This year for the first time, on the family farm, we turned an old horse paddock into a garden. It is a great piece of land allowing for plenty of seeds to be planted for a variety of fresh vegetables to grow for our pleasures and nourishment. First time gardeners, lots of googling and more. Something along the lines of, “Can you Google, ‘how to grow beats?’ and things like that.” Quite an experience. A new form of commitment, to create new life. Or, I should say, assist, making space for new life to come into existence. As gardeners, it is our job, to create the best environment possible to invite in new life and support its’ highest becoming. A true commitment.
Every day, the process of attending, observing, questioning, inquiring, assisting, nourishing and so much awe. Nature is incredible. It constantly renews, grows, changes forms in what seems like a blink of the human eye. Overnight, seemingly, depending on the weather conditions, a complete transformation of what-was, to what-is growing under the stars. We planted several different varieties of peppers and tomatoes, radishes, beets, Swiss chard, red kale, onions, chives, green peas and others.
Incredible, delicious, nutritious and beautiful. The green sugar peas are like candy. The beets, while ‘still small’ (I was not supposed to pull out yet, but I did ;)) yet already the size of my closed fist, ripe, heart shaped, the brightest, most alive red, its’ texture firm, yet allowed the knife to glide right through it, like butter, so fresh. As opposed to the hard beets we buy at the stores that had been picked some while back and stored away. The kales are fantastic, the Swiss chard is flavourful green heaven, and I could go on.
I grew up in a farming environment in Eastern Europe, and I was, as I know today, very fortunate to eat food and have meals prepared by my elders that were always fresh, made of single, or minimal number of ingredients, whose names we could pronounce and knew exactly what they were. So this gardening extravaganza is very close to my heart and soul, not to mention, with my wellness and health background, it especially falls close to the health-home of my being.
Back in the homeland, we harvested and/or ate around the year, what was in season. There was very little and limited imported stuff. Those were mainly packaged goods, and not produce. We never questioned, nor rejected what was in season to eat. We accepted, appreciated and ate what was. All while, we looked forward in sweet anticipation, to what was coming in terms of fresh produce, as the months progressed and changed through the Seasons. Farmers markets were normal, everyday places for us to go buy fresh food, all year round.
This latter brought me to an even higher level of appreciation of this gardening game. It also reminded me that, not only is it the healthiest way to live, to eat what is in season; but also, it is the most affordable. It is more likely that you will be able to purchase the locally grown, fresh produce at a better price, than the imported usual anything, from grocery stores. What is more is that, our bodies are also designed to assimilate and consume in accordance with the natural changes of the Seasons and their earthly goods. During the warmer months, when we naturally crave to be outdoors, want to move more, be and feel lighter, the fruits, vegetables and salad greens are much lighter in texture, with higher water content as well, serving even more benefit to the human body. While the colder Seasons invite in slowing-down, a sense of comfort, and deeper nourishment, complementing the nature of root vegetables and more dense produce, that grow during colder times, that also support our constitution for those months. And the cycle repeats.
I hope my sharing of my love of fresh food and newfound gardening intrigue inspired you to explore your food and lifestyle at a new lever and invite you to explore your local environment. Who knows, you may even want to give a hand to an already gardening friend to explore. I encourage you to visit your local community farmers markets, and get to know what is in season and the wonderful farmers, who grow the best food in the world. Food that is local, fresh, nutritious and filled the best fuel for your ever renewing-itself life.