Theres something to be said about being prepared. Dressed in a my smart looking cub scout uniform I remember reciting the scout motto 'be prepared' at club meetings and camps. To be prepared both mentally and physically for any course of action was the idea. I guess in my later years I've taken to the motto more so than when I was a young'n.
When late winter slides into early spring, I too slide into action. There is much to do. There are seedlings to be planted, garden beds to turn and weed. Manure to be raked, shovelled and spread onto beds to add to the growing potential of future food. Pipes to be repaired and checked for the irrigation system. Even though the winter garden has been somewhat productive with lush chard, spinach and kale, its the incoming warm season that's knocking at the door, demanding to be noticed.
From these garden ingredients…
And some of these…
I make a winter regular. Frittata of chard, cheese and chorizo.
I potter around the garden, often in conversation with myself, discussing where and what will be planted. I'll remind myself what I planted too much of last year, equally lamenting what I planted too little of.
There are decisions to be made. Never will I get it right, but I do take care and give the oncoming season plenty of thought. It's funny you know, to have to forward plan your food months in advance. To plan what you want to eat, what we as a family enjoy to eat and to figure the right quantities allowing for failing crops or pest attack. It's intimidating, the thought of it all falling over and having nothing. I guess thats why over the years I've come to realise that extra effort is imperative to improve the chance of success.
I love that it all comes from seeds. Everything. All that future food in my patch, all comes from seeds. I reminded myself of that very fact watching a little video shot at one of my talks in America earlier in the year. To simply start by planting a seed and seeing what happens. It's so direct, so clear, so very simple.
Adhereing to the motto of be prepared, I've begun planted my seeds for the oncoming summer season. I've even fitted out the new larder with shelves made from discarded timber. My jars may be empty and idle now, but by autumn they'll be full. I'll have jars of sweet peaches, crisp apples and pears, juicy plums, relishes, jams, chutneys, passata, cordials and as much chilli salsa picante as I can humanly make.
I love living this life. I wish you all could live it with me. I love sharing it. I love hearing what you've been living. I love being recharged by the family of doers. That's us, as brothers and sisters doing good.
I love talking with people, meeting those of you living it. And next week I take my story to Sydney for two events. If you'd like to come and hear me talk, see here for details. Please pass this onto anyone you think maybe interested. And go out an plant that seed.
Water cress. Seed planted one week ago.
Thanks Rough Water Films and James Fox of 10 Engines and The Friends of the Sommervillie Public Library for the making of this clip.