patience & dirt

Spring has an interesting energy to it.  We get these little tastes of warm weather here and there, and then are forced to remember that it is still only early and we must endure chilly days too.  Buds and blossoms appear on trees, grass becomes green again, the sun comes out earlier in the morning and we start to think about all the things we want to do in the on-coming summer, yet it is not quite time for beach trips and short shorts.

In this new home, I’ve taken on gardening more than ever before.  Growing up, I watched and helped my mom and grandmother in their gardens here and there, but I was a little girl; the jobs I was given then were simple.  Even landscaping jobs I held in early adulthood were mostly pulling weeds.  Gardens I’ve had on my own were limited to what I could fit in a pot and keep on the patio or balcony of whatever apartment I lived in.  Now I have a yard.  Now I live with an aspiring farmer.  We’re digging plots, hauling dirt, collecting compost.  We’re planting the foods we want to eat and the herbs we want to use. This is real.

I never thought much about the huge piles of various-colored dirt I saw at nurseries I went to.  Not until last weekend anyway, when Luke and I took the truck and bought 2 “scoops” of one called Leafgro.  After it was dumped into our truck we took it home and started shoveling it into the wheelbarrow to be spread over the beds.  It’s tedious work, and it’s very meditative in its own way too.  You can smell all the nutrients in the dirt, feel the weight of it, see the beautiful dark brown color.  This is the aspect of our garden that is going to make all the difference, and yet when was the last time someone asked you about your dirt? Ensuring that we have quality dirt for our plants creates a safe, healthy home for the tiny little seeds to sprout, and protection for each individual plant’s precious roots.  Healthy soil is home to worms which create nutrients and good soil structure.  It all comes down to the body of the garden, it all comes down to the dirt.  The healthiest, most well-cared for body of earth produces the most abundant, fruitful harvest.  How can we expect any less from our own physical body?
I’ve found so far it’s significant to pay attention to the order in which we’ve been doing things in the garden.  Before anything else, we put in a compost bin.  Just a simple, bottomless  box made from old wood pallets, placed at the back of the yard.  Right away we started collecting our old food scraps (not meat) to be put into the bin.  Providing our earth with healthy nutrients came first.
Then we took a good, hard look at the yard, decided what would go where, and began digging out the plots.  Before it was even time to grow or plant anything, we began creating a home for our produce.
We found the best possible soil to strengthen and nourish the garden’s earth, and now we patiently wait for the right time, after all threat of frost is behind us for the season, to plant the seeds that will become our harvest.
Ayurveda and Yoga teach us to do all of the same things with our body to have an abundant life.  Keep yourself well-nourished, find the place that is best for you, where you are best able to grow, create a comfortable home for yourself, be patient and let great things come from your life.
You can’t control everything that happens to you, and there will certainly be set-backs and hard times.  In the end, if your foundation is strong, it will make all the difference.  It all comes down to the dirt.