Monday, January 21


Standing on the edge of some great magnetic chasm and the only thing I can think about is seeds. Tiny little round ones and even tinier moon shaped ribs. Seeds that bare rich aromas and flavors and others that can be crushed or boiled to make life lifting medicine. But most specifically, right now, I'm dreaming of the seeds that came from last years harvest. The Waltham Butternut that I hope to the garden goddess I saved a few of. The thin packets of round goodness that will provide a summers worth of reds, purples and greens hanging from thickened stalks and vines.

This years garden is gaining momentum in my mind and I am about ready to put those seeds in some soil and moisten their microscopic bellies. This year I plan on extending my growing space to the Hillsdale Park Community Garden. But that is another story in itself. I also plan on making the strip in front of my house, where this year I grew a bumble bee beacon of sunflowers, into a tomato maize. I'm a little nervous about people coming and taking my fruit, but I'm learning to think of things in terms of not what I have but what we all have. And we all are going to grow tomatoes, hundreds of tomatoes. hopefully hundreds of pounds of tomatoes. There's a meaty variety that I fiddled with last year that gives large, thick, paste tomatoes, called Opalka. Unfortunately I gave away all of my good plants and only had one fruit with viable seed, which I ate. So I am left somewhat longing for that thick paste tomato.  I just ordered some seeds from Moonlight Micro Farm in  Florida, a long way off for beets and some kale. But worth it for good heirloom seeds.

This last week I attended a training for the new community garden that we're starting. I met a few people who have gone through the same process we are in creating a community space. I was thoroughly refreshed to be part of a discussion about what a community garden means and who it's for. I was much sustained by the talk that a community garden is not only for growing food but for growing friendships. I find myself at a point in my life where friendships are more real than they've ever been, but also fewer. Quality is good, but I'm interested in cultivating quantity as well. If only to fill a few of the voids that are left by those missing in action. It seems that as I go through life it's more and more rare to connect to people around me. The reasons that use o be enough, no longer attract. I don't necessarily want it to be this way. But I'm grateful for those relationships that are able to be fed and nurtured even from old roots and especially those where words flow like water. Either in trickling streams or gushes that moisten the earth around new seeds, new roots emerging to form new kinds of relationships and boundaries.  I hope though, that I find newness in myself in this garden chasm and form new roots from new seeds in a freshly tilled ground.


Friday, January 4

2013 Dirt (Not a Resolution, Rather an Announcement)

Sometimes I have so many things in my head that I want to say that I think I might explode. Right now, for example, the outlinings of coherent sentences and words don't happen fast enough in my brain.

Outside there is a much waited for blanket of snow covering and protecting a thin layer of soil over much of the earth. It insulates the small particles of accumulated dust, rock broken down and added upon by millenia, and creates a crust in which micro-oganisms can work through their lifecycles. Did you know that the web of life on this planet depends on the first 5 cm of soil, or what remains of it?

Yesterday I came upon a seed catalog and suddenly my heart went thump just a little faster and inspiration came for just what is going to happen in a few little parcels of dirt this spring. I started thinking about what kinds of Tomatoes and where I'll place them and how I'll trellis them and I realized that really, I'm coming a little bit late for the party, considering that last year I built a greenhouse outside and I could be starting little tomatoes right this very minute to move outside in a few days.  This year I am determined to reach my goal of producing and preserving enough tomatoes that I won't need to buy a single can or jar. We feed a lot of Argentines around here and no Sunday is really complete without a hearty tuco.

These are the things I think about in the middle of winter. But really, not any of it is what I sat down to write about.  .  .

This morning I received a phone call. I've been wondering about this phone call for a while, trying not to wait is more like it. Wondering who it would come from, maybe it would be a letter, an e-mail. Maybe it would be really exciting and maybe it would be terrifying. What's slightly less amazing than the phone call is that I actually answered the phone. I have a serious aversion to phones that I am trying quickly to overcome (if you didn't already know, the cat's out of the bag). In this phone call, I didn't recognize the voice, I didn't recognize the number. But it was one of the most exciting phone calls of my life.

A few months ago I started a little ball rolling. I learned about the possibility of something happening near me and started talking to people to see if anyone else thought it was a good idea. It isn't the sort of thing you can do on your own, unless you are omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent, which I am not. So I found a bunch of people who also thought it was a great idea. Some of them were even willing to sign their names on a line on a petition saying they would support the effort. And then we went through the process of submitting it, together with some other documents, to Salt Lake County. There was a significant amount of funding that would go into the process and what felt like a fair amount of competition in order to be chosen for it to happen. We submitted our application and it seemed like too much time had gone by.  We thought our chances of it happening had dimmed and withered with the winter. But then, at last, there was this phone call.

I'm not actually trying to make this as grueling as possible to get through. But the truth is I don't really know how to just come out and say it.

The first thing that woman on the other end told me after her name, was that the Hillsdale Park had been chosen to be Salt Lake County's urban farming initiative's Community Garden to be developed in 2013! It was sort of a long sentence for her to spit out, which I may not entirely remember word for word, and may contribute to the lengthiness and ambiguity of my introduction. Nonetheless, it has been about the longest 3 months of my Motherhood and I feel satisfied already for having our group be chosen to be able to do this. However it is just the beginning. There are so many exciting things about to happen. It's only about the best New Years News I could have hoped for as I am preparing for everything that 2013 will bring!

So that is my announcement. A New Garden! Where faces and voices and thoughts will come together to make something stronger and healthier!

This is where I leave my ownership of it.  With the start of a new garden comes the start of a new blog. The name is sure to change, as the voices therein and the fruits there will grow. But here is where it is born. For Now: Hillsdale Garden Blog.