Part of the daily round this time of year means harvesting the fresh produce still offered up by our vegetable garden before the frost reclaims the earth and bids it rest through the winter. Although a few tomatoes are still ripening, the yield at this point is largely peppers, squash, onions, garlic, carrots, and autumn raspberries, along with the faithful herbs, rosemary, French tarragon, and sage. The basil died during the cold nights two weeks ago, and the dill and cilantro have gone to seed. To me, the smell of basil is synonymous with summer. I’m always sad to see it go, but I freeze cubes of pesto, so we can celebrate its life and scent till spring.
I grew up in sequential suburbs and then lived in a city for 20 years. My father gardened, but he focused on roses, rather than vegetables. My own suburban homes were crammed with perennials and provided years of education in garden design, but never afforded the space for vegetables, beyond a few peppers and tomatoes, so when Phillip and I moved to Full Moon, we were ready to start a “real” vegetable garden. Farmers’ Markets are wonderful, but we love growing our own food, despite the hassles of weeds and pests (though this year’s invasion of Japanese Beetles was discouraging).
The 4 acres surrounding our home were surprisingly “gardenless” before we became Full Moon’s caretakers. When we first toured the property, the woman living here said, “I never knew where to put a garden.”
Really? How about anywhere?
18 years later, we have many flower gardens and a wonderful vegetable garden. From asparagus to the potatoes and carrots we’ve dug up after snowfalls, the annual parade of homegrown produce has blessed our table and fed our spirits–and guests–as well.
Gardening is many things, but it’s never “finished.” The designs and plans are always evolving, the living 3-D sculpture is always changing, and gardeners are forever hopefully dreaming about the next opportunity to co-create their art with Nature. The satisfaction of planting seeds and reaping both food and beauty offers a continual enticement and delight.
Bless the seed; bless the fruit; bless the meal and bless those present, enjoying the lovely, spiraling energy of life, dancing in our gardens, bodies, and spirits.
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