in the garden

I got to work in the garden this morning, one of my favorite pandemic activities. The weather and my schedule have kept me away for the last month. I missed it.

You can watch the seasons change in real time in the garden. Things root and sprout and grow and die and hibernate. Noticing the differences from week to week is a really graceful way to mark the passage of time. Much healthier than what I have been doing: curling up in a ball on my couch and whining about how the rain and gloom just won’t go away.

In the garden this morning, I cleared out some raised beds that still had remnants of greens from the fall and planted sugar snap peas. Planted! Peas! It’s the end of February, and it is time to PLANT things. Hallelujah. Peas are the early crop, of course, and we’ll harvest and pull them up and re-plant those beds several times over the season. But the act of sowing seeds in soil, anticipating the magic of watching them grow with nothing other than light and water and a little tender care is hopeful.

I also got to deadhead some of last season’s mums that were starting to show some new life – I didn’t even KNOW that mums were perennial. The local ACE hardware store donates leftover seeds from the previous season, and this batch includes a LOT of pumpkins. So we started envisioning a pumpkin patch by the back fence, ornamented with these mums – leftover from a garden store’s autumn sale.

I came home and promptly tended to the skeleton of a mum hanging basket that I’d abandoned on my own porch, hoping that it, too, might have some new life left in it.

Nearly everything in the community garden is donated, re-used or recycled. The raised beds are made from shipping crates. The compost comes from the connected Food Hub’s waste. The plants get donated. The labor is all volunteer. I love it. It feels like magic – that simple things otherwise tossed into the garbage come to life and turn into FOOD that feeds me and my neighbors all year long.

Nothing profound to say here, as I write late in the day to fulfill my daily writing commitment: just deep, deep gratitude for the magic of the ParkTown Food Hub Garden and the privilege of getting to be a part of it.

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