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Friday, January 18, 2008

When Gardeners garden...

This is my paternal great grandparents working in their garden outside their home in Utah. Circa 1930

When I was eleven years old I announced to my parents that I wanted to be a shepherd when I grew up. They assumed I was just trying to make them laugh, but I was completely sincere. I had thought about how I wanted to spend my time as an adult and the life of a shepherd seemed fitting. I can see now what I was reaching for - a quiet simple life, my days spent out of doors, with animals and mother nature. Though I don't want to be a shepherd anymore, I still yearn for the same things I did as a child.

My mind is always going. There are all sorts of names for my type but I prefer to call myself a dreamer. Sometimes though, my brain can get fuddled up with noise - all of the things I heard/read/saw that day from websites, the news, phone calls, music from the car radio, my kids running through the house screaming, or the dog barking. The only thing that seems to help is going outside and doing something with my hands. When I'm outside it feels like all of that confusion and stress just slips off of me and is replaced with a quiet strength. I know that sounds silly but I mean it!

I see the same in my kids. After too much television or video games - they are like wide-eyed zombies ready to attack. I've found if we take a step outside and pull some weeds from the tomatoes, or gather some basil for making fresh pesto, or just watch the chickens scratch around for bugs, that they return to their former selves. They're curious and thoughtful - they're happy (and a little dirty).

I recently came across a quote from Ken Druse, a gardening guru, writer, and photographer, that said:

When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow,
but the gardeners themselves.

He succinctly puts into words what I find to be true in my own life. I have realized that to live an abundant life I need more time in that element and away from computers, television, and radios. More than ever before, the world we are surrounded by is constantly bombarding us with both visual and auditory noise. It gets harder and harder to have even shorts amounts of time away from technology. I finally got a cell phone a few months ago and I have a hard time even blow-drying my hair without it in my gaze. I easily become a media junkie who needs a garden to save me on a day to day basis!

So, that is why I am so excited, or should I say obsessed, with this new blog. These activities that have been lost in the last two generations or less are essential to living full & peaceful lives! I really do hope that it will serve as a reminder and a help to my family and yours in our quest for better lives. And if not, at least in our quest for some darn tasty eggs and homemade pesto!



Amy Jo Bland said...

I love your new blog! I am personally excited to try out the potatoes this year. When is the right time to plant them in Houston?

m. & m. said...

Amy Jo - I already planted my potatoes and I am just two hours north of Houston. Potato plants are cold hardy but don't start growing until the soil temperature is around 45 degrees and will actually stop producing potatoes when the soil temperature rises above 80-85 degrees. In Houston that comes a lot sooner than other places. I'd say anytime between now and the end of February would be good timing. And with the trash can method you put the lid on in case of an unexpected freeze.

Thanks for the question - I'm sure a lot of people were wondering this!

m. & m. said...

I just went and checked my soil temperature - and it is sitting at just around 60 degrees. Of course today was wet but not as cold. I'll check it again on Thursday(it's supposed to be colder that day) and let you know where it's at.

Amanda said...

I feel exactly the same way when I'm outside vs. inside. Thanks for sharing!