I have been making a garden. It was slow in taking off and becoming a passion. In the beginning I only liked the idea of growing my own food, not the work involved. Actually, as I write this, I don't even think that's the truth… I don't think it was the idea of growing my own food that I liked. I think it was the idea of making available food that we can't readily get here - herbs and salad greens and melons.
I liked to talk about making a garden. And then I liked Jambu to DO ALL THE THINGS.
But then one day I dug some dirt. I didn't have and tools so I used a clam shell to dig dirt. I dug dirt with my shell to fill a bucket and then I put the bucket of dirt in a wheelbarrow and then started again until the wheel barrow was full (or as full as it could be with me being able to wheel it home). I mixed the heavy dirt with some sand and some leaf litter and some ash and I filled pots and planted seeds and at the same time I must have planted something inside myself because as the seeds grew so did the something inside until all I wanted to do was sink my hands into the soil and pull weeds and plant seeds and build garden beds and create something that would feed us.
I used to think that a garden was something you made and then had. But a garden is not like that at all. Of course it's not. A garden is living and breathing and evolving always.
A garden is a piece of art.
I remember talking to an artist friend once, many years ago, about her process. She was, at the time, inspired by sandstone and was sculpting the most divine figures. I was curious to know if she sketched her vision before touching the stone but she told me no, there was no vision. She said she didn't know what the stone wanted to be until she started chipping and the figure appeared. My garden is a bit like that. Slowly emerging. There is no grand plan, no landscaping vision. It is just slowly unfolding. Everyday another section reveals what it wants to be, what it wants to grow, how it wants to look, and I am merely a tool helping my garden come into it's own.
My garden started with a sandy ground and a canoe full of basil and aloe vera. Now, three months later, my garden is much, much more.
My garden is 4 canoes growing spinach + tomatoes + cabbage + dill + lettuce + basil + coriander + book choi + kale + garlic + rocket + capsicum + chillies + hopefully carrots and beets but they haven't sprouted yet.
My garden is sacks of lemongrass and buckets of aloe vera and crates of capsicum.
My garden is a tree stump full of salad greens.
As I publish this I'm not on the island. I'm not tending to my garden. I probably won't even be back to enjoy the first harvest. But it's still nice to know that my garden is growing and feeding people.
And I look forward to getting back to see what my garden has become and what it wants to be next.