My friends will remember our loss of a dear friend back in 2013. Chris was amazing. I was always in awe of the work she did on her homesteading and her Zumba classes. She put her whole heart into everything she did, and she took so much hard-won knowledge and experience with her when she died, so many things she would have taught her children as they grew.
She learned a lot about that from her mother, herself a master gardener and some-time blogger. Pat and her husband took the kids in and set about parenting all over again, and began sharing her own wealth of knowledge with all of our friends.
But we lost her too soon, too.
As we do, our community circled the wagons even tighter. We help with the kids. We offer shoulders and hugs for everybody when needed. We teach, we send by meals, we head out to help.
In all the sea of helpful friends, though, I kept hearing variations on the same thing: They’ll never be able to keep the gardens going. Those gardens that were Pat’s legacy, the source of Chris’ knowledge, the family heritage the kids should have gotten from these wonderful women, they were considered extra, unnecessary, not needed.
So I’m going to give it a try, and in the spirit of Pat and Chris I will share here from time to time. I don’t know how good a job I will do. I’ve never had regular successes in my own gardening experiments. I don’t live there; I live a good 20 miles or so away, so it’s not like just stepping out my door to work on the garden. My body is frequently uncooperative, my hands are already full with my own children and house and schooling.
But I’m going to try.
Today was probably the fifth or sixth day I’ve put time in out on the farm. My plan is to get out there for at least a little while every day from now on. My first trip involved lots of questions and measuring as I toured the three main garden plots, along with all the side plantings around the house, the driveway, the playset, the chicken coop, the goat barn. I took all those measurements and dug through Pat’s records as best I could, and came up with planting plans for this year.
They need a little revising. Big Boy and I spent some time today looking them over, talking about what they wanted more of and what didn’t work out well last year. But you can see from this the scope of what I’m getting into. The two on the left are the “small” front garden and the herb garden next to it; on the right is the back garden, where the chickens are currently free-ranging.
I have more pictures from today, but I’ll save them for later. Constant interruptions make for time-consuming blog posts!