Gardening never ceases to amaze me. I’d almost write the whole process off as a miracle, but then I’d be forgetting about the hours I spent hunched over a spade or hoe turning the soil, pulling countless weeds (thousands? millions??), swatting bugs (again, thousands? millions?), and wiping the sweat from my brow, just to prepare the garden for planting.
I guess the miraculous part comes when I’m too busy to even venture into the garden. Let’s say I head off across the country to see family and while I’m gone, it rains. It rains a lot. And by the time I return home two weeks later, there are 6 inches in the rain gauge. All the plants seem to have grown by at least 6 inches as well. I come home to a yard that’s blooming like it’s never bloomed before.
The best part is that these blooms are buzzing with bees and a flutter with hummingbirds and monarch butterflies. I’ve been taking a moment here and there to stop and watch the bees and butterflies as they go from flower to flower. I highly recommend this sort of meditation, by the way.
At our community garden plot, things are flourishing as well. My sweet husband tended it while I was galavanting across the country—he harvested cucumbers, raspberries, and steered the squash vines away from the neighbor’s plot. A few days ago, my 15-year-old harvested beets, the garlic crop*, more rhubarb, broccoli, and Swiss chard. So great to have him go to the garden while I got a little editing done. Ah, the teenage years! (I’m crossing my fingers he doesn’t wake up tomorrow and realize he should be rebelling…)
Meanwhile, I’ve been pulling all those weeds that also thrive on 6 inches of rain. And coming up with ways to use the veggies and fruits from the garden. I won’t ramble on again about raspberry jam, but I will urge you to try a raw beet grated over your next salad. Especially if you make it a spinach salad and you add 1/2 cubed avocado**, 1/2 cup dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and a splash of a sweet, spicy balsamic vinaigrette. Yum!
So that’s how the gardening is growing. I’m guessing I have an abundance of beets in my future, so if you happen have any great beet recipes, send them my way! I’ll enter your name in a drawing to win a free copy of Dig In! or The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book (your choice). Until next time, happy gardening!
* Like Garlic? Learn how to grow your own bulb from a single clove on page 34 of my book, Dig In! 12 Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps.
**Crazy about Avocados? Start your own avocado plant from an avocado pit! Learn how on page 42 in The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book: Gardening Projects for All Seasons, also by yours truly.