In the morning before I go to work, I take a little stroll through my garden. It’s meditative and therapeutic, and it’s a great daily reminder of what my job as online editor is really about: the garden.
I can get overwhelmed with creating online articles and slideshows. I can easily get lost in writing newsletters and cropping images. I can be consumed by Facebook and the petty drama that swirls around on Twitter.
Some days it’s easy to lose sight of the larger picture. Today was one of those days.
But when I plugged my camera into my computer, I remembered my walk in the garden this morning.
Reddish-orange calendula blooming in the morning light.
The tomatoes in cages surrounded by a living mulch of clover.
The garlic scapes curling and gliding like swans on the water.
The bean runners racing up the teepee.
And I think, oh yeah, I am a gardener.
That’s what’s at the core of my job.
I garden and I learn.
I garden and I create.
I garden and I share.
Or perhaps this is more apt:
The garden teaches.
The garden shares.
Let me also say that I am a committed organic gardener. I do not use chemicals. I do not support poison farming. I fully believe that organic and sustainable practices in our agriculture and food production are the key to improving our health and our environment. Period. No free pass for corporations talking out of both sides of their mouth.
Just because no one has ever asked me why this blog is called the Real World Gardener doesn’t mean I’m not going to answer the question. Or at least try.
I am a real world gardener because:
I am a real world gardener because I am a living example of how easy it is to have an organic garden without trying too hard, without over thinking it.
Somewhere, somehow, over the course of my life I’ve come to understand that beauty lies in imperfection, which has led me on an interesting path. If this path had a tagline, it would be: in pursuit of imperfection. So if beauty lies in the imperfection, and if there’s also truth in beauty, then the truth is somehow imperfect. Or imperfection is truthful.
How does this relate to my gardening? And what does it have to do with the real world? Well, I love the way my garden changes from day to day, season to season, year to year. It’s an ever-evolving place for me to learn, to make mistakes, to achieve the truthful imperfection that I so admire in the world. And that is the crux of it: the real world isn’t perfect but it is absolutely beautiful, not despite it’s flaws, but because of them.
Well, I hope this clears it all up for you. -eric
On second thought, I may keep my garden plans to myself a little while longer, but my general ideas are: more raised beds, a new fence, new compost bins, kohlrabi, and a custom watering system.
That’s right, a custom watering system.
I always wished they sold short lengths of drip hose that I could use instead of the 50-footer that I’ve been using. I only want to water my crops, not my footpaths. I end up wasting a lot of water.
So my idea was to have a series of short drip hoses connected with short non-drip hoses, thereby creating a custom watering system. One day at the garden store I saw that they did in fact sell these short piece of hose, but they were expensive.
This year I’m going to cut up the old hoses to the lengths I need and use those hose end repair kits—the little hose repair ends. Not sure if it’s going to work, but I’m going to try it.