As I watch our garden grow I’m getting more and more excited to eat that first batch of vegetables straight from the earth. I’ve nibbled on some cress and a tiny lettuce leaf here and there, but so far we haven’t harvested anything. We always plant a little late and so the abundant salads we should have been eating earlier this spring are only now on the menu for later this week. Tomatoes and peppers are still about a month out. And I can’t wait.
Early each spring we order seeds and take such care to help them grow into strong little starts to transfer to our garden when the time is right. Somehow our care never is enough to make those seeds thrive and so each June we sigh, throw our failed little seedlings into the compost heap and buy some starts from a garden shop. However, those seeds we plant straight in the earth seem to fare much better than those we plant inside and give so much attention and care. In the early days of germination for these outside seedlings, I look forward to going out to the garden each morning to see what else has sprouted. This season it was more a guessing game than anything else because as soon as we’d carefully planted row after row of beans, lettuce and herbs, Jack hopped into our raised bed, kicking our seeds everywhere. Happily most everything survived even if the herbs are mixed in with the lettuce and it took lots of time to figure out what was where. It’s just an untidy garden right now with a bunch of imperfect rows and random clusters of growing greens.
This is our fourth summer planting our little garden, and even though it never seems to go as planned, it’s still one of my favorite parts of summer. There’s something about plotting out the plants, buying the seeds, churning the earth and knowing that our work will feed us, at least a little bit, that makes it so rewarding.
And even though I know I can’t ever really know what’s on Jack’s mind, I believe he likes having the garden just as much as we do. It seems to be a place we spend a lot of time together.