Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
My Edible Garden :: Personal Reflections
Seeds for the fall edible garden were recently sown. Choosing to do this early in the morning promises stillness and uninterrupted tranquility.
The day dawning in softness gradually evolving into brightness in the sunny side of the garden.
A well-worn path through a grassy lane runs the length of the vegetable garden. It serves as the main walkway from the front to the back gardens.
Planning for a new season in the edible garden begins weeks ahead of actual seed-sowing day.
There is clean-up from spring's leftover garden. There is all the prep for the ground soil which has been discussed previously here. Then there is review of the garden layout to be sure crop rotation is done correctly and room is made for combining varieties correctly.
Somewhere in between there are always more seeds to order. Not that more seeds were needed this season. But the temptation for additional seeds is too great given the imagination one has for planting more than can possibly fit into this small designated plot.
There is much anticipation as the predetermined day arrives for seed-sowing. It is a distinctly quiet and might I say ... almost sacred time. Purposely.
Sowing seeds requires my full concentration. But that's probably just me. This task is nothing like transferring plants from pots into the ground. Or designing and building a new garden bed. I find that easy and exhilarating ~~ not requiring mindful consternation.
I should clarify.
It's not the act of seed-sowing that creates a bit of anxiety. It is more my LACK of feeling fully confident in seed choices and siting and how many seeds and timing of when to sow what that still creates a bit of trepidation in me. Sounds silly I know.
An example of how the garden map ends up looking ~~ this one from spring 2010. Scribbly notes are made here for quick reference. An excel spreadsheet backs up the actual data in more detail.
So ... one can imagine... I spend a lot of energy P L A N N I N G.
Every season I'm learning more and more having started my first-ever veggie garden in 2008. At the same time the desire and need for improvement is ongoing. I suppose it always will be. Nothing wrong with that.
One of these growing seasons, I anticipate, I'm going to feel like the edible garden is second nature. More like how it feels to design and create new projects in the landscape garden.
That is going to happen ... one of these days. Right?
For now... this initial step ... getting it started each season ... still feels kind of foreign to me.
So, as my natured goes, I lean towards methodical.
The supplies are gathered and in order.
Extra plant labels.
Companion planting book.
At this juncture, it does my soul good to plop myself and all my supplies right down in the heart of the garden.
In these alone and quiet moments, as all the planning comes together, it strikes me. The time is here to gently open up the warm earth, count out the seeds ~~ tiny and so full of promise~~ press them into good soil and let God's masterful creation come to completion.
Then begins systematic planting. One bed at a time. This method helps me keep track of where I've been and where I need to go.
As morning unfolds the solitude and sacredness of this dawns on me. Here I am in complete harmony with what I dream of accomplishing. Loving THIS. Fully engaged in the peaceful quietude and stillness of a new day. Grateful and blessed to abide in the beauty of my small plot of ground.
A keen awareness of the activity stirring around me begins to fill my senses. And from this calm, sunlight streaking through the dawn, the gentle sounds of buzzing and fluttering begin to break the silence. In a delightfully, familiar sort of way.
It is in the midst of intense contemplation, resources in hand, deep into thoughts of orderly seed placement and notations that my attention is redirected from the paperwork, upward.
Stirred from serious concentration. The need now to delay the plans and just savor the freshness of every single bit of life surrounding me. And notice. Notice the tiniest, seemingly insignicant, flying insects whirling about without a care to the most obvious beauties of butterflies and birds busily gathering their nourishment without regard to my presence.
Thankful for the gift of this small reminder to slow down and absorb the essence of every experience in this place. I'm at once wholeheartedly aware once again ~~ this is where I belong. This is MY garden.
Just me and my garden and God's tender nudging.
In these solemn and altogether joyful moments it doesn't really matter if it all turns out according to plan.
Naturally, I know this in theory but to practice it I need these still, small voice encouragements.
There is so much more to be said for personal reflections gained. Lessons. Invaluable truths to experience along the pathway to good (and likely some not-so-good) results.
Planting, nurturing, tending, growing ... a beautiful picture of real life.
Happy gardening, friends! I know you wouldn't be reading this if you didn't know exactly what I'm trying to express.
Seeds planted so far (reference for my Florida friends):
Collards~Georgia Southern ~~ Baker Creek Heirloom
Beans~ Blue Lake Bush 274 ~~Baker Creek Heirloom
Beans~ Old Homestead Pole~~Baker Creek Heirloom
Carrots~ Sweet Treat Hybrid ~Burpee (later I'll plant some heirlooms)
Cucumber ~Burpless Beauty ~ Burpee (haven't tried this one before)
Dill ~ Mammoth ~ Burpee
Leeks ~ Lancelot ~ Pinetree Seeds
Lettuce ~ Heatwave Blend ~ Burpee (later I'll plant some heirlooms)
Onion ~ Tokyo Long White-bunching ~ Baker Creek Heirloom
Onion ~ Red Creole ~ Baker Creek Heirloom
Pepper~ California Wonder Heirloom ~ a gift from Botanical Interests (new one to me)
Radish ~ Cherry Belle~ Pinetree Seeds
Spinach~ Monstrueux de Viroflay ~ a gift to trial from Botanical Interests
Squash ~ Early Prolific Straightneck~ Baker Creek Heirloom
Zucchini~ Eightball ~ Pinetree Garden Seeds
Waiting for cooler weather:
Succession planting of radish, carrots, lettuce will be added throughout the cooler months.