Gardening Simplicity

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” — Alfred Austin

One can dream and plan of what they want their garden to be like year after year. However, if the weather and abilities to put that plan in motion are not in your favor, you will need to be able to see your dream change to meet the new circumstances. I would love to have my garden blossoming with colors right now, as it is almost mid June. Yet, this year the weather conditions, asthma, allergies, and even baseball season came first over managing the gardening plans. Am I a little sad to see my garden at an early stage? Sure. But I know it will still have plenty of time to grow and be wonderful.

In the past, I have taken a lot of time making raised rows for the plant types. This year, I just made hills for each individual plant. I do this to ensure the plant has enough soft soil to sprawl the new roots into in order to get established. As well as to ensure the plant doesn’t drown, if a big rain storm comes along during that critical period.

In previous years, I had tried to plant a lot of vegetables in a small amount of space. My thinking was more plants equaled more produce. Yet, I discovered my sensitive skin would break out and itch after going into the garden. Did you know there actually is a skin allergy to tomato leaves? So just add that to my list of allergies. I made sure to space the tomatoes out and make the rows wide enough this time around. I have changed my thinking to more quality than quantity.

Furthermore, I want my garden to place of relaxing and discovering. I planted a lot of flowers in the garden and nearby. Natural attraction and resistance of good and bad insects are welcome to come by (or stay away).  I left plenty of empty space for my boys to dig in the dirt. To discover what lives in the dirt. Enjoy all aspects of what God has given us to help sustain us. If we don’t enjoy seeing the delicate processes that go on inside a garden, why do we have one. God desires us to seek him on a regular basis. Where else can we focus on his masterpieces than in a garden.

 

Advertisements

My Rare Allergy Increases the Amount of Plants

“Gardening is medicine that does not need a prescription… and has no limit on dosage.” –Unknown

I bet that title got your attention and you are wondering how an allergy of mine can increase the amount of plants in my garden. Well, I am allergic to the spice called pepper. It now can be found in a ton of foods, sauces, and even powdered mixtures. I no longer have the convenience of eating out a most restaurants or picking up already made foods from the store. I can’t eat a lot of items on a buffet or pick up a pizza for dinner. I can’t even pick up a bottle of barbecue sauce to go on chicken for a quick meal or have ranch dressing unless I mix it from scratch. I joke with family that I would have more available food choices if I was gluten intolerant (thankfully I am not).

So with fixing practically everything from scratch, I need a lot of whole foods or minimally processed ones. I have learned to make my own pizza sauce and pasta sauce. Which taste so much better than jarred versions!  I have started really enjoying fried bell peppers. By the way, bell peppers are a different plant species from the pepper plants that are spicy or used to make black pepper. I enjoy my food a lot more than I use to by seasoning it from individual spices instead of mixes (which is huge seeing as eating was always just another chore to do when it hurt to eat with Crohn’s disease for so many years).

My garden has grown from 14 tomato plants to 50 tomato plants in 3 years! This was the first year I has success with growing them from seeds. I even gave away about a dozen of them. I cook with tomatoes, process them into sauces, can them up for later use, and even freeze some. My bell peppers or sweet peppers has also grown from 4 plants to 28! I freeze them and cook with them all year long. I can’t wait to see what amount of harvest God will bless me with this year.