Sunday, May 31, 2009

Growing security and comfort in the garden

I'm no good at gardening -- my thumbs are not green so much as they are the killer thumbs of doom when it comes to plants. So, my wanna-be farmer husband does the tilling and the planting and the maintenance, and I come along a few months later and harvest and pickle and can.

It's a system that works well for us, given that he's great at starting projects and I'm The Queen of Procrastination but good at tying up loose ends.

At The 36-Hour Day, I take a look at our garden, and realized that we've got a few other things growing in the raised beds along with the heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, and pole beans:

This morning, I looked out at the raised beds and saw the small leaves sticking out of the rich compost and dirt and felt… secure. Comforted. Relieved. If all goes well, a good garden means a full pantry at the end of the summer, and that means a lot when times are looking tough.

Sure, I could always run to the grocery store. But homegrown green beans have spoiled me for the kind that comes from a water-spritzed bin. It’s a rush to run outside and pick veggies for that night’s salad. And there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from reaching into a cupboard and pulling out a jar of something you made yourself.

Not just satisfaction, I’ll admit; there’s a feeling of having control over something in
an out-of-control world. I can’t control the economy, but I can save money and eat locally out of my own backyard. I can’t control the artificial ingredients in processed foods, but I can control what I’m stirring into a bubbling pot of jam. I can’t control what’s going on at the office, but I can fill my pantry with jars of homemade pickles and chutneys and sauces, getting a jump start on Christmas gifts I probably won’t be
able to afford to buy a few months from now.

Do you garden? Have you always, or is the economy making the decision for you?

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