June 2016

June 2016


A Beautiful Bloom

Having never grown artichokes before It was fun to have had great success in harvesting this delicious vegetable! I planted these beauties by seed all the way back in November and worried they would not make it through the cold nights of winter but to my surprise those tiny little seedling fought through the soil and became rooted. The artichoke requires lots of fertilization and plenty of water which was somewhat of a burden as the rest of my garden seems to fend for itself pretty well with not much attention at all.
During the month of April we all watched with excitement as this vegetable continued to grow and mature and develop in size so much that we probably waited a little too long to cut the first round of artichokes from their stalks. The artichoke is best harvested when the buds are still tightly closed. If picked too late, they can become tough to eat. We were all happy to find that we had produced some of the most delicious artichokes ever!!! Of course you could claim that we are biased. Having grown the artichokes we would easily think they tasted great even if the truth was the very opposite which is why we invited some unbiased guest to the dinner table that night.

What really intrigues me is the end result of leaving the artichoke on the stalk and making the decision to not eat it. With time and the help of the sun, this beautiful purple flower emerges from the inside. So a decision has to be  made, do you wait for this beautiful flower to emerge from a plant that looks like a huge weed or watch closely and cut the vegetable from its stalk just in time to enjoy at the dinner table? This year we got the best of both worlds.
I can't help but compare the lessons I learn as a gardener to my experiences as a mother. There are times when you take a step back and look at the garden as a whole and marvel at what has been growing and how much things have matured and developed. Looking at the big picture, you realize the time spent weeding, fertilizing and watering have been so worth it. However, just like the artichoke, the harvesting time is tricky. Each child is different... for some the best harvesting time is before their petals begin to open up and for others it is so beneficial to wait until they are in full bloom. I wish I could say I've figured this out! Having 2 sons picked and harvested has proven to be very difficult at times for me. I still feel the need to fertilize and I will always and forever want to over water because that's just how I am! This is the conclusion I've come to...

1. Even after a great season of growing, the soil will always need fertilizing and sometimes those same vegetables plant their seeds back in the same soil because they can trust its a good place to grow.

2. As the gardener, I will always be prepared to help that seed find success and fight off any weeds that try to take over.

3. As quickly as fertilizer helps the garden to grow, I am realizing more and more each day that too much water can drown any progress that has been made.

I love to garden. I love having my hands in the soil. Every minute spent in my garden has been well worth it!

1 comment:

  1. We just updared ourselves on your blog. All of it is so beautiful--Savannah and her 8th grade award and dance. She is so outstanding. And your writings on gardening and comparing it to parenting. It is a classic. I am so grateful to have gone to your blog, and in honesty, it just popped up. Hmmm, interesting! We must keep ourselves updated with your family. Love you