I’ve been pottering in my vegetable and herb garden this morning. I find it peaceful and inspiring. The bright green, in different shades and textures, there is some red, some splashes of yellow. My vintage tomato bush is like a pregnant mother; I anxiously watch tiny tomatoes’ clusters change from green to purple. Purple! I cannot wait.
Another bed holds bunches of rainbow spinach; it is very ragged as I eat lots of it daily, along with the silvery kale and various herbs, which I fry in garlic for lunch. There are crops of lettuce that my husband constantly exclaims over – he eats them on sandwiches for smoko. As do I, but I prefer the darker greens for their rich iron nourishment.
Around the perimeter of the neat raised beds are an ever-growing collection of self-watering pots with passionfruit vines, a lemon tree and yesterday’s exciting addition, a dwarf mulberry tree. The self-watering pots are a game changer for our extreme climate. The plants draw on the water kept in a reservoir whenever they need it, which saves me from worrying about watering them all the time.
The garden reminds me daily of my commitment to balance. Balance means I take breaks from whatever it is I’m doing. Balance is a series of diverse tasks instead of just leaning hard into something I am passionate about while everything falls off kilter and I finally burn out. Balance means small steps in many directions, not just one straight path. Balance means that I tend to all things, including my garden.
As I walk away from my writing each day and answer the bleating of my washing machine (who decided it was a good idea to make appliances announce they are finished?) I peg clothes on the line and look over my thriving plants. Have I missed any? Have the tomatoes turned colour yet?
I am reminded that balance equals success because success will not come without it. Success is not something that arrives at some future date. Success is a daily thing that we work toward while remaining within its evolving and transforming shape.
Purple tomatoes – I cannot wait!
On another topic, I used to be a terrible gardener. Fits of passion led to many victims being planted, and then another delight of fantasy would carry me away, leaving my poor plants to die slowly.
Balance and maintaining that state with mindful attention have helped my gardening skills develop. The game changer, however, is a large bucket composting system known as bokashi composting.
I add old food scraps and coffee grinds from my kitchen into the bokashi bucket and then sprinkle a layer of a unique probiotic bran flake over the top. Eventually, the bucket is complete, and then I let the bucket rest for about two weeks; when a white mould has developed over the top layer, I add the pungent slop into my garden to feed the soil.
It takes a few weeks to break down to where you can plant directly over the top of it, but once it has broken down – you have super-rich soil.
You can find out more about bokashi composting here https://www.bokashi.com.au – it is where I bought my original two-bucket plus probiotic flake system. No kickbacks in this for me – just a great little company that I highly recommend.
Creating healthy food for my plants, from food for myself, which then turns into nutritious food for myself, is a satisfying self-sustaining cycle. It constantly reminds me of our greater life cycle and the importance of being in touch with what nourishes us and, in turn, nourishes those around us.
Life is an organic process, and the more we partake in it from a mindful and heartfelt perspective, the deeper our access to its medicine becomes. Life delivers us the challenges to grow and the medicine we need; we must be awake to the possibilities to find them.
Have a lovely day; I hope you find the nourishment you need X
Those readers who remember my magazine Audacity and the story I did on blueberry picking will recognise my dirty hand in the header photo. It was such an exciting week spent picking blueberries and grapes on a farm at St George. The link for the Audacity Magazines 1-6 is on my home page, or here https://issuu.com/audacitymagazine/docs/audacity_issue_4 is the particular magazine, Page 39. I re-read it this morning, and re-lived the memory, so much fun spent meeting lovely people and working amongst thriving healthy plants!
Why did I pick grapes and blueberries for a week for no cash? (Although the farmer did want to pay me, I was a jolly productive worker, and he couldn’t access many at the time) well, not to give the story away, you’ll have to read the article 😁
2020 was a creative year! I hope I can get back to that level of creativity soon.