Outside My Door
I can see our little garden from the big windows in the corner of our kitchen. We planted late, but the zucchini, tomatoes, kale, peppers and herbs are flourishing. I thought we would wait a year before we had any garden but Ray insisted that was one of the reasons we bought a house so he built the wood frames and ordered a load of compost and topsoil. Ten steps from the front or back door I can pick a handful of basil to add to a salad. Amos hunts for cherry tomatoes under the plants’ wild growth and looks for cucumbers bigger than his hand to eat for lunch or a snack. Having a garden outside my door really is a dream come true. I am outside off and on all day, sometimes glancing at or investigating the garden but always imagining, brainstorming and dreaming of how we will transform this yard to grow more food and to create a space to live and thrive.
We’ve picked off cabbage moth caterpillars from many leaves of kale but haven’t had any other garden pests. One afternoon I noticed the kale plants were looking much smaller than they had earlier in the day. Amos had picked most of their green and purple scalloped leaves and stuffed them in the fridge so we could make kale chips. We are fortunate that the garden can be a space for all of us to enjoy, even if Eowyn grabs the tiny green peppers to munch on. This has been the summer of “Mom! I’m hungry! What can I eat?!” Sending Amos to forage in the garden or to hunt for berries on the edge of the woods is an easy, if short lived, solution.
It has been a while since I’ve seen the wild turkey who was partial to visiting our yard and spent an afternoon roosting on the peak of our garage roof. Our biggest challenge is the mosquitoes that often swarm around us, leave Amos and Eowyn adorned in red welts and keep us inside far more than I would like. I’ve gotten used to slapping and scratching.
I think it will take a while to adjust to living in a new town and neighborhood, but on this little patch of land in our cozy house, we feel like we belong. Knowing we will be settled here for a long time and we can literally dig into this place makes it even more special. Over the weekend we invited friends to come play and have a cookout in our yard. I made burgers, and cookies, and this perfect slab pie (thanks Martha!). Seeing many of the people we love, the community we have tried to cobble together, chatting under the trees in the afternoon sun made me feel even more at home.