With my garden fork, I gently turned over the soil in my kitchen garden this weekend. Like a beautiful blank canvas waiting for the artist to create, it’s pretty easy to be in that glass-full kind of mood. The days are longer, tiny green shoots of garlic and rhubarb are pressing up through the soil, and soon peas vines will wrap tendrils up the trellis. It’s in the spring garden where magic happens.
Cover crops planted last fall, oats, and peas, either never germinated, or the birds ate the seeds before they grew. Turning over the soil this past weekend was like getting to know the garden all over again, and falling in love with my rich, organic soil. It didn’t start off this way, yet years of nurturing the garden with compost, cover crops, and organic matter have given it a texture similar to chocolate cake, with a hint of sweetness when I hold it up to my nose.
The next step is to tie together the bamboo trellis for peas to climb, followed by sowing seeds of lettuce and spinach. Like a well-synchronized orchestra, the asparagus spears emerge in beat with the rosy knobs of rhubarb, and that dizzy feeling comes into my head. I’ll eagerly rip open another seed packet, mark the row in soft soil with a trowel, and press seeds gently into the furrow. It is a familiar spring ritual that taps into that cheerful place where my worries and the world melt away.
Tasting food pulled from the ground, twisting off a green stem, or picking up an apple dropped from a tree at the peak of ripeness is the way I wish we all ate. Watching green shoots emerge from the ground – active, robust and alive – is a reminder that these seeds are pre-equipped with everything they needed to send forth a root, a shoot, and a leaf. All I need to do is insert them into the soil, step back, and watch.