The joy of gardening gives me peace, stimulates my mind, helps my strength and flexibility, provides an abundant supply of nutrition and even saves a few dollars. I can’t live without it. I have had back-yard gardens, container gardens on a third story deck and windowsill winter herb gardens. My learning has included a combination of my own research using such resources as University Extension Services, talking with farmers and others who garden as well as the best teacher – personal trial, error and success!
Gardening connects me with the seasons. I seed my basil and tomatoes at the end of winter (late February/March), get plants into the ground after Mother’s Day, enjoy watching the plants mature through the following month or two and begin harvesting first beets, radishes and micro field greens then tomatoes and green beans. I usually get in two growing seasons each year and enjoy collards from my garden well into October. Year around, I compost and have even developed a fondness for worms.
The seasonal availability of produce inspires my cooking and entertaining. Winter cooks up easy stockpots favorites like my bean and kale soup served in an acorn squash bowl, especially great for cozy dinners after a cold commute home from work. Spring picnics are light with whimsical sandwiches of field greens, sprouts and sliced radishes. Steaming summer soirées are cooled with fresh tomato, cucumber and melon coolers. And, fall harvest is active with “pick your own apples” made into ciders, sauces and pies.
My gardening knowledge, experiences and values has become part my professional fabric, adding substance and inspiration to my coaching practice, teaching, speaking and writing. To me, connecting (and reconnecting) with the sources of my food has increased my appreciation and eating of vegetables and fruits…a thread I weave into all I do.
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