My husband dug our garden over to vegetables at Easter. Underneath our four-metre square patio, the soil was squirming with earthworms. We kept a few brick paths, so as not to step on the crumbly soft soil. The rest of the bricks were carted off by a variety of Freecyclers. Manure came in thanks to Raystede Animal Sanctuary. The organic seeds, from Tamar, have been growing in pots in our kitchen, now ‘hardening off’ as they go out for the day and come in for nights. I’ve started to plant out the beans, up a wigwam of young coppiced chestnut from the woods.
The whole amazing sacred cycle has started again. Five of my friends are growing vegetables for the first time this year. Latest figures from the Horticultural Trade Association show a 31% increase in the sale of vegetable seeds and a corresponding 32% drop in flower seeds. A combination of disillusion with what’s on offer and a renewed appreciation for the soil, our land and food, are making veggie growing a compelling pastime.
A few tomato plants, year round herbs and an experiment to find the best drying beans is not going to feed my family. But what I love, what I deeply passionately love, is the anticipation brought by seedlings, working late on a summer’s evening, listening to the blackbirds; smelling the earth; feeling the rain; harvesting the food; co-creating with nature and the universe. I’ve rejoined the blessed cycle of earth to belly to earth.