I had originally included this as a part of my previous post, but thought that my garden update was getting too lengthy, so I divided it up. Consider that first post a technical report, and this one more of a philosophical observation on gardening.
I have been thinking a lot more this year about my and my family’s impact on our environment. This is largely fueled by the new U.S. Administration’s apparent lack of care for our environment and disregard for natural places and resources. And it’s also influenced by adding another member to our family and evaluating how we steward what we’ve been given: time, money, opportunity, resources, etc. Another human comes with a lot more STUFF, and I’ve been overwhelmed at times by all of it. In his short few months on earth, Eamon has already acquired many things and created a lot waste.
But back to gardening …
I’ve been discouraged this year with our gardens and yard because we have already dealt with more pests, weeds, and curiously slow-growing plants than in years past. Like last year, we are attempting to fill in our patchy lawn with more grass, which is generally frustrating because the clover is definitely winning. And our beloved dog has no regard for areas where delicate little grass seedlings are attempting to germinate. And all of our neighbors’ lawns seem to be oddly thriving.
But I was encouraged by a blogger I follow that not only does gardening take time, but organic methods of gardening do even more so. While I’d like some quick fixes, that’s not really how nature generally works (or should work, I think). I’ve been spending more time thinking of how to work with nature, instead of just forcing my demands on her. This is why we don’t use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or weed-killers. Not only am I concerned about the repercussions of these on human and environmental health, but I just don’t think the process of trying to get more-bigger-better out of a little patch of soil is sustainable or good. I don’t mean to be anthropomorphic about nature, but I do believe in respecting our environment and its natural rhythm and processes.
So, here’s to digging deep (pun intended!) and committing to the slow, no-instant-gratification-here, journey of working with the earth, in her time, to create something beautiful and useful. And trying to avoid the ever-present temptation to think that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
Except that my neighbor’s grass IS actually greener.
And much more abundant than mine.