The Sage, Wisdom from the Edible Garden, March 23

By Cole Alexander

17380100_10212093371630618_254927700_oI try to start every morning with a slow, calm, meditative walk through the Edible Garden. Slowing down my steps to match my breath allows me to deeply connect with the flow of the garden. While “flowing,”’ I try to place my attention completely on the environment and my place in the natural cycle of nature. Whether the soft smile that emerges is reflecting the songs of geese overhead, the chorus of birds waking up in the white pines, or the hum of the road as people make their way out into the world, I’m grateful for the presence of everything that makes up this sacred space.  The ability to smile at the unexpected is a part of the natural process.

In preparing for spring, cultivating a calm heart and mind is essential for facing the unexpected changes that come with gardening. Many  factors go into building a successful strategy. While no one can predict the weather without error (especially in Kentucky), there are methods of preparing for a variety of outcomes. The process of succession planting, which means planting the same seeds of a specific vegetable every two weeks, can assure continuous production from the beginning through the end of any season. For example, lettuce seeds that are planted indoors during colder months can be transplanted outside in spring along with newly planted seeds. In this case, once the oldest lettuce plants have exhausted their ability to produce, the seeds that were sown at the same time will begin production. Using this method multiple times for starting seeds inside or out allows for a variety of stages to be planted simultaneously. Taking full advantage of any season’s potential in this way allows you a variety of opportunities to flow, as nature does, with the changing season.

While strategy, patience, and adaptability are essential for the garden, it’s also important to have fun with the process and be creative. There is nothing wrong with straight, uniform rows of plants if that is what works best for your creation, but exploring colors, shapes and textures can bring a sense of joy and exhilaration to any garden atmosphere. Take time throughout each day to appreciate your garden just as it is, either manicured or overgrown; nature is sacred regardless of its shape.

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