Why I put spinach in my coffee. And blueberries. And maybe a strawberry.
Carolyn asked me to grow vegetables in the 17 planters between the main house and the chicken coop at Spirit Hill. I got both freaked out and excited. A garden! A whole bunch of gardens! Seventeen gardens!
What a cool opportunity!
I didn’t know how to grow things. I knew how to go to the store, buy lettuce, and then go out for pizza and let the lettuce rot.
I got to work. I had a new friend I met when I moved here all lined up to help me. She’d lived on an organic farm—she knew so much! I stopped worrying because collaboration is such a fun way to tackle a challenge.
And then COVID-19 hit and my friend could not come over here.
It was me, springtime, a bunch of seeds, and some dirt.
Where there is a will, there is a way.
June is almost here, and the garden is beginning to explode. I asked my friend how many tomato plants I should have in one of the containers. He said four was probably a reasonable number. I have four plus ten. I didn’t tell him that because I’m afraid he would have told me to pull out the extra ones, and I can’t do that.
I have known those tomato plants since they were seeds.
The social distancing I am experiencing, you are experiencing, we are almost all experiencing, is not happening in the gardens at Spirit Hill. These vegetables are all up in each other’s business all day long. All night.
So that is why I threw my iced coffee in the blender this morning and added some spinach and some blueberries and one wild strawberry I’d spotted in the yard as I walked back to the guesthouse this morning after feeding the chickens and thinning the spinach in the garden: I didn’t want to waste what had come to fruition.
I have a wild love now for fruits and vegetables. I still can’t wrap my mind around how something smaller than a freckle can grow into an exuberant stand of kale. Dirt and sun and water and seed and suddenly someone is at the dinner table, digging in, fed.
I drank miracle coffee this morning, and while it tasted not the way I might have hoped, it also tasted just as I expected: green and brown, like dirt, like sun: messy.
(Tomorrow, however, I’ll have a salad and leave my coffee alone.)