It’s hard to believe it’s the last day of April. The month has been really full of work and lots of celebrations which seemed to put it in fast forward.
We had Easter, Earth Day and Theo’s first birthday all in the same week; which, was a little wild. But, because it also felt like spring really arrived that week with temperatures in the seventies, it was really fun.
That week, I was finally able to get out in the garden a bit too. It was so great to play with some dirt and our little seedings.
Over the years, I have I learned to love that first days back in the garden. Tilling the soil so the compacted, brown mud becomes airy, soft and black again. Seeing the first signs of strawberries and asparagus peeking up from the ground. I love the earthy smell and the way the dirt feels as it dries on my hands. Cold, but wonderful.
Also through the years, having a garden has truly revolutionized my relationship with food. I couldn’t help but think about this newfound relationship and love in a week flanked by Easter and Earth Day. And, was a week that also included the first birthday of my son.
Easter, with it’s religious meaning, eggs and “unofficial” start of spring title is all about rebirth. The reward for the faith through the dark and cold winter. In gardening- particularly in those early spring days- I have found a similar faith. Faith that a little a little seed, exposed to elements like water, heat, dirt and air will become a tall plant. The faith that even after winter, there will be life again. Faith that with a little energy on a small space for a handful of months, I can feed my family all year long.
There is also a new appreciation for the planet that we call home. When I was younger, I never really gave the earth much thought. Sure, I would recycle or turn off the faucet when brushing my teeth. But, didn’t go much beyond that. However, after seeing what the earth is capable of, what it can give us- so long as we take care of it- it now takes up more of my mind and I am so grateful.
Fortunately, gardening directly benefits the earth as well. Between eliminating containers and plastic on our food to the fossil fuels that are no longer required to get food to our home, I feel like I am doing something good.
And, while Theo’s first birthday was undoubtably bittersweet, it definitely leaned more to the sweet side.
It was a celebration and I have always thought that springs arrival is natures way of saying “Let’s party!” It was a celebration that was full of gratitude. I am so thankful for this growing little boy. So thankful for Adam because I would have never survived the first year without him. So thankful for our amazing family and friends who joined us in the celebration and love us and Theo so much.
An intense feeling of gratitude has graced my life so much more since we started growing our own food. There is something deeper than “counting my blessings.”
Growing food, like raising a baby, takes love, care, work and attention. Not to mention, everything we eat starts out as a tiny, venerable being. And, not every plant thrives. The food that does finally grace my table is something I am so thankful for because I know all that went into it.
I feel so much gratitude on that first day back in the garden and everyday there after; from the bountiful harvests of August, to the cold days in January when I am able to pull a meal together from preserved garden goodies.
Through gardening, I have received a greater appreciation for life, love and the world around me… and I love that about food.
With local food and gardening back in full swing, I am back to regularly scheduled programming here on Bloom. Thanks for humoring me as I reflected on my love of food the first few months of the year. Get excited for recipes, cooking and gardening tips, local food and more thoughts on life as a mom, wife, and friend.