Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

A garden, just so

Posted by Nika On July - 13 - 2007

First, a thought that I felt was noble, something to aspire to:

“So stop perching on your shoulders peering out from behind your eyes and sit down. And when you stand, stand forth from the haunted and dead thoughts of the past and idle and wasteful speculation about the future and take a step.” * see bottom of this post.

I usually load up my iPod with various zen teishos (podcasts) and walk about the garden in the cool of the morning listening to the zen masters without having to sit on my legs (an impossibility, I would throw a clot in no time). This is suboptimal because teisho is best after sitting at least some 45 minutes but its still a good thing to do. Sometimes I do wonder about the discordant dichotomy between my pondering the universal dharma and the preciousness of all beings while pulling weeds, killing flights of aphid babies and beetles, and pruning various plants. My sole justification is that I am growing this garden for my family, not for the ravenous bugs. Its the right justification but it still gives me pause as I consider the tenet of doing no harm.

As with the realities that most women have to live with, I come to terms with the needed death decisions in my garden but I do it first hand, by hand, and not in the disconnected way with pesticides.

Today I was admiring the way the kohlrabi plants had burst into growth but then when I looked more closely I noticed this little beetle you see below. He sure is pretty but he is also an eating machine. He has eaten several plants to nothing and has hit almost all the rest.

This photo? It was his last.

When I planned out my garden, I bought seeds that were not the usual thing you might see in a traditional New England garden (I am sure not a traditional New Englander, considering I was born at the Equator, in a far away land). One plant is doing MUCH better than I thought it would. Do you know what this plant is? There are several photos below.

and this..

and this..

If you know, drop me a comment!

The entire garden is surging into a green frenzy. Its abundance is hard to capture by camera but here is an attempt.

The tomatoes are blooming. I know that many other people have plants laden with fruits but we started late so we are happy with anything we get.

The cucumber plants have little infant cucumbers with tiny nascent blossoms.

This photos was taken yesterday.

This photo was taken today, the difference is amazing.

Our entire patch of spinach had been planted at the same time and it was also all starting to bolt at the same time so yesterday I pulled it all.

We steamed it, chopped it up and added hot heavy cream, salt, some pepper. Was delicious. We had many green spinach salads from the same patch over the past weeks. This spinach was just so productive!

* Ven. Anzan Hoshin roshi, concluding teisho 5: “Actualizing the Samadhi of Dharmata” in the series “Essentially Real, commentaries on Eihei Dogen zenji’s Hossho: Dharmata”. Presented on Tuesday, December 7, 2004 at the White Wind Zen Community Zendo in Ottowa, Ontario, Canada. See their site to learn more about zen and their sangha.

4 Responses to “A garden, just so”

  1. Charles says:

    The plant looks a little like okra…

  2. Nika says:

    Yum, okra, alas, no its not okra. I might plant okra next year but I will need to get an earlier start than I did this year.

  3. Charles says:

    Okra flowers are usually larger, but I thought it might have been a different variety.

  4. Nika says:

    Charles: nope! keep trying!

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About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.



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