My garden is finally starting to look like something. I was so behind this year, and the cold weather was a long time coming. A lot of the brassicas really didn’t like the heat. They are finally looking happy. It’s a small garden this year, compared to other years, but we are getting so much out of it.
I just didn’t know, before, how to eat from the Earth…it’s different, very different. You have to be thrifty, you have to be creative, you have to do the right thing at the right time, you have to figure things out, you have to let things go and be happy with what you DO have. It’s all about working with what you are given.
At first I would plan a meal around something I had from the garden – squash or cucumbers or something. And I would find I’d have to buy all kinds of things to go with it, to make it a meal. Every now and then we would have a meal that was all home-grown, and it felt very special. Now it’s like that all the time. The exception is when we have to buy something. And I’m never very happy with it, when I do. It doesn’t seem very fresh, but it’s very expensive. Vegetables are rubbery. Eggs are pale and old. Herbs are limp. I’m used to ripping something out of the ground and cooking it for dinner that night.
But it took me awhile to get here. I’ve had winter gardens that were brimming with vegetables, and I didn’t know yet how to use them right. We got sick of them very quickly. Much was wasted, a lot went to seed. I just didn’t know how to be thrifty. It felt impoverishing to not have as much choice as I was used to.
And I know now that it wasn’t choice I was lacking….it was imagination. I had to re-learn how to cook! I had to learn to work with what I was offered. Real home economy.