For some of you your gardens are planted, the rain is falling and you’re waiting to begin the cycle of watering, weeding, picking, replanting, and enjoying. If you do need some inspiration through the work-intensive process of having a vegetable garden, check out Michael Pollan’s books, The Botany of Desire, In Defense of Food, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. These three books continue to inspire me to forget about the burden of gardening and concentrate on the rewards.
One of the many rewards in having and working in a vegetable garden is when I bring in what I have grown and picked and I wash off the soil and then place the vegetables on a platter or in a basket. The bright and natural colors excite my eyes and I visually enjoy my accomplishment
Another of the many rewards after seeing the gorgeous produce is the aroma that permeates my preparation or cooking area. My entire family can smell the rich soil, the fragrance of the vegetables before and during the cooking process. Each of the vegetables, even lettuce, has its own particular scent which is lost in transport and storage when produce is bought at the store. Only a fresh-picked veggie emanates such perfume.
Finally, I enjoy the feel of the soil remaining on the veggie, the actual texture of a fresh-picked vegetable, and of course my own feeling of success.
Through a vegetable garden, we get to be in a symbiotic exchange with nature that can be compared to childbirth, rearing children, and/or raising animals for food consumption. Vegetable gardening with successful outcome serves as a very potent reminder of how we are part of the natural process of growth and death, beginning and end, and only through the balance of hard work and ultimate results can we feed ourselves.
Enjoy your gardens this spring and summer. Please share what you have planted and any tips you have for success!