In the Pacific Northwest we’ve had some very extreme weather the last two months. True winter came for a late visit. With over a foot of snow dumped in 24 hours and more the following days, we had snow in our yard until recently. And at our home, we don’t get a lot of sun in certain areas of our yard until Spring has “sprung”.
This week….the SUN has arrived and we are all about the cherry blossoms demonstrating their magic, as well as, crocuses and daffodils that were weighed down with snow, now have bright yellow and purple blooms.
So begins gardening season. My favorite time of year. New beginnings and new life. I am an avid gardener. For the last ten years I’ve been growing not only a variety of perennials, but also several raised garden beds of edible plants, a huge raspberry garden (that began with only two twigs 7 years ago) and a few maturing blueberry bushes. It is a dream of mine to have a larger property and use nearly every space for food producing plants.
This is Mosie & I in 2009 when I first started gardening.
It is so completely satisfying to plant a seed the size of a pea or even smaller, a grain of sand, and water it and allow God to break the seed open and the sun to warm the earth and cause a living plant to emerge to become nourishment for our family and friends.
My passion for the idea that God created everything we need to thrive and heal has been weaved into my desire to grow our own food. To walk out into my yard to gather beautiful basil, thyme and oregano to cook with or add to salads, and to gather my colorful, unordinary, oddly shaped heirloom tomatoes and slice them fresh to serve with an avocado for lunch is bliss. Each variety and color tastes slightly different, some like the Green Zebra are salty, others like the Purple Cherokee are divinely sweet. I try to mix colorful flowers into the gardens to attract honey bees and I follow suggested companion planting in order to benefit plants as they grow close or distant to one another. I especially love growing plants that you cannot easily buy in the store. Did you know that there are rainbow carrots and orange beets or deep blue and purple potatoes?
If you’ve ever considered growing even a little bit of “food” in your yard or pots on your porch, it’s time to get ready! Here a couple simple tips to help you get your garden started.
- Get the ground cleared and weeded now to avoid the billions of seeds dropping and creating a larger problem in the future. If you plan to use pots, get them prepped with good soil.
- Look for a great spot that gets at least 5 hours of sunlight a day.
- Get some quality compost to mix into your soil to add nutrients. Locally, I like Cedar Grove Organic soil mix.
You can integrate some edibles into your flower garden beds if you don’t want to dedicate an entire space to it. Bush bean plants, for example, are really lovely when they flower and are simple to grow and exciting to harvest for just about anyone.
In our business, I am a listener. I am a nurturer to every situation. In life, I am all of those things and being a gardener just fits. Gardening gives me space to dig in the dirt, be messy and random as well as planned and orderly. It allows me to be creative in ways that don’t make sense to Chris and collect without adding to my already full house. Gardening allows creativity, listening to the birds and life all around me, and naturally, nurturing the garden makes it thrive. The quiet when I’m solo in the garden offers peace I cannot entirely explain. The birds, the time to pray (I’m already on my knees), thinking my own thoughts without interruption…try it friends. It just may be a passion that develops for you too. If so, share your thoughts and experiences with me. If you garden already, why? What about it brings you joy?