Just Getting Started

April is the time to ready for the new growing season here in the frozen north (ish). Gardeners, the original optimists, assume every year that it’s going to be warm and sunny, with just the right amount of rain, and never on the weekends, so you can get outside and work.

The reality of course, is, well, reality. There are years like 2014, when we had a couple of feet of snow on the ground into May. Or 2011, when we had 25 straight days of gloom and/or rain (I keep a journal). This does not make even the cool-friendliest plants feel very friendly.


Gardeners sometimes have blinders on; we see what’s happening in our own space, under our own feet, and in that one little hole in the ground. It’s helpful, in our wealthy and diverse society, to put it in perspective. I may lose my broccoli, but I’ve got a grocery store down the street and four farmers’ markets in walking distance. I may get a month without sun, but a tornado did not knock my town off the map, and a fire did not force me into a car with all my livestock, and my well did not go dry (all things that happened to friends in other parts of the country in the past few years).

I grow my own food because I can—I have space, time, and knowledge. I can choose to get as much of that knowledge to others who can use it to make their lives better. You can, too, through Peterson Garden Project and others who are trying to teach everyone how to grow and cook their own food.

I’m looking out my back door right now at soil so black it’s almost a religious experience. I’ll have a garden, and food; a roof over my head and a loving family. We’re just getting started every day.