I slept in today. I've been getting more sleep and less done, but I guess I'm okay with that since I don't have a lot to be doing right now. Yesterday I framed out my square foot garden. This is a really big sentence in my life so I have to spend some time reflecting. Yesterday, in the past, this has been done, it isn't something I need to do again. I, all by myself, without help, support, encouragement, or extra arms and tools. Framed out, arranged lumber in a roughly square pattern. My, probably the biggest word in the sentence. I did this, this is mine. Square foot garden, several small plots that where I can enrich the soil, place compost, and plant fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. I've wanted a garden for as long as I can remember. Somewhere I've written about how I planted a garden with my oldest when she was a toddler. We went out together, dug up the soil, and had a very good crop of almost everything considering that I was a novice and she was a baby. We had broccoli, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and in fall she found a pumpkin that had survived the deer and other animals.
On my bookshelf are so many books on gardening and landscaping that it's kind of ridiculous. I read them, thought to myself, I would really like a garden, and didn't do anything with any of the information because of my own fear. When his aunt called to ask if I wanted raspberry canes I said sure. Yesterday I ate three raspberries off of one of those tiny plants that somehow survived the erratic rainfall we've had this year. In the back of our yard is a decaying stump. I kicked it over, fell on my rear end doing that, and started shredding off the outer layers of bark so they could break down further. I uncovered some fat slick grubs, those things are completely disgusting, that had been living in that stump and I was more determined than ever to get rid of it after that. I had two bags of grass clippings that I pulled apart like giant shredded wheat biscuits. Then I layed newspaper and cardboard boxes over that. In the last square I put some small branches and twigs thinking that we can garden in the first four squares and leave that fifth one for compost.
If anyone is unsure or intimidated by gardening, or think that it will require a lot of space and time, then I urge you to find a copy or go online and read up on square foot gardening. So far I haven't spent a penny on any of this and if I choose to invest money in seeds and soil supplements, it will save me at the grocery store later. I don't want to spend a lot of time going back in the past, but just think how much better off my family would have been had we been tending a garden instead of immersed in our own silent online worlds. How much money could we have saved? How much more would we know about food, where it comes from, how to defend it from predators, and how much more fresh air and sunshine could we have been enjoying while we were locked in bitter accusatory battles. Just looking outside at the raw wood and fluttering newspapers is making me a happier camper. Now obviously a garden isn't the solution to all or even most of my problems, but there's a happiness inside of me that's welling up from my very soul. In addition to the Square Foot Gardening book by Mel Bartholomew I would recommend the companion book Lasagna Gardening written by Patricia Lanza, and The Country Journal Book of Vegetable Garden by Nancy Bubel if you're the type that would like a month by month plan.
My poor raspberries took quite a beating this year. I'd like to either group them differently or enclose the space that they're in, we have a lot of wild turkeys, deer, crows, rabbits, and other garden foes. Watching the sun shade the far part of my new frames I realize I should have started them further west, but they are easily moved if I find that this is a real problem which I don't think it will be. Today I'm giving myself a gold star and I'm not going to fret about how many years it's taken me to move a couple pieces of wood into this formation. My parents raised readers and for all of my faults, I read a lot. right now I have sort of a book in progress problem where you can walk through my living and dining rooms and find stacks of books I picked up, opened, read for a while, and set back down before I moved onto something new. I'm not mad at myself for this. I feel very hungry for the sort of adventure that comes from launching yourself into many directions and meandering down side paths that books on different topics and themes represent.
My books on napkin folds and cocktail parties may never come into play the way that I would like them to, I may never shed codependency, and my dreams and visions of a fabulous square foot garden might not materialize, but for today, I'm happy with the progress I've made. I was reading a book on creativity last night and read that the people who are typically most innovative and creative in their fields read a lot outside of it. I like that I don't have to continuously read up on footwear, but can branch out into a multitude of topics for fun, entertainment, and insights into topics I haven't been exposed to previously. Today I love being me. I love that I cut my own hair, I love that I am getting closer to growing my own food, I'm happy that I've taken my bike out more, and even though I miss Twitter at times, it's shown me that I don't miss a lot of it, and how I use it as a time filler instead of getting other things done. Last night I made curried carrot soup, that's another thing I've been lax on lately is cooking for myself, next week the girls will be here and it will be more lunches, breakfasts, and suppers, but now I can take them to the store, and have them discuss what they'd like to be planting in their square of the garden. Tomorrow may be different, but today is a good day to be me.