The sprinkler is slowly undulating out back, swaying with its own rhythm, rhyming as it flows, like verses in a poem, back and forth, back and forth. I should be standing, holding the magic wand of water, I know. Less waste of water, more control of where the water goes. It is just that the gardens, front and back, and our little 10X10 plot at the community garden seem to take up much of my time these days; holding hoses, chasing weeds, and, mostly, oohing and aahing over Mother Nature’s bounty. I have so many things I want to tell and so little time. It seems someone has been stealing my moments these days. When I catch the little imp whose hiding my minutes, there will be consequences.
The little community garden our small committee of determined women started last spring has yielded a bounty of harvests, and even more goodwill, over these summer months. Each time I am there lately, there are other gardeners about, watering their plants, stringing vines, picking beans or digging up potatoes.
Tom and Gus, two buddies who share a plot, have such colorful eggplant growing, I may be convinced to try this vegetable one more time,
and, oh, the multitude of tomatoes, of every kind! From cherry tomatoes, to Big Boys and beyond, we have all been part of a picking frenzy. This one below, still green, has a ways to go to ripen. The family that tends this plot were busy watering it the other day. Mom, Dad, and two young boys. The youngest was about four years old, bored and hot and wanting to go home. The older son, who seemed to be about eight and reminded me of our grand-nephew Scott, was enjoying himself, however. When I asked why they decided to take on a plot, the father pointed to his older son and said “It was my boy there. He wanted to do this, and so, we did. We live in a condo, so this gives us a way to give our boy a garden.”
Oh, the delight in hearing this!. I asked the young lad if he was happy he had a garden, and he said he did and wants to do one next year. He then asked if the little flowers I had in the corners were marigolds (they are) and what the vines in my garden were. I told him zucchini. His father asked me if I knew what was growing, pointing to one of the plots. I gently pulled back stems and showed him the potatoes that were barely visible, hidden in the soil, to which his son told us how and when they should be harvested and pointed out where some had already been taken from the ground. He’d been doing some investigating on the computer, it seems.
Do you have any idea how much this conversation warmed my soul? How this family was able to enrich this curious young boy’s life, give him the experience of growing and tending a garden, teaching him to respect the earth, work with his hands, venture forth on a project – and how much respect I have for these parents in their endeavors? It made my day. My summer, in fact. It is what we are all about in this community project.
Then, there was the woman, yesterday, who squealed with glee from her plot. I shouted from over the ears of corn that separated us, “did you pull out a carrot?”. Yes. she had. I knew she’d been waiting and watching and surveying her soil for the right moment and her very first homegrown carrot. A middle aged woman and her newly claimed prize, never before attempted. A jewel in the soil of her life.
So, off I go now, my friend, for there a few peppers waiting for me in our own little plot of soil. It will go into tonight’s dinner pot, with a few of the tomatoes in the bowl up above as well. We saw the peppers just about ready to pick yesterday, when Tom was watering. That’s him, in yellow, just behind our neighbor’s row of corn, when I went to document the cantaloupe she has growing in her garden as well.
First, I need to turn that sprinkler off, then, see about those imps who have been harvesting my time . . .