Last year we moved house, gaining stewardship of a garden for the first time. Our bodies and minds were nourished by the time spent there, digging in the dirt, relaxing in the open air, as well as the seven strawberries and handful of basil we managed to grow. One of our aspirations for 2016 was to grow more of our own food – a move towards greater self-sufficiency as well as reconnecting us with nature and where our food comes from.
We’ve dug over the beds, planted, sewn indoors and out, and are tentatively hopeful our crop this year *might* include:
lettuce * rocket
potatoes * onions *peppers * chillis
basil * coriander * rosemary * mint
kale (these seeds were free. I have never felt more middle class than the moment I sowed kale seeds)
and, our beloved strawberry plant that survived the winter.
I emphasise ‘might’ and ‘tentatively hope’ for my own sake more than anything. I feel a responsibility to bring all the potential packed into two millimetres of seed (more in the case of the potatoes) into reality. I remind myself: this is something new. Something we are learning, trying out. It’s not just about filling our kitchen cupboards this year; it’s about developing skills and acquiring knowledge that will carry us through the growing seasons for years to come. It may be unfruitful this year, but it is not wasted.
It’s curious that in the Spring months I am returning to the aspirations laid out at the beginning of 2016. I find everything easier from the return of Spring. The days themselves feel laden with more potential. The same number of hours but so much more possibility contained within them. Perhaps aspirations are cold-blooded. They need to rest in the sun a while before the action begins.
We picked up the three tea chests for £25 from Gumtree; my hero of a husband turned two of them into a planter for potatoes and onions. Much cheaper and more aesthetically and environmentally pleasing than anything sold in the garden centre. With the added satisfaction of building it ourselves (my role: mopper of brow, supplier of beverages).
Today’s soundtrack: First Aid Kit // The Lion’s Roar