I've been reading Deep Economy, which my brother sent us recently. Challenging us to think about economies in different ways--and clarifying that, since the 1950's, increased wealth has not meant increased happiness--it picks up discussions many of my favorite writers have contributed to. Folks like Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Pollen, and more. It's also given me more enthusiasm for my garden.
I've also been paging through Jesus for President, which calls us to similar attentiveness to a different way of living in the world. Here, Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw challenge us to claim allegiance in the kingdom of God rather than any nation or community. Doing so demands that we make choices about how we'll live that express a love for neighbor that demands we do things differently--less as consumers and more as community members and those who want their actions to have positive effects on all others and on creation. Again, here, gardening seems important.
So, I thought I'd share today's update of how the garden looks. I've had some problems with a mischievous garden visitor. I suspect my cute, adorable, adventurous little neighbor, D. There are two small footprints on the top of most of my hills of squash. And all my clever popsicle stick labels at the end of rows have disappeared. Alas, who can really be mad at a 3-year old with a special gift for finding tomatoes in late-summer vine jungles?
Gardening is very satisfying for me--it feels hopeful and constructive in all the right ways. A good kind of economic choice.
We installed a gate, thinking it would make us feel a bit safer in a neighborhood where there's a bit more drug and gang activity than any of us wants. Turns out it may also help my relationships with a little neighbor--I can enjoy gardening with him when we're together, and not be mad about his little footprints or his habit of pulling up tags and tomato seedlings while I'm away.
Our fence is now complete, all the way 'round. It's gotten good reviews from passers-by, which makes me hopeful that it's not TOO unfriendly of a sort of fence. The avocado tree Marian shared is busting out new leaves, and I'm hopeful about the asparagus I planted in a trench. Now, I need to arrange the water system, and plant that last big section. What fun...
When I was planting on Friday, a man stopped by to chat. "I'm your neighbor!" he said very enthusiastically. He then offered me some mint out of his garden, bringing it over in a plastic saucer. Now, it's happily nestled next to some heirloom petunias, watched over by the lovely flamingo my mother sent. I feel a little bad about putting Mom's flamingo near mint, as she hates it so much, but I figure grace is big, and it's all a pretty long ways from her nose. (The other flamingo is watching over a pineapple, which I know is more agreeable...)
And, these bachelor buttons (at the top) are blooming nicely. There a favorite of Mom's too, so that should make everything okay.
Our little redbud tree is looking great these days--the blossoms are beautiful, and I can see the leaves beginning to grow!