Back in the Garden

By: Alexandria Riedinger

Jul 14 2011

Tags: , , , , ,

Category: Life & Happenings, Sustainability

1 Comment

Aperture:f/11
Focal Length:28mm
ISO:200
Shutter:1/400 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 7D

“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle…a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream.” – Barbara Winkler

This year, winter has followed us into what should be summer and has made gardening a bit of a waiting game. At the community garden I work at in Chico, we’ve seen vegetables get confused from the weather and go to seed instead of growing. However, at the Local Choices garden in Turlock, everything has taken off and it was incredible to visit and see everything in full bloom that I started last year with Tyler. I remember my first day as a “farmer” there where Tyler and I sifted compost and built raised beds all day. It was good, wholesome, hard work.

I’ve learned a lot in this past year about gardening, food, and the beauty of watching something grow. There’s been long mornings, hot afternoons, lots of weed picking, and the first breath of relaxation after a day’s end. I’m finding that with each passing day in the garden, I’m learning more about life in its most natural state. And I’m learning how far off my life is in some areas from that same natural state. Do you really think the tomatoes care if I wear makeup to the garden? But I do feel I’m getting closer.

To get me there, I made goals last year for my time in Chico and I’ve been adamant about trying to honor them. These goals have helped me along my journey to living a more authentic and eco-conscious life. Now, because I am more focused on what’s important to me, I can see clearly what either helps or hinders me. It’s like I’ve created a cool little filter in my brain that says “yes!” to the coconut water and “no” to plastic bags at the grocery store. These goals are:

  • monthly camping trip or discovery of natural beauties and sustainable practices in Northern California
  • support farmers market and eat seasonally, locally, and organic
  • plant a garden or get involved in a community garden
  • ride my bike everywhere
  • maintain a minimalistic lifestyle
  • get published locally
  • train for a half-marathon

The camping trips have been sporadic, but I’ve continued to find organizations here that are doing some great things, like the Weston A. Price Chapter (who offers cooking classes and informational speakers), the Sherwood Montessori Public Charter School (whose garden program and Chef Ritchie is inspiring), and the Chico Food Network (who is the creator of GRUB).

The farmers market is a must every week. And between the food from the community garden and the market, I’m pretty much set. I get things like black beans, Celtic grey sea salt, and miso from the Co-op. I’ve been  really good lately about using my bike instead of driving. I now even ride the full three miles to the garden three times a week and back.

We still don’t own a couch. Or an official dining table. Which is fine with me, but it has shocked others to walk into our place and see a very bare (but tasteful) studio. I laugh just thinking about all the days I’ve ate sitting on the floor and how weird of a concept it is for some people. Eh, I used to say, if it won’t fit in my backpack, I don’t want it!

My byline in local publications is growing and I’ve met many great people because of it. I’ll be honest, I could step it up a bit, but I like doing a bunch of different things instead of just focusing on one.

As for the marathon, after seeing an x-ray from my chiropractor that shows a slightly skewed spine, I thought it best to try to fix that first. But, I do have my eye on a half-marathon this fall in wine country, and a training schedule ready and printed out. So here goes round two.

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One comment on “Back in the Garden”

  1. Love your comment about makeup and the tomatoes… I have four tomato plants in pots and “hug” them multiple times a day, starting in the morning when I’m still in my pj’s!


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