Gardening on any scale offers a taste of the contentment to be found in farm life.
Starting out on a new adventure is exhilarating. It brings passion and freedom to our crazy lives. Thinking back years ago, I never could have imagined what would have to transpire to get me to this place. This place of bugs, mud and the beautiful melody that is gardening. I desire one day to pass this heritage and the enumeration of failures onto my little ones, in hopes that they will transcend the world view of success and also find freedom in this valley. The constant drama of farming life brings a sense of wonder and an imperativeness to adapt. Stagnation shan’t be found on my knees digging another row of fresh potatoes, nor by the flooding of another row of garlic.
I know how hard it is to let go of the yuppie lifestyle of on-demand living. I have made that journey and have been pruned of my addiction to the status quo. There is freedom in the tillage of the soil. There is something exceptional about the art of gardening. It has been crafted and hewn by thousands of years of history, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, solar flares and yes, even the incandescent light bulb. I know most of you can’t drop your jobs and move to the country to commence farming full time. It takes time, preparation and dedication. You can start small as I did. A simple 10x10m plot in my Scottsdale ,Arizona backyard was my first attempt, which also included the addition of gardening workshops and a garden mentor to teach me the art of growing squash. I promise, if I can do it, so can you. It is the love of gardening that brings me back to this simplistic endeavor time and time again.
The freedom to take the plunge into farm life is not for the faint-hearted, but it is a road worth traveling. You will find the detours along the way are what make it pleasurable. If you are a seasoned veteran, I would ask you to invest your time in that person who is hungry for change by helping with a seed swap or serving in the community garden as a mentor! If you find yourself clueless like I did, reach out to the many resources that are around your civic region. I am sure you will unearth a gardening community that is more than willing and able to come to your aid.
I hope you enjoy your seeds this year. I hope they bring you closer to your family and friends. Share your bounty this season and give some of our recipes a try. If you have recipes you would like to send in for us to sample, please feel free to do so!
Quintin Eason is a Le Cordon Blu trained chef with a background in sustainable agriculture, gardening and creative business marketing. He is now chef at Baker Creek Farm.
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