Catherine Gracey

Living Life, One Misadventure At A Time.

Our New Garden

Last month we moved to a new house. It was a daunting proposition with a 3 year old and a 2 month old, but somehow we managed it (even if I haven’t unpacked all of my clothes yet). Shroomi is very pleased with her new digs, and Puggle just seems a bit confused about the whole thing, so I’m willing to call it a success.

In our new home we now have an abundance of space; we’ve gone from a granny flat to a full house with gardens. I didn’t imagine this would be possible a year ago before we got our finances under control and paid off all of our debts, so now we are reaping the rewards of what was realistically not much hard work at all. There are obviously some adjustment pains along the way (“Scissors! What happened to the scissors?”) but overall everyone in our family is calmer and happier here.

The next thing that we plan to reap is our first crop from our new vegetable garden. One thing I have missed over the past few years is a connection to the land. There is something soothing about working the earth, nurturing plants, and finally killing them so I can eat them. We are experimenting with home schooling, so hauling Shroomi out into the garden with me has been an important lesson for us both. The first thing we learned is that we don’t haul Puggle out there with us, but I think she’ll come around in a few months.

Until I started teaching my daughter how to work in the garden, I had no idea how many distinct skills are involved. She now knows how to walk carefully in a garden bed so that she doesn’t stand on anything important, she can distinguish between weeds and plants that we want to keep, she can plant things and repot them, she can shovel dirt and identify debris that shouldn’t be in the garden beds, and now she is working on identifying the differences between seeds and how to space them while planting them. We’re even having some success watering things with the hose without squirting interesting things such as Mummy or the washing.

Our first lettuces are a week or two away from harvesting, and Shroomi is gleefully looking forward to eating the seedlings that she patted into the soil with declarations of “I love you, baby plant”. She understands the connection between the garden and the table, and that she will take her harvests to her father so that they can continue the skill development in the kitchen with home grown instead of shop bought.

When I first took Shroomi out with me, I wasn’t hoping for much beyond keeping her out of mischief and perhaps entertaining her at the same time. What I didn’t expect was the increase in pride and self confidence that she would experience. She is now an active participant in the creation of her new home, and she happily chatters about her work and success. Eating freshly grown produce is rewarding, but watching my daughter flourish is the greater reward.

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