I’ve lived on four continents and have worked in six countries. Where I am right now for sure does not suck, it is gorgeous, but I seriously doubt that it is my resting place.
There have been some places that felt like home from the moment I touched the ground, and I didn’t have to try and fit in, or get a ‘lay of the land’, I just knew it and it felt right. And then there were other places that are best described as the arm pits of the world, and I have no need to ever return.
I’ve never had a small feeling about my world, I think I have always considered my home my home, wherever I am at the time, and the rest of the world my back yard, or playground. I’ve never felt restricted, or better yet, restrained. I tend to feel a part of the bigger whole, if that makes sense. But I think it stems from me putting out my own tap root a long time ago.
To put it in short, I am part of earth, I would not do well on mars or any other planet, transplanting me is not an option… My tap root keeps me here, and that is a good thing.
But no matter the place, I have always put out a garden, even if I knew I was only going to be there for less than a growing season. My hands in the dirt are my connection to this earth. It’s grounding for me, it makes me feel like me, and I need it.
Some of my gardens have been postage stamp small, but from dirt, to seed, the roots, to plant, life happened. A connection. Other gardens along the way have been huge, some too huge. My Dad use to call our Wyoming garden a ‘truck garden’, meaning we could fill the back of a truck on a weekly basis with all that we were growing. I preferred to call it our ‘jungle of greatness’.
Some times my gardens are a success, both planned and unplanned. And sometimes Mother Nature reminds me that it isn’t about my skill, but by her will, because just when I am feeling like the dirt goddess, there will be a giant hail storm, or a hungry raccoon, or cabbage worms, or fire, or a fruit tree blight of some sort. So I am always reminded to be humble, be grateful for what we eat from our garden each day, and to keep my little dirt ego in check.
This year I did a ton of augmenting to our soil. I think I have been a bit spoiled by what we produce each year that I have been forgetting to replenish the dirt, and if it wasn’t for the dirt, we wouldn’t have anything.
We grow our own green manure (comfrey, borage, hairy vetch, winter rye, and any other plant that grows that we don’t use). We tend our own compost pile. I have a tumbler, my husband does the red worm composting (his is much better just in case you wanted to know, but I would never tell him this, it’s a bit of a compost contest of sorts).
This year I added additional worm castings, blood meal, bone meal, and composted chicken manure. AND for the first time ever, epsom salts. I did a dirt test and it turns out we were a bit low on magnesium, and it also turns out epsom salts are the best way to get that back in.
I spent no less than a month straight of tending to our soil before seeding and planting, and I am seeing the pay off. Reminder, keep the little dirt ego in check …
We are currently eating solely out of our garden when it comes to herbs and vegetables. Even our young onions are perfect right now. Our raspberry patch is going to ripen about the last few days of July, and by the looks of it this year we will be picking for a couple of hours a day for about a month. We usually get between 20-40 gallons of raspberries. Our fruit trees are loaded this year, and if we beat the birds to the apples and plums, we should have a great fall harvest.
The dogs and I were up early, my husband a bit earlier, and this is how our one garden greeted us today. Enjoy, Nancy