That’s my tiny view over the garden this morning and I’m pleased to witness the result of the wind’s noisy labors over the past several days. It’s hard work, after all, moving weather systems. In the midst of the bluster, I did catch some fun moonlit shots of the house, and although tax season now menaces my tiny great room with its blinding, paper blizzard, the photos, today’s sun and last night’s amphibious choir cheer me.
Lists continue to spring up like the kale, arugula, baby lettuces and weed sprouts that comprise the lawn around my wee house. I’m parked where the garden waste pile used to reside—convenient for grazing a bit closer to the house. Nevertheless, I add grass seed to the list, just over flower-planting, gray water upgrades, and the privacy fence that will delineate my residential corner from the public garden sphere before later-season big events (i.e. the Whidbey Open Studio Tour dinner in the garden). Camille unleashed the roto-tiller a couple of weeks ago and the weeds are, already, providing ample opportunity for my active participation. Thoughts of fresh, seasonal bounty with which to enliven future Vittles posts elicit my Pavlovian response. (pausing to wipe chin…)
In the last six years, I’ve seen an explosion of organic gardens (even our local food bank sprouted a garden) and new (or renewed) generation farmers burst through fissures in the steely horizon of industrious obligation toward someone else’s bottom line. Urban agriculture is taking off, too, and there’s no time like the present, given the alarming number of humans struggling to afford food in spite of massive time/energy investment in ‘paid’ work. It makes sense: return on gardening investment is more immediate, direct and sustainable. As for my present living arrangement, the legality of my more-or-less ‘permanent’ residence in a 'temporary structure' happens to hinge on a farm worker housing concession in the county code.
A decade has passed since I landed in the Northwest, more in flight from divorce than with any clear sense of direction. I slapped together a typical 9-to-5 (and then some) existence in Seattle, with little time to cook or savor. I had begun to tune into ingredients lists in the grocery aisles, but often ate takeout effectively waiving conscious due diligence and paying in further energy depletion. Upon the brick-wall view through my apartment window, I projected an imaginarium with garden, community and time to participate and savor.
Much has changed since then. The sum impact of the many seemingly insignificant, disconnected, at times fed-up, rebellious or passive, desperate or determined, resolved and sometimes hopeful shifts that occurred, often with little notice on my part. A recent visitor, post-recount of my tiny labor of love and agony of the past five years, praised the accomplishment of what I’d done, (paraphrasing) instead of curling up crying in a corner. I grinned, owning it all. “Oh, yes. I did that, too.”
With special thanks to Camille LaTray, whose garden, especially, shaped this week's post.
See you next week.