Now that summer is in full effect, so is our thriving garden. (And so are the earwigs, ew.) This is our third year having a garden and each year we keep increasing the size of our garden. At the beginning it was a lot of work. My husband spent many weekends digging up the areas that were soon to be pea patches and squash rows. He also spent a lot of time weeding and planting the seed. It has paid off so far with all the spinach, lettuce, collards, and peas we have so far enjoyed. Coming soon are summer squash, winter squash, bush beans, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, and leeks. The only bust we have had this year (after many failures in the past two years) was kale- it was just too far in the shade. But this just makes me more determined to learn from my mistakes for the next year.
While working in the garden, I began to understand why so many Americans don’t have a garden. My husband goes to work early, so he gets to return early and has more daylight time to work on the garden. Many Americans work 9-5 jobs, get home, make dinner and it is practically dark by the time they are able to take a breath. When would they have time to weed, water, etc.? My other thought is that we would never be able to sustain ourselves on our own garden unless we were actually farmers and spent our 40 hour work week working the land. We may have a good amount of veggies for the summer, but there is usually little left to preserve for the other times of the year. It is crazy to think about this, and understand a bit more about why our food system is the way it is today. I also better understand what society cares more about since most people don’t have massive gardens. We spend it with technology, working (making money), driving to our jobs, etc. Maybe if we reconsider what is most important to us we would not be living our current lifestyles (and a paradigm shift in our society would occur). Or if we stopped watching so much TV we would have time to garden.
From the top left: Before seeding, Rows of pea sprouts, Collard sprouts, Full grown snow pea, First tomatoes of the season, Bean sprout, Heads of lettuce, Collard plants, Summer squash blossom, Wide photo of greening garden, Broccoli plant
While you may not have time to have a huge garden, many people have enough time to care for some fresh herbs and tomato plants, easy items that can be kept on just a patio or deck. This way you can still get your hands a bit dirty (and see what you are missing out on) without having to spend too much time in the garden.