Friday, August 10, 2012

Gardens, and the Blessing and Curse of Life Online

My taters
I love my life.  It's been thoughtfully built, though in fits and starts; with a lot of good decisions - usually in the wrong order; some good luck - usually at the wrong time; some good help, and most importantly, some good recoveries from bad situations...some of which were mistakes attributable to no one but me.

Most of all, I am thankful - daily - to be alive.   I have a set of particular and peculiar interests, and it's brought me into groups of friends who are particular and peculiar themselves (see how I did that?!).   I occasionally "ghost out" of computer social networking for a few days or weeks to get "re-centered", but generally I am connected to these folks in pretty much real time.  It's awesome.  It's awesome to be alive in this era of history.

Rosemary/Garlic Pickles
(my wife's)

One thing I've noticed lately is that as a result of widespread heat and drought conditions, all my friends all over the country have the same things coming out of their gardens at the same time. It's not just gardening - it's a celebration of being alive, of mastering food.  My type of people grow their food.  Or at least, as much as they reasonably can.  They are conservatives and liberals.  Hunters and vegetarians.  East coasters and midwesterners.  My people. 
Heirloom organic Romas (mine)

I love sharing my outdoor victories and defeats, and sharing in theirs as well.  Growing our food is a humble and humbling pursuit.  It is spiritually worthwhile, I'd argue.  It makes me happy to see so many good friends on that same path - spending time with food.  Which means they are spending time with soil.  Water.  Air. It's really good.

Teddy Bear and Little Elf
sunflowers (mine)
 But that sense of pride and sharing is bittersweet - each time I see a picture of tomatoes that must be washed, peppers that must be canned, or pests that must be sprayed in a friend's garden 40, 400, or 1500 miles away, I want to be there, in that kitchen, sharpening knives.  In that garden, smoking a cigar and plucking off hornworms.  Talking.  Living.  Our social networking "life" has let me share all of that with my friends (and I wish I had more like-minded local friends), but when it comes down to it, it doesn't let me be there.  With you.

To everyone else, go grow some food.  Laugh at your success and your failure.   I promise you'll feel more alive.

So, below a short few photos of my friends' photos, gleaned from just 12 hours of Facebook.  Miss you and love you all.

Jonesy's jalapeno/onion and rosemary/garlic pickles
Nate's afternoon haul.

Drew's heirloom

Jonesy's morning haul

Our Romas


Unknown said...

Captain Ray Culver that looks like some good food

sensiblegardening said...

Yes, growing food can be a challenge. Your tomatoes look wonderful. So far a few little tomatoe for us, but it did taste great! More are coming.

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