About a week ago, Colleen over at In the Garden Online posted about how she's become a convert to vegetable gardening. For Colleen, "it's the harvest." She waxed rhapsodic about the process of harvesting salad greens, writing, "There's something soothing, peaceful, and fulfilling about it all that I can't manage to put into words. It's mindfulness at its essence: the selecting of the tastiest-looking leaves, the mixing of textures and colors in the basket as I harvest, the gentle whoosh of the salad spinner as I prepare the salad for my family. It is its own form of meditation."
For me, I think it's the anticipation and the joy of watching growth and change on a daily basis. I love to watch the progress of each plant, noting the daily changes. In the vegetable garden, things go happen so quickly. One day the spinach is perfect, the next it's bolted. It's imperative to look enjoy it right now, while it's at it's peak, because tomorrow it may be ready for the compost pile.
I also love the seasonality, knowing that first there are salad greens, then snap peas, followed by potatoes, beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Although I hate to see fall approaching, there's nothing better than making batches of basil pesto for the freezer, and drying tomatoes for a burst of summer flavor in the middle of winter.
Then there's the endless quest for the perfect variety. I love the idea of planting 12 different types of tomatoes, only two of which I've grown before. It's the promise of the new. Will one variety be generous enough give me tomatoes by mid-July? Will another be so prolific that I can share them freely with others? (I don't give away tomatoes easily!)
Each year brings something new. Sometimes it's joy, sometimes heartache. But it's always new, it's always different, and it's always rather miraculous.