Gardening, Writing

Back to Earth

It was 70 degrees when I got off the plane in Santa Fe last week from the frozen Northeast. That balmy weather continued this week, with definite signs spring is here to stay: the Rio Grande was flowing high, apricot trees were blooming, and garlic was up six inches in my vegetable garden.

So, of course, I got the gardening bug.

This weekend I got half of my vegetable garden beds ready for planting, adding homemade compost. The digging is labor-intensive since I built the beds underground in trenches. But the soil looks rich and healthy. I saw lots of earthworms.

Then, I planted a wildflower patch in the back of the house.

Yes, the last weekend in March is early and we will get cold snaps in Taos again. But I just had to plant.

So I stayed on the safe side with peas, spinach, onions, beets, and a lettuce mixture. Everything else will have to wait.

Our cat Two in the garden.

Our cat Two in the garden.

As I worked the shovel and wheelbarrow, I pondered how similar gardening is to writing.

First, I get many of my best ideas in the midst of this grunt work. I have been inspired by break-throughs that sent me running into the house to write them down.

And, like writing I have successes and setbacks. Last year, I grew enough potatoes to last until midwinter. Alas, that crop of kale looked spectacular until bugs took it over. Then, there are the surprises such as the sweet winter squash that grew from seeds discarded in the compost heap.

I keep working and working until I feel I have it right.

I am willing to take risks.

If I have more than enough, I share it with others.

At the end, I feel a great deal of satisfaction.

Note: Tina Larkin took the photo at the top of this post for The Taos News. That’s Hank and I standing in front of the gate he built. He and son Zack also built the fence. My garden is safe from rabbits inside. I wrote a story about it for the paper.

Here is a link to a story I did for the newspaper’s Green Guide on Do It Yourself gardening.


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