Wednesday, 31 October 2007

LAND IS A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

This morning, as usual on a Wednesday, I went to garden at one of my garden group's places. Today it was at Sally's. She has 10 acres up near Eagle on the Hill and its so beaut there. Anyway, vegetable gardening has been slowly creeping into her life for some time - so long I thought she 'd never get there ! We have made and remade areas for vegies over the past 10 years that I have been doing this and, until today, it has been something I think she has done to keep me happy, rather than for herself. A few hardy plants have survived but that's all.

A few months ago I helped her put in a drip system that runs off her spring water ( lucky her and her vegies). Suddenly, the hassles of keeping seedlings going through her busy life, disappeared and, as the fog cleared, so to speak, she saw the potential. I gave her some broccoli seedlings from Kath's seed and even I didn't believe the monsters she grew ! Her family are farmers and she has a never-ending supply of old and fresh manure, which makes wonderful compost in the heaps we garden group people help construct from time to time.

The gist of this whole thing is that today we doubled the size of her vegie garden. It took 5 of us a couple of hours to roughly weed, roughly level and roughly build up the new area with all the lovely compost (roughly dug-in, Deb!), lay some bark chips she had left over from a tree-removal as a path , and cut down a nearly dead gum tree (Sally did the climbing - she is amazing), edging it all with some old planks and sprinkling over a bit of straw from her parents' farm.

As it progressed I only really thought of the job and the stuff we were chatting about but then it was done. We all stood back and I swear a tear came to my eye and a catch in my throat as I said "that is beautiful" and we literally stood in silence for a few seconds , each with thoughts of our own. My thoughts ran along the lines - I'd love to get my hands and seeds into that / look at that soil now so full of soil-life and humus / we've done a great job / I wish it was my patch / how lucky we are to be here / and finally, I would rather have land to grow things in than anything else in the world.

I wish I had taken the camera but you can't capture that basic human need to dig in the earth or the smell of beautiful compost or the feeling of wonder that we had done something so powerful that 5 crazy women stood in silence to take it in.

(I am not the only crazy one, but I am just a tiny bit more crazy than the others!)

4 comments:

Maggie said...

I have been thinking about this article as I wander around the kitchen getting breakfast(which happens to include delicious mulberries from a lovely Greek family I have met at the Fullarton market).
Soil, seeds, rain and good food we are so lucky.

Glenys Baldwin said...

Hi Kate,
I can't believe it,I left a comment for you this morning and it never materialised. As you know I have had problems with this before,anyway I followed your prompts and low and behold once again it has disappeared into cyberspace!!
That's why I truely love gardening. it is so simple and natural as opposed to computers which can be daunting for a technophobe like myself!
Anyway last try.
I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading all the blogs. It's a shame you and the other bloggers don't get more feed back. I can only assume that there must be a lot of other people like myself that appreciate this site a great deal but just lack the time or capability to respond with a comment.
Anyway as one of your fellow Wednesday gardeners, I must say it was nice to see you had put into words what we all felt about our day at Sally's.
It was a joyful experience!
And yes we are probably all a little crazy but that adds to the fun!
Anyway happy blogging and best wishes to the other bloggers that make this site so enjoyable and ever changing,
kind regards,
Glenys

Chook said...

Hi Glenys,
I grew up on computers and am much more familiar with them than with gardening but I've had the same problem with comments disappearing as you. (If that's what happens to my computing, I dread to think how my gardening will go!)
For some strange reason, I've found that if you log on before you click on the comments link, it will stay. It shouldn't let you click on the "Publish your comment" button without being logged in but it does.

geoff said...

Sally made me come to the blog and read it to her over the phone, which proves she is a little crazy like the rest of the garden group. I enjoy playing in my garden and have planted pumkins, tomato and onion this year which is practical. And I get a kick out of growing food and it seems to taste better than bought vegies.