Tuesday, March 16, 2010

dig it

harvester

We are not gardeners. (I say "we" and the husband, should he ever read this -does anybody?- will balk, but I insist!) We are Make Do-ers. We do not dip our toes in, first, to see if the temperature is just right, if everything is just right, if there is ample space in our savings account. We just do it. Jump! We find out where we are (where the fuck are we?!) and we do what we can do. Which is to say, we roll with it. Whatever it is.

I admit to feeling small pangs of jealousy when I visit the meandering farms of friends of mine, or when I drive anywhere out of my tiny little town because anywhere takes me right smack through a postcard. So scenic, so pretty, so some Sliding Door I didn't open. I wonder what it would be like to live in a postcard?

I can tell you that I count more pros than cons about living on a city lot in a small town. This is not to say that I don't sometimes wish we'd chosen a rural house instead of this one, because that's pure speculation and irrelevant: we didn't. We picked this house and we love it and we're capital L Lucky to have it, even though we don't have miles of wilderness out our backdoor, even though it's an hour from our favorite city (and not our favorite city, oh, portland! we will always love you best and miss you the most.) it's our home. And it's a good little spot for us. (I hope we can hang on to it.)

So we've established that I envy (a little) those with acreage (just the way they might envy me, perhaps, and my ability to walk so many places) and I admit that I do not identify with the so-called "Urban Homesteading" movement, but my avoidance speaks more about my sense of place and home than it does about my particular support regarding homesteading tenets. I am not convinced that this sweet house (the house that looks dumpy from the exterior -sorry we can't afford to paint you something spiffier, nifty 1958 abode- the house that a friend coined a "willy wonka house" because it has surprising nooks and crannies and whole rooms and such, the house that gave us the longest residence we've ever had, as a family, the house that has been excellent to us for these last two and a half years) is our stopping point. A homestead is a place you stay a long time and I'm not sure this is that place. (how are you ever sure?)

And yet. yet the garden grows and grows. I send my girl out to harvest from the beds under plastic, because she can squeeze underneath much more gracefully than can I. She brings back a handful of rainbow chard, a few small but so delicious leeks.

And yet. yet our chicken yard is good to go. The little hen house painted, a school bus bright yellow (a leftover oops from back when we tried, more than once, to get the kitchen just the right true shade of orange). No chicks yet. Soon.

And yet. yet the herb garden, year two, is thriving. cilantro is sprouting! Unharvested seeds from last year's plants, left to do what seeds do, and we'll see what happens. what happens?

cilantro!

Seeds grow and we grow and nothing ever turns out quite the way we expected it to go, but the process is the important part. (This is me, processing. . .)