Further Than Now

garden july pp
The back vegie garden some months ago.

So about a month ago I had a bit of a dump with my post Spring Convulsions.

I’m better now. Aired. Light. Somewhat lifted.

It is partly to do with the whole vibration of Spring around me – and partly to do with the fact that I have a tendency to keep going. I have to. Look at the world. So things are starting to shape up around here. Slowly.

But surely.

So I wish to write here about something that is potentially troubling about our garden, depending on your way of looking at things. I’ll unravel it slowly, so please keep reading. It will all make sense. I promise. This is not a disjointed, train-wreck post like having a tea and cake conversation with Gran.

For those that are privy to the troubling paradigm surrounding our garden, it challenges their thinking or their values. I know it does.

So, the secret is about to become an un-secret. And you can observe your own response to it. So here it is, but as I said, I’ll break it in slowly.

A vegetable garden in a suburban backyard is not unusual. Not really.

Unfortunately, it is not all that common either, but people don’t get freaked out about a vegetable garden unless they see a reasonably decent one. An authentic, vegie-popping, soil-building garden that is bursting with life, lush growth and vibrant colours can at times, fry peoples minds if they are not expecting it. I’ve seen people react like this when they first lay eyes on a garden that is working well. I’ve reacted to gardens like this myself!

A garden viewed at the right time can deliver more than just a little bit of ‘wow’ factor reaction. It is inspiring to the soul. Uplifting our spirit and vibration and heightens the senses.

The other day I caught a glimpse of it.

I can look at this picture below and get a sense of it. Finally.

It’s coming together. Small increments of progress occurring amongst lavish dish outs of frustration and overwhelm . . .

Once we start putting up a little more of the structural stuff I imagine it will come along much quicker in its transformation.

The long held dream is beginning to show promises of itself. There are the garden beds brimming with fruit and vegetables. Safe, healthy and good to eat. We are close to little pockets of nature areas. In fact, they are all around us.

You can see here in the picture, the vegetable garden, then the house and beyond to the park and then further to Lake Seppings where the turtles live.

wonky house pp
The vegie garden in Spring, about a week ago.

So, here is the rub – and you can observe your own reactions.

The land at the top of the block – where our garden is being created – is prime real estate.

Through another sliding-door of time, perhaps the house might have been positioned at the top of the block, capturing the views of the area and overlooking the garden created below it. But not so. And rather than move the house from down there to up here, or building at the top and demolishing the old house – it stayed and got a make-over. After all, it remains in Gran’s living memory and partly in ours, so we have to acknowledge that. Plus it has character. And character in a home makes it homely.

Our initial plan was to build a smaller house at the top of the block – and in time there are still allowances in the way the garden is designed to yield the space for this to happen. But there are no plans in our lifetime to sub-divide the block and concrete the lot with duplexes or flats or other real estate to flog off and make a good dollar. The money would be nice. But . . .

Instead, our plan is to grow food and trees. Right here in suburbia.

So to some minds, this is a very expensive vegie garden. If you’ve ever read William Alexander’s book The $64 Tomato, you can probably get a sense of what a cost-benefit analysis of our garden produce might look like.

So this is how I look at things . . .

It’s true, that we all need to eat. But the quality of what we eat and the willingness to eat what we know we should be eating don’t always fall in line with one another. There are time restrictions and frustrations and learning to be had. But gardening is a skill and a skill that I wish to pass on to our kids.

I find it significantly disturbing that a human being can go through life sustained through financial efforts alone and not even touch the earth to raise a lettuce for their own meal. The financial system many of us exist within can allow through design, for a kind of buoyancy of existence and also creates a barrier whereby some people do not even come into close contact with primary produce or it’s production. I find it very artificial, but also quite amazing that in this day and age such a way of life is possible!

As I’m going about doing things in the garden I observe and quite often think about this buoyancy of existence that surrounds us. There are a lot of working professionals, families and retirees in the area. There is a demand for accommodation given the proximity to Middleton Beach and town. So land is very much given up to dwellings, not vegie gardens. There are some wonderful little pockets of gardens around, but not ones you can eat from to save your life. And there are times when I mean that quite literally.

I want a garden that is also going to out-live my own use and provide for future generations. Something that will get better and better over time and generations.  I know, there is no guarantee that future generations will want to have anything to do with this kind of way of life.

That’s why the story has to be a good one.

Because it’s the story that saved this house from being demolished.

It’s the story that dragged us through the challenges we have faced so far and to keep us going further than now to create something that will endure another lifetime, and another.

It’s the story.

Tillellan to the left, with other homes that still exist today.

I would truly like to know your thoughts about this post, so please comment below.

. . . And if you haven’t read The $64 Tomato, it is an entertaining read!







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