I’ve always wanted to have a garden, and Michael Pollan’s essay in last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine fired my inspiration, so today we began clearing the tiny patch of land next to our garage. It gets lots of sun, so it’s a pleasant place to work, regardless of outcome. Making plants grow has never been a particular strength of mine, but I have tremendous respect for the process, the more so as I begin to feel more responsible to the earth, if not for myself then for my boys. Growing our own food, as Pollan argues, gives us the chance to have some agency in our lifestyle choices, some skin in the game of healing the planet. I talk and think a lot about living more simply, being less in the thrall of the marketplace. The chance to act accordingly is, literally, in my own backyard.
Two years ago, we’d planted herbs and had some success. Last year, we planted vegetables as well, but with the new baby, we just didn’t do the kind of work required to produce any results in the garden. The chives remained from two years ago, but we knew we’d have to pull everything else. Truth to tell, I’d forgotten what we’d even planted. The soil, however, remembered. As we were in the process of weeding, Akiva (who is an excellent weeder, by the way) pulled something and said, “This looks like a carrot!” The reason it looked like a carrot is because it was a carrot. I guess the neglected carrots from last year went to seed — and reseeded themselves! Nature always wins.
The discovery cheered us all, and whetted Akiva’s appetite.
Gideon was mainly in a supervisory role, which he seemed to enjoy.
EXTRA CREDIT: Two points to anyone who articulates why this post is titled as it is.