The message from the garden is an intense expression and symbol of life itself. The lessons learned are of such value and cannot be spoken, but rather learned for oneself. The deception of weeds and the resemblance they have to actual nearby vegetable plants, the fragility, the delicate balance of nutrients, sun and water, the attention given to, the love and fruitfulness given back; all of it is such a relevant portrayal of what life itself yields to us. What we give, we truly get back.
As mid February approaches and the smell of spring is near, I think about seedlings and gardening. Believe me when I say, I am a beginning amateur at best, but I love it. I have but only a small summer garden, but it is has proven to be fruitful in its own precious way. I am hoping to continue this year into not only summer growing, but some wonderful fall and winter plants as well. I have a tremendous appreciation for the art and skill of gardening at any level. So thank you to all of the farmers and growers that serve us with wholesome, fresh, nutrient dense plant foods and their wisdom.
My husband was blessed with an extraordinary man he calls Pa, his grandfather and our childrens’ great-grandfather. I consider him the closest person to a Master Gardner that I have ever personally known and met. At 80 something years young, he still tends to a garden daily. Whether it be summer or winter in South Carolina, he is either fertilizing with his own homemade “organic” (in the truest sense of the word) compost, starting seedlings, or growing and tending to spring, summer, fall and winter plants. Incredible is the word to describe him and Christ like is another. He is genuinely beautiful, gentle and humble as is his wife Mema.
Pa has been gardening close to 65 years since he and Mema were first married. Not only does he still tend to a garden, but he and Mema enjoy canning, freezing, pickling, making their own wine, you name it, as well as providing amazingly fresh produce to their friends and family with, quite literally, the fruits of their labor.
The very little bit of knowledge that I do have with gardening, I owe all to Pa. He has provided me with the basic tips and tools to truly provoke a desire and an interest to carry this wisdom through life. I can only hope that I become even a little close to his skill level in my years to come.
If you do not have access to ground space, I encourage you to try deck plants or even window sill plants. There is nothing quite as rewarding as that of eating and cooking with your own homegrown plants. Tomatoes or indoor herbs are a great place to start. Last, but not least, if you come face to face with an individual such as Pa, it would be in your best interest to quietly and wholeheartedly listen to their message from the garden. You will never regret it.