May 16, 2013

On gardening. A post with no pictures

Today I am going to write about growing a garden. There are a few thoughts I've been playing with since my attempts at gardening and I feel the need to share them.
  • everybody has their own way of gardening and it is likely that different people who have been growing vegetables and flowers successfully for decades will give different answers to the same questions. It does not mean that one is right and the others wrong, it's just the way their technique has developed. A garden is like a room of one's own and in time it will come to resemble the person who grows it. I have learned that a garden is a very good mirror of one's personality! Not having a garden of my own I have to adjust to someone else's way of working and sometimes I ache to change a bit of this or a bit of that just because I would do it that way. It is a very interesting matter, but I suppose I will have to wait for the day when I can have my garden to see how it will resemble me. 
  • it is such a big satisfaction to see the little greens poking through the soil and grow from tiny and tender and very similar to each other to somewhat wild and visibly stating their diversity. I am impatient to get the first peas, wich this year are a little late due to the rainy weather. I can't wait to bring home carrots and later on beets (my very own contribution to my Grandfather's variety, along with kale and cilantro!)
  • there is something truly fascinating about watching a garden grow, in a way it makes you ask yourself how is it possible that from mere soil and tiny dead-like seeds comes such an abundance of food. 
  • working in a garden is a little addictive, if I see weeds I feel like pulling them out so that the plants will not be deprived of sun and nourishment and room to grow healthy. The more you do the more you would do, even if it is hard and tiring, because growing your own food makes it taste better in your plate and gives you a sense of pride.
I haven't done much cooking lately and I regret it in some ways, but I also feel like sometimes you just need a break in order to go back to the kitchen refreshed and with new ideas. I hope I will have a few recipes to post soon, if not, I promise a visual update of my gardening adventure! 

Mar 21, 2013

Another spring

This was Monday, March 18. The whole day.

I was not very pleased, it has been a very long and cold winter, I was longing for some warmish spring days. Even though the sun was shining and melting the snow by Tuesday night, the wind was chilly. Until today. Today was one of those days when the sky is clear blue, the sun has the perfect temperature to make you want to be outside all day long and the air is just cool enough. So I decided to go help my Grandparents in their garden. This was one of the things I put on my list about a month ago, when I graduated: I wanted to learn to grow a garden and who could teach me best than my Grandpa, who practically lives in his garden, experiments growing virtually anything and has been doing it for decades? Plus, it is so nice to spend some quality time with two of the people I love the most, who looked after me when I was I baby and a toddler and a child and helped me build some of the most cherished memories.
Truth is, today was only the second time I went to their garden. After graduating I had some sort of physical/psychological breakdown, and all I wanted to do was sleep, hang out with friends and generally relax. But some days, especially sunny days, I start to feel restless at home and I find that being outside, feeling the soil beneath my feet, seeing the trees bloom and the small plants coming out from the earth is the best cure. There are peas and radishes and salads of so many kinds, and today I saw for the first time tiny carrot plants!

Apricot trees are starting to become pink with delicate flowers and life slowly emerges from winter. I love the smell of the soil, and to be truthful I never thought I would.
Even though my Grandparents garden is big and messy, even though I am afraid of insects and will have to be very brave once they start coming out of their sleep, even though I felt sorry for the little mole my Grandpa killed because moles ruin all the roots, I just love being in that garden and I can't wait to forage all the vegetables I helped plant.
I will try to write more about the garden and what I cook with homegrown vegetables, for now let's hope spring has indeed arrived!

Where I have been

I wish I could tell you that I haven't posted because I have been away on some amazing journey, visiting odd places and doing all sorts of exciting things. But the explanation is way more simple then that, although I guess it was a journey in some ways: I wrote a thesis and graduated from my MA.

It was tiring and satisfying and beautiful. I made it and I feel proud.
I'll be back with food and more news very soon, I promise!