Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 47 - Garden of Eatin'

Carrots, Cucumbers and Radishes Oh My!  So we did it, we tilled the earth and planted the seeds and officially have started a garden.  Or should I say, Steve planted the garden and I did the hard work of supervising.  We planted corn, radishes, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, yellow peppers, red peppers, cantaloupe, pumpkin, and watermelon.  I'm sure we planted things together that we shouldn't have due to some soil deprivation algorithm that the agriculture engineers invented but never the less we're trying to do the right thing by planting a garden.

It's fun to take a square piece of land that is not doing anything but laying there commanding you to mow it every week and transform it.  Digging up the sod, tilling the soil below it, separating the rocks, throwing them away, and mixing fertilizer with the earth. Designing with a pencil and a piece of paper like the beginnings of a rose garden.  We've visited many plantations in the south and many times the flower, rose gardens or food gardens have  been resurrected 200 years later exactly how it was designed with a pencil and a piece of paper a bicentennial earlier. One of my late Basketball Assigners, Mr. Russell,  used to say, "A dull pencil is better than a sharp mind."  So true.  He holds a special place in my heart for giving me an opportunity to prove myself.  Many officiating careers are born from just a simple belief in the potential of a referee.  For the belief he had in me, I am eternally grateful.

Mr. Russell has since left this earth and his body has been laid to rest in the ground but hopefully I can keep his spirit alive by continuing to repeat the dull pencil quote. During his time with us he lived when every family ate their fresh produce from their individual gardens.  There is nothing that tastes better than a pepper, potato, onion or tomato that you take from your own garden, wash it and eat it in a matter of two hours.  What's amazing to me is the immediate gratification of taking on this endeavor.  Within three days, the radishes are popping up out of the ground. 

As the seeds sprout, the worms are doing their underground magic of their own.  They aerate the soil by moving the soil and loosening it to allow air in it.  Their droppings have a fertilizer quality.  Charles Darwin studied earth worms extensively and knew this.  Charles Darwin believed we evolved from apes and coined the phrase, "Survival of the fittest."  The thought of digging in the dirt gives me "faith" that if we eat more of what comes from the ground in its original form, the more fit we will be and thus we will survive longer.

If we didn't plant the garden in the right manner, or planted two things together that we shouldn't, we'll learn from it and plan it differently next time.  Thus a new learning experience provided courtesy of Mother Nature and earth worms.  Either way there's something comforting in knowing we're eating something we grew ourselves. Thus becoming closer to the soil to which we will eventually return. Whether we believe in the Garden of Eden or a Garden of Eatin' we're going back to the soil whether in a box or scattered as ashes. Either way I think Mr. Russell would be proud of us knowing we believed we could do it and we did it. I had a dull garden design written with a dull pencil and it's still better than having a sharp mind to justify all the reasons not to start the garden in the first place.

One is nearer God's heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth.

  ~Dorothy Frances Gurney

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