It’s time to start planning your garden for the summer… So I’m asking today about what you grow and how you grow it. Do you grow things to eat, for spiritual purposes, or simply for the beauty? Maybe you pick certain plants and flowers to appease the fairies, or perhaps you only grow herbs that you will use in your personal spiritual experiences. – Pagan Blog Prompts’ Question for 2/17/11
This has taken me a while to get written, because every time I sit down to write it I end up getting distracted by gardening websites! It’s that time of year again, and I have been waiting eagerly for it since… Well, years. This is the first year I have space to garden! Like more than a tiny balcony that has to be used for other things! With a south-facing exposure no less! And an east and west! (And windows facing east and west to keep me happy during the non-growing seasons, but I’ll leave that to talk about in December!)
I am a happy camper. I am going to write through the spring and summer about my adventures with my first garden, wanna-be urban homesteading, and whatever whacky things come out of this. I have said before that my spirituality rests on a very practical plane and it most certainly touches even the mundane aspects of my life.
My garden reflects this. I’ve talked before on making every day and action a ritual, and gardening is an extension of this. Typically I have a specific deity to dedicate actions to or spend time talking to during my day – When I’m not spazzing out so much I overlook doing it; mindfulness, Meganne! Gardening, though, runs a full gamut for me…
1. It keeps me in contact with the Earth. Despite the fact that I have to plant in containers due to living in a rented duplex, it puts my hands in dirt. The rain will give me days off. The hottest part of summer will force me to roll out of bed to start working before it is insufferable outside. I look forward to complaining about the elements of nature like they are any other co-worker that causes me to stay in line.
2. It reminds me that my food has a spiritual source as a living thing that I should thank for its sacrifice. Plants put in a lot of time and energy just for me to come along and gobble them up, after all. Personally I think it would be kind of a bummer to be eaten. Seriously.
3. It keeps me in contact with the cycle of the year. Though I will say that the end of winter has turned into “OMG, please make the winter into spring already!!!” and I should be enjoying the season – I don’t even like the beginning of winter, so this is one to go on the We’ll Work on It list.
4. Gardening connects me to my ancestors, family, and those who have come before me. These groups are very, very important to me. I honor my mother by keeping up on houseplants and what she has taught me about them. I honor my father by planting native seeds. I honor the farmers who have put farming into my blood though I’m just one person with about 60 to 100 square feet to put containers on. Because of this, 80% or so of my plants are going to be heirlooms – Including Trail of Tear Beans, which carried taken on the path where so many died when forced from their homes. I chose these because I have ancestry there and my fiancé has Cherokee tribal membership.
5. I am feeding my soul and conscious. I truly believe that we should be eating organic, non-GMO plants. I also believe that the monoculture that large-scale farming is producing is dangerous. For a while we’ve been living on very little money, and groceries have been one of the places we’ve had to make sacrifices – The cheaper non-organic trap is horrible! It’s not healthy or health-inducing to feel like a hypocrite each time you make dinner or pick up a fork. And with that, I can do my part in making sure that plant diversity continues on, which in turn also makes me feel better because I’m dong my pro-active part to solve the problem.
6. Insert future list of deities that will be honored by gardening – Which demands a full write-up of its own.
As I was saying, I’m growing organic heirlooms in containers – Along with a few hybrids because I simply couldn’t decide on exactly what I wanted and/or they were bought for me or given as a gift. I have no idea how they will do in containers. A couple of family members have sort of expressed concern in the plan, but from what I understand as long as they plant has enough root space it will be fine… We’ll see. It’s a giant experiment! How exciting!
Beans: Triumphe de Farcy (bush), Trail of Tears (Pole), and Dragon’s Tongue (bush)
Tomatoes: Cherokee Purple*, Mortgage Lifters*, and Green and Orange Zebra
Herbs: Catnip, German Chamomile*, Dill Bouquet, Genovese Basil, Sweet Basil*, Yarrow*
Greens: Arugula*, Tom Thumb Lettuce, Merlo Nero Spinach, Bright Lights Swiss Chard
Roots: Chantenay Red Cored Carrots, French Breakfast Radishes
Cucumbers: Straight Eight*
Eggplant: Listada de Gandia*
Peas: Thomas Laxton
Squash: Early Prolific Straightneck Summer*
Flowers: Candy Cane Mix Zinnias, Sunset Giant Marigolds*, and more to be decided
For those of you gardening, I really, really want to suggest keeping a journal on My Folia. It has been absolutely awesome for keeping notes for me. Also I’m attempting to fill out on herbs, cucumbers, root plants, and Bachelor Button seeds against my better judgment. I have marked swappable seeds on my list with a *. If you’d like to swap with me, leave me a comment with your email so we can talk – I have to approve all comments so I’ll delete it before it’s published! Or you can sign up on My Folia and message me that way if you’d prefer.