to grow & share

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I have been stressed, and at the front of my mind for the past few weeks was gardening. I had to get a vegetable garden going. Just some tomatoes and pepper plants was all I really wanted to try, but I had to do something in the garden.

On a Friday afternoon, I headed to the BX and walked around outside in the garden section. I picked up 2 homestead heritage tomato plants, a giant marconi sweet pepper plant, and an Arapaho blackberry bush. We have a Natchez blackberry bush that has done incredibly well in the desert, and I'm hopeful this one will fare just as well. About a week+ later, we also picked up some organic plants from Whole Foods: a better boy tomato plant, a chili pepper, and an Anaheim pepper. Maybe it's just Las Vegas, but we have the hardest time finding organic peppers here!

I planted the tomatoes and peppers in a rusty half barrel that Austen and an old neighbor cut in half almost two years ago. It has served us no purpose in that meantime, just hanging out on the side of the house. So Austen drilled some holes in the bottom and I cleaned it out, and we planted the veggie garden in it!

The further Austen gets into his bachelors, the more we talk about life post-military. He wants to go to law school and have his own small firm, allowing me to be a stay-at-home momma or find a career I really enjoy. There are days we toss around all sorts of daydreams, and one of those is to have a you-pick orchard of some sort.

You see, I grew up in Missouri where in the autumn, you'd get together with a few other families and head out on a hay bale tractor ride to an apple orchard. We filled bags with freshly picked apples, picked our pumpkins for Halloween, and went home. Momma would make a fresh apple crisp that night using an apple peeler/corer/slicer that was attached to the counter. She would shoo my sisters and I away because we'd munch on the apples the whole time, defeating the purpose of her apple crisp.

In Texas, there are no apple orchards. I was really depressed about this our first couple of years in Texas, but got used to it after a while. It was replaced with wassail fest and "bless your hearts".

I would still love to have an organic you-pick orchard of some kind someday. Maybe a berry orchard, or a vegetable garden. Austen would love some trees, so it would probably include some pecan or walnut trees.

Gardening this past weekend just made me think about that. I love our little garden. I love the idea of making a cobbler with our blackberries this summer and sharing that with friends around our table. I love the idea of picking tomatoes, making a salad, and eating that with the hubs in our dining room. The thought of growing our food organically and being able to bless others with it is revitalizing to my heart.

To grow and share. There is something so powerful in that.

While this might not be much at all, it is a start. Especially in such a harsh growing environment as the Mojave Desert, and in a yard where we can't dig so that their roots stay cool and moist. This is a beautiful, teeny tiny start to something I hope becomes much bigger than this. So much bigger than us.


  1. I'm sorry you've been stressed lately. But gardening or being in nature even just a lottle always has a way of lifting yoir spirits. I love your lottle garden too!

  2. gardening is so fun. I love that you are actually able to see the fruits of your labor! It would be so neat if you could have your own you-pick orchard one day! I would definitely pick any apples or berries at your farm if I lived close enough. I love those places!


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