Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Healing Garden Part I

I wanted to post some pics for you guys of the wonderful garden where my son and I have been working lately. But I can't find the cord that goes between my camera and my computer, darn it!

I am convinced, with good reason, that this is a healing garden. We show up, we work hard, we admire nature, we go home, we eat some of the earth's bounty then we sleep like babies.

We ate collard greens again last night, only this time I did them up right, with cornbread and black-eyed peas. Next we're going to eat this spaghetti squash if I can figure out how to prepare it. Any suggestions?

While we satisfy the terms of my son's "diversion" by working in this garden, we also have a chance to heal up some of the damage the Eureka Police did to my son's estimation of authority and the so-called justice system. The ex-cop-turned-master-gardener that we're working for tells us stories about his days on the force, demonstrating with every story that police officers have hearts and souls after all.

Yesterday, I worked hard. It was my job to hoe the weeds immediately around the plants. It was also my job to turn the compost over, sort of stir it up with a pitch fork.

The compost is a miraculous thing, a mountain of grass clippings, vegetables, all the coffee grounds from Sutters Mudd coffee shop and grapeskins from some nearby winery. When you turn the top layer, steam rises up from it. If you put your hand on it, it's as warm as a person. It's a living thing.

Now, I already have strong legs from my years tromping around HSU -- also known as Hills and Stairs University -- but my upper body is a different story. So I ache today, in my abs mostly. I also have several mysterious bruises on my body and a blister on my hand. My son must feel the same, but he hasn't said anything.

I'm not complaining; I am filled to the brim with satisfaction and gratitude.

P.S. I'll post pictures later.
Same garden, last September. This was the exact moment I fell in love with this garden. This photo ran in the Press. Our gardener friend is going to help me plant a wall of sunflowers on my back fence this coming summer.
Same garden, last October, at the big corn harvest barbecue.
Lovely food from the garden last October. I picked the tomatoes, and I made those baked beans. Everything was so gorgeous and delicious. It will be even more enjoyable this coming fall when my son and I will have contributed.


Lucy said...

My dad uses spaghetti squash just as you would spaghetti. He pulls all the "guts" out and puts sauce on it. He thinks it's pretty good. I never tried it.

Anonymous said...

Indie, you make a good case for the healing power of gardens. Can you help me with a garden question? How does a seed know how to grow? I hope you and your son will think it over and let me know the answer you find.

Oh! Have you seen "Gran Torino" yet? That movie is far more complex and subtle than most people seem to realize. Even though the reviews are good, they don't it justice. The movie has text and sub-text. Like Shakespeare, it appeals to those who like broad strokes in their entertainment and also to those who can discern deeper meanings within. You are sure to delve deeply. For my part? I plan to see it again soon.

Indie said...

Anonymous, we have reached that stage where the idea of going to a movie with your mom is unthinkable. I'll either have to wait for Gran Torino to come out on video or see if I can convince one of my friends to go with me. I do want to see it.

A seed knows how to grow the same way a baby does, by the message encoded in its DNA. But I'll bet that wasn't the answer you were hoping for. We were eating sprouts the other day and marveling over something like that.

Lucy, that's what I thought, but no one in this house is a big fan of tomato sauce, so I'm going to have to get creative or scour the internet for recipes that don't involve tomatoes. Think you might want to try it?

steviewren said...

Is there a growing season all year around in CA? It is way too cold here for anything to grow. Fresh produce sounds so nice. I've never cooked a spaghetti squash. I've meant to buy one and try it though.

Indie said...

Steviewren, the garden is mostly fallow. The collard greens are a part of the winter garden. There is also broccoli, but it went in late and is sparse. The spaghetti squash was in cold storage in the shed and our gardener friend gave it to us.

All this weeding is preparatory to roto-tilling.

But yes, I live in a place of mild weather. It's chilly and rainy, but very green. And the days have been sunny and crisp lately.

beachcomber said...

I believe that when you make collard greens with black-eyed peas and cornbread, the term would be "messa", as in "cooked me up a messa collard greens and black-eyed peas". I believe Jeff Foxworthy would agree.

Tomatoes aren't your only choice for spaghetti squash (or pasta for that matter). Try butter (this might fall into the "messa" category as well) and herbs like basil, maybe some garlic. Out of fairness, most anything tastes good slathered in butter and garlic anyway.

beachcomber said...

BTW, as for your camera, check and see if your computer has a drive port for the little memory card in your camera.

Indie said...

Beachcomber, slathered in butter was exactly what I had in mind for that spaghetti squash! (just another reason why Southern cooks are never thin...)

I found my camera cable while tidying up the house this morning. I'll post pics now. I forgot about the little tiny disc drive. Thanks, next time I'll remember. :)