Time to fess up about the secret behind our amazing garden. It isn't silver bells and cockel shells; it's Joe and Nathalie. The lucky renters of our garage suite have turned out to be our saviors.
As experts on permaculture and and afficianados on all things natural (and expert catchers of rogue chickens in the garden), they are the mentors we so desperately needed to get us past our overwhelming ignorance. This first farming season would have somehow happened, I suppose, but their intimate knowledge and passion for all things growing and living has given us confidence and even a bit of know-how, as well as all the snowpeas and mixed greens we can handle.
They are also blessed with enough time and passion to be constant workers in our shared fields. As I juggle parenting, writing, household chores and the usual busy-ness that still creeps around the edges, I look out the kitchen window and see Nathalie quietly pulling weeds in her Chinese rice-farmer's hat. The amount of playing over the past month has increased the burden on them to keep up with the demands of our abundant garden and animals - we've still got alot to learn about fully embracing our role and responsibility.
And they're just gosh-darn, down-to-the-core good people. They 'get' community, pitch in and join in and share and take in a natural, respectful, harmonious way. When we were picking cherries with our mob of visitors, they helped with advice and equipment to prune the trees, then showed up with their buckets to harvest their winter's supply. Never a question for any of us about what's ours or theirs - we are truly sharing this land, and there truly is enough for everyone.
Exactly one year ago we saw this land for the first time and knew we'd found our Home. After another day today of cutting trees with Joe, swimming with Nathalie, and the boys playing with their dog Munch, it's impossible to imagine our garden, home or lives without their part in it.
So lest you hear legends of our abundant harvest in just the first year of creating this garden and think we are superhuman, know that our only true magical power is to conjure up the right people to come into our lives at the right time.
Write to Renew - One of our previous graduates, the talented Jay Nahani, is leading us in a Write to Renew workshop June 14th. For writers and non-writers alike, this one-d...