I never seemed to stick around long enough in one place to have a garden. Even if I was around, I was too scared to mess it up to even try. I have, however, always admired people who gardened. In my eyes they’re modern day witches and wizards!
Food has taken a leading role in my life, though. I’ve worked as a chef on and off for over 10 years, transitioning from traditional butter/cream/French style cooking to now more ‘holistic’ organic, gluten free, dairy free foods. I was diagnosed with celiac disease a few years ago, so I had to change my diet. As well as, I’ve worked through an eating disorder that took over a large portion of my life. While food has always been on my mind, until now, I never got to truly experience the joys of growing my own food!
Close to a year ago I met Derek. When I learned about his love for plants and gardening my admiration for him grew too. It wasn’t long till I moved in with him, and let Pemberton become my new home.
After a long winter I was itching to get going. Patience has never been my best attribute, something I got to work on watching plants grow. Our first step was to get some more soil. That shit’s hard. And heavy. But it was fun watching Derek unload it all as I hobbled around with a semi sprained ankle;) Then we got on to planting. I was nervous planting. What if I messed something up? What if this shouldn’t go there? What if I plant too close, what if I put too much soil on top, or plant too shallow? Derek would remind me that it’s all good – it’s a process, we can thin things out later, and replant if we want to too. I realized I was so worried about messing up in the past, that I never tried.
Soon our sprouts were shooting up and I was so excited to get back to the garden every day to check in on our little babies. Each time when we would walk to the garden I would mindlessly ask Derek – “Will we need to water it?” And every day he’d respond – “we’ll feel the dirt and decide.” I’d laugh and say oh ya right right. This part reminded me of cooking.
When I teach people how to cook, one of the most common questions I get is, “How do you know when something is done?” Or “how do you know if it’s good?” I explain that we need to taste it, touch it and feel it! It’s so funny how often we want to rely on our brain to tell us everything. But we gotta get in there. And so I got to get my hands in the dirt and would feel around:)
I learnt so much though over the past 5 months. Firstly – gardening is not as difficult as I thought it was – at least on our small community plot. I have so much admiration for farmers who are growing large quantities of food!! That is not easy work and I have much deeper appreciation for the food that I buy at the store now. I used to whine over $4.99 bunches of broccolis. Or a giant box of pre-washed organic mixed greens for $7.99. I won’t be complaining anymore, and will definitely be more mindful with letting things go to waste!
It’s been an amazing summer, and I can’t wait to get planting again!!