Week 37: Gardening

Updated: Jul 30

When we moved to New Canaan 5 years ago, in addition to the new house, spacious yard, and new school district, I also inherited a vegetable garden comprised of four raised beds. We moved in to our new house in July, so by the time we got situated, the vegetable garden was in full bloom and pretty much self-sufficient. Most weekends, the boys and I would head outside with laundry baskets to collect the latest bounty. We had a large variety of vegetables in the garden such as heirloom tomatoes, squash, cucumbers, and an assortment of peppers; I knew nothing about gardening but I couldn’t wait for the following year when I'd be able to cultivate my own vegetables from seed to harvest.

That first year was a learning experience, but overall very successful. Each summer following that first year I would plant an assortment of vegetables, experiment with new varieties, and research ways to make the garden bigger and better; it became something I'd look forward to it for months in advance. I love spending time in the garden taking care of the weeding, pruning, watering, and keeping the pests away; there's just something I find so rewarding about eating fresh vegetables that I've grown from scratch.

As you may remember, this year we aren’t living at our house due to the home renovation we're doing, so while the garden itself wasn’t disrupted there were other factors such as no running water that would've made it very easy to pass on the garden this year, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was one of the few things in my life that's entirely for me and my own enjoyment. With this in mind, I pushed aside all the excuses and started to make a list of everything I needed to get the garden up and running. Little by little, I made my way through that list and by the end of May the garden was cleared, weeded, and planted out.

The garden has definitely been hard work this year and there are certainly days where I don’t get over to the house to weed and water, but the upshot is that none of those things matter; the garden has grown, everything is blooming, and this week marks my very first harvest in the form of ten fresh cucumbers. Incidentally, the cucumbers were somewhat of a surprise since we'd had a series of hot days where I'd not found the time to water, so I was half expecting to find my crops wilted and disheveled.

If there's something that brings you joy, regardless of what it is, make sure you find the time to nurture it. For me, that moment of complete joy happened this week after we harvested the cucumbers and my youngest son Daniel picked one up and took a bite out of it; he was so happy and loved every piece. In that moment I knew I'd made the right decision to go ahead with the garden. As if by magic, every ounce of doubt disappeared the very second that cucumber went in Daniel's mouth; in that moment I was so grateful I'd pushed through and continued with the annual tradition.


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