An Update on the Garden

I guess you could call this a self portrait of sorts.  I loathe to use the term “selfie,” and in this case would it even count as a “selfie” if I only took one shot rather than dozens?  But there it is, my shadow in the lower left corner of the shot.  The sun was lowering perfectly to drape my garden in golden light, but also perfectly so that I couldn’t get a picture (with my phone no less) without my shadow in it.  So selfie it is.

The garden is growing in exuberant bunches of greens.  Farm kids in Iowa would talk about how in the peak growing season for corn you could actually hear the corn stalks growing, a sort of breeze-like, reedy, squeaking.  I cannot hear my garden growing, but I like to imagine the leaves creaking as they unfurl farther; the squash blossoms opening their maws; and the sunflowers, tomatoes and runner beans snaking at what seems like an unnatural speed.  Yet it is all the definition of natural.  There are days when I come outside shocked by the riot of green  in my backyard.  Runner beans that have literally grown a foot over night.  Rows of chard and kale that I had just brutalized (aka thinned) the day before and that had grown back with leafy vengeance.  And don’t even get me started on the squash hill that centers my garden plot.  Oh my…

I’ll get back to the greens in another post, but today is just about a brief celebration of abundant greenery.  Little Man’s favorite time of day, other than cuddling with Mommy or Daddy while sipping juice (heavily watered down) and watching a little bit of TV after nap time, is when I’m watering the garden.  He gets his “work boots” on and gets to tromp through the garden plots, moving as I move the oscillating sprinkler, shrieking in his three year old voice “Is this the shower I’m looking for?” as he runs back and forth through the arching rainbow of water.

"Is this the shower I'm looking for?" squealed Little Man.

“Is this the shower I’m looking for?” squeals Little Man.

And please note the crazy bunch of greenery in the lower left corner of my garden plot in the photo with Little Man dashing through the water.  If you remember a recent post of mine (Even if You Are a Killer of Plants) on growing salad greens in a container, this is what happens when you let them loose in the ground and really spread their roots.  I just attacked that garden last night to make lettuce wrapped hoisin chicken for our dinner guests, so it isn’t quite as fluffy today.  But only just slightly less.  I picked a massive overflowing bowl of greenery, and this morning the plants had spread their remaining leaves and replaced them seemingly by magic.  I shudder at the thought of ever having to buy lettuce again, but since we don’t have a southern California growing season (aka year round garden access…  not that I’m jealous… OK, I’m a little jealous), at some point this good thing will come to an end.  Oh bother.

In the meantime we are all reveling in our first ever “real” garden that is not in containers, though we have those too.  It’s fun to think about all the ways that we have grown as individuals, as a family, as immigrants, and as first time gardeners in this last year. It sets the bar pretty high for this current year…



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