This year will be my second year with a garden and I have learned a whole lot. I am fortunate enough that the rental property I have has a community garden that I am able to use each year during the summer. While I would love to say that I am an expert gardener and have tips and tricks to share with you on your gardening adventure, I can’t.
I am a beginner and I am learning.
My peppers won’t quite ripen.
My cucumbers are trying to attach to every plant in my plot.
My tomatoes threaten to topple over each and every day.
My home is filled with blooms.
The produce bowl is spilling over with tomatoes.
My friends and family get to try the things I’ve grown.
So, maybe this isn’t a list of things to help you with your garden, but instead a simple list to inspire you brought to you by my garden.
3 Things I’ve Learned From Gardening
You can’t stop growth.
This seems like an idea we are all fairly familiar with, but sometimes we forget. As human beings we (and the world around us) are constantly evolving and growing even when we feel like that is not the case. As I mentioned before, my garden box is in a shared community, meaning someone else had this plot last year. When I started filling the garden with fertilizer, fresh soil and new plants, I noticed hundreds of tiny dead cherry tomatoes in the plot. I picked out all the ones I could see and then planted everything I had brought. Well, a couple weeks later I noticed little sprouts all over the garden box … sprouts I hadn’t planted. I pulled one up and underneath the dirt was the cherry tomato. Hundreds of the old dead tomatoes had weathered through the winter, hidden from me, and started to grow. I will be honest I was horrified at all the work I had to do to continue to remove these but then I was awe-struck. You cannot stop growth.
Abundance can feel like a burden.
We’re at the peak of the summer harvest season and I am overwhelmed with the amount of produce (specifically tomatoes) in my home. I am adding tomatoes to every meal, making and freezing pasta sauce, and pawning off tomatoes on my friends and family. You won’t catch me complaining about the success of the garden, but I will say abundance doesn’t always mean easy or simple, in fact, it’s forced me to be creative.
Pay attention, or you’ll miss it.
I always catch myself writing “I can’t believe it’s the end of (insert whatever month)” but I wasn’t really observing how fast time is moving outside of that on a regular basis. Every trip to the garden is my reminder to slow down, because at first glance when I spot my plot I can see there are flowers and that those are the biggest tomato bushes I’ve ever seen. But when I get closer, and I mean bend down and put your hands in the dirt closer, I see a pepper I didn’t know had started to grow. I see bright orange pops in the dead center of the tomato plant, and the bees coming to rest on the flowers. And each time I visit something has changed. Not so dissimilar from our day-to-day lives.
I hope these things I have learned from my garden help you and maybe even inspire you to plant a garden.
Tomatoes freeze beautifully! Just chop them and put in freezer bags! I don’t even peel them! This winter, add them to soups, stews and sauces for a whisper of Summer! Love your blog (especially your book recommendations!) and Soul & Wit podcast!