Gardening is a strange thing to consider with snow falling all around. Gardening … now? But as I go through this, you’ll probably begin to understand why.
I walked around my house looking for things that I treasured. It didn’t stop at my umpteen pairs of shoes, or my computer, or my checkbook (we don’t really have one, thanks to ING – we just order each check as needed), all of my movies, or even my spiffy new camera. I didn’t even take a picture of my diamond engagement ring. I realized that what I treasured were the things that made me feel secure. I mean, isn’t that what we hope for in every relationship we ever have? We hate dating because there is so much uncertainty. We buy a home because we hate the idea of ever being kicked out or moving every six months. With economic uncertainty oozing from everywhere, it’s nice to know I can take care of a few things myself.
We had a big garden this year at our community garden. We loved it. But now it is winter and we cannot rely on the bounty of the garden. Even the chard is snowed over. But we have reserves, and I love them. LOVE THEM! I love the taste of fresh peaches (canned this summer) with homemade yogurt and chicken smothered with homemade salsa in the slow cooker. And to be honest, it wasn’t just the preserved food, but also the empty jars. There is something about having enough jars … I can’t explain it.
I love a freezer full of goodness – meats, vegetables, breads, and yes, cookies.
After my husband told friends and family he had joined the LDS Church and most New Englanders don’t know much about the LDS Church, he got a lot of random and generally off-based comments about it. But one was right on, and he thought it was hilarious. “Oh, you get to have a basement full of food!” And it’s true. The LDS Church strongly advocates having a supply of food storage for difficult times, whatever they may be. So, we’re working on our basement full of food. (And please, I mean no offense to New Englanders, I promise. Many misconceptions exist everywhere about the LDS faith, and we’re always more than willing to dispel without offense weird rumors – no, I do not have horns and yes, I am Matt’s only wife, fortunately for him.)
My cookbooks – strangely enough – provide an additional level of security. They represent an ability to cook, to feed my family, and to make something out of what seems like nothing. I hate moving them, but that’s probably why we bought our townhouse, so I don’t have to move until I’m ready.
My drying rack for laundry was a bit unexpected, but we dry nearly everything on it. By doing just a load a day, we keep the humidity up in our house, save money from not running the dryer, give the dryer a longer lifespan by not using it much, and my jeans NEVER SHRINK, which is good when long enough ones are difficult to find. It also means I have clothes to wash.
And the little picture of a sleeping child is the greatest security I can have, for many and random reasons, in no particular order. First, at least half of my DNA has been preserved (which I’m sure is essential to my feeling of security). Second, it means I have unbounded joy in my home. Third, the bed and mattress were free – saving money is wonderful security. And fourth, naptime allows me some time to take care of things and work on making dinner and snacks and cleaning – more money saving and giving real foods to the people I love (including me!).
After more thought, I realized, I ought to have added my full coat and linen closets (mmm, warmth on this rather snowy day), and my library books (the $50 a year comes out whether I use them or not). So how, you ask, does this relate to gardening?
Well, it is time now to start planning. Next month, we’ll probably order our seeds and start our Brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc) in our little window greenhouse. If we had fruit trees (dream on, I know) we could be pruning them for next year. We are already perusing our seed catalogs, because some seeds sell out and some vegetables can grow while it still freezes -planting by March? Lovely. Seeds also save in zipper baggies in the fridge for several years, so we don’t have too many to buy. That said, I have no idea what I have, so I need to take inventory before I order. Gardening isn’t for everyone, and I know that, but it’s for me and my family. If you want to give it a whirl this year, I promise that plants are pretty hardy things and will defy most peoples attempts to murder them. A little sunshine, some water, good soil, and you might be willing to get your hands a little dirty for a fresh tomato.