A post on gardening might be a strange pick for TBT in the dead of winter, but my mind has been on the topic more and more lately, both as a beautiful outdoor hobby and as a means of sustenance—even survival. There’s also a spiritual element to feeling one’s own soil between one’s fingers. I get a sense of deep satisfaction after pawing through the richness of my own land.
Perhaps I’m being overly Romantic, but planning and planting a garden is a wonderful experience. I’m not very good at it, mind you (unlike my mother, who can make anything grow in any conditions, it seems), but I enjoy tackling the flower beds (just not enough to keep them free of weeds consistently).
As I noted Tuesday, I’ve become increasingly interested in investing in a solid cultivator and turning some my lawn into beds for vegetables. A buddy of mine is keen on the idea, and has offered to help with his labor and some funds in exchange for a share of the crops (would that make him a sharecropper, essentially renting my land and giving me some of the fruits of his labor?). I think it would be a fun, albeit time-consuming, project, but one worthwhile.
Another friend of mine has been slowly turning his postage stamp backyard into a thriving organic garden for years now. He’s been growing without fertilizer so that the soil can build back up essential nutrients and fertility. Apparently, fertilizer yields great resorts in the short-term, but it doesn’t help the soil replenish its fertility. He’s taking the long, slow approach, but he’s gradually turning that Midlands Carolina clay into rich topsoil.
There’s so much I don’t know about this process, but at the same time, my thought is, “dig in.” I already buried last year’s Jack O’Lanterns and seeds near my grapevines—why not? Maybe I’ll get lucky and get some pumpkins. Worst-case, my grapevines get some more nutrients.
Or it could all just be an expensive boondoggle. We’ll see. My results this past Labor Day weekend were pretty good, so I’m feeling optimistic.
With that, here is 2019’s “Gardening“:
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