate
Inch by inch, row by row Gonna make this garden grow Gonna mulch it deep and low Gonna make it furtile ground
Inch by inch, row by row Please bless these seeds I sow Please keep them safe below 'Till the rain comes tumbling down
Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones We are made of dreams and bones Need a place to call my own 'Cause the time is close at hand
Grain for grain, sun and rain Find my way in nature's chain Tune my body and my brain To the music of the land
Plant your rows straight and long Season them with prayer and song Mother Earth will make you strong If you give her love and care An old crow watches hungrily from his perch on younder tree In my garden I'm as free as that feathered bird up there