How do you do it?
I start with dreaming. Seed catalogues start coming right around Christmas and looking through them I dream of the possibilities that the coming growing season might hold. I take stock of seeds that I have on hand – saved or purchased. I often want to try one new thing. I ultimately order seeds, mindful of heirloom and organic varieties. I start a few seeds in the house, but since I get plants from my brother and others, I usually don’t start tomato, pepper or cole crops. Digging up the garden, planting seeds and plants, and ultimately weeding are regular tasks in spring and summer. Harvesting and processing the produce also are regular summer into fall tasks.
Why do you do it?
I can’t help it. Growing up, gardening was a taken-for-granted activity. We always had a large garden, which was my mother’s joy. We siblings “had” to help in the garden, weeding and harvesting. It seemed – seems – to be just what one does. I do it for the produce, but also for the miracle of plants growing and producing. I cannot “make” a seed grow. I can only provide to a degree the conditions that make it possible for a seed to be fruitful. It is relaxing (usually) and wonderful to be out in the fresh air, working with the soil and growing things. I look forward to surprises, often growing out of the compost pile.
How do you think this fits in the commitment for Caring for Creation?
By growing and preserving some of my own food, I limit to a degree my dependence on mass produced food and what it takes to get that food to the market. It gives me the opportunity to share the goods. By composting waste I don’t add to garbage pile ups. I try to be always mindful of the statement: when I throw something away, where is away?
Why should others do it?
Why not? It is good exercise, gets you out in the elements, provides some useful end products, and enables you to be a co-creator, by providing what is needed for plants to grow, and you witness the miracle of transformation.