Tied Up

Friday, July 23rd, 2010
Lashing for the tomato supports as a metaphor for my life? Or am I overthinking this?

Lashing for the tomato supports as a metaphor for my life? Or am I overthinking this?

This post’s title refers as much to me and my time as it does to the tomatoes. I’ve been wanting to write about, what I think is, an elegant solution to supporting tomatoes but have been struggling to find the time to put it together. And it’s had me thinking about how the kitchen garden is working within the framework of a balanced lifestyle, one where I have the time to spend on the people and relationships and things that are important to me. It’s a thought process that I’m sure many people are familiar with (although we all arrive at different conclusions). For me, planting a kitchen garden is part of how I balance my ‘work’ and ‘play’…I’ve decided I don’t like categorizing my activities like that – ‘work’ should be playful and ‘play’ can become work too easily – but it’s a commonly understood shorthand to how we view ‘things we have to do’ (for survival) and ‘things we choose to do’ (for pleasure). 

I don’t have to grow a kitchen garden for survival. In these days where we fear for our food security, it’s a common enough reason that people give for growing their own food (and, in some scenarios, a completely valid one) but it’s not my motivation.

I don’t have to grow a kitchen garden so I can eat ‘organic’ produce. I do garden sustainably without the use of synthetic, petroleum-based substances (except from my car) but it’s because it’s cheaper – compost is free fertilizer – and easier -a balanced ecosystem takes care of itself. And okay, it’s satisfying to know that I’m ingesting a few less chemicals when I eat from my garden.

I don’t have to grow a kitchen garden to save money on the grocery bill. It just so happens that I buy fewer groceries but again, it’s not my primary motivation.

I choose to grow a kitchen garden for the creating, the nurturing, the tasting, the pure pleasure of it all. I am not romanticizing the effort involved – the dirt, the sweat, the bugs, the fact that gardening is as much about dispensing death as it is about nurturing life – but, at the end of the day, it is one of the things in my life that brings me the most soul satisfaction; it is my ‘play’ time.

This blog is too. But, unfortunately, the thing that I have to do (work) is sapping the energy I need for the thing I choose to do (writing). So, of course, the only conclusion I can reach is that the work thing is going to have to change.

Stay tuned for how (if) I can manage to get more play from my work (and for the post on how to support tomatoes)…

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Snapshot: July18, 2010

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

July 18 2010

 

1. Spinach was bolting – I cut it back and used it in an Indian lentil dish.

2. First sowing of cilantro bolted and I pulled it out.

3. California poppy is blooming.

4. Arugula is flowering – I must pull it out soon.

5. I pulled out the bolting red mustard and sowed basil around the bed edge instead.

6. The borage is blooming, encouraging lots of bees!

Borage blooms a luminous blue.

Borage blooms a luminous blue.

A Rebellious Move

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

(True story.) 

Overheard at the garden centre a couple of weeks ago…

Mother, to her 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son: What else should we plant in the vegetable garden?  Do you want some more tomatoes, or maybe some peppers?

Silence from the son.

Daughter: I want to plant some flowers.

Mother: Sweetie, we don’t plant flowers with vegetables.

???!!!

Sweetie, this is for you!

Blooming California poppy and raab

Blooming California poppy and raab

Closeup of arugula flower
Closeup of arugula flower