I have a lot of “country” friends. Their gardens are enormous and they are always quite generous in sharing their bounty. If I am not careful, I sometimes find myself feeling jealous of their good fortune. And who can blame me? I covet a large piece of grassy real estate in which to work my plow. I imagine wonderful early morning jaunts, coffee cup in hand, standing at the far edge of my back forty, keeping a watchful eye on my long rows corn. And sprawling fields of grain grown, of course, to feed my herd of cows.
But my reality is much different, and a large, sprawling, bountiful farm is not my present assignment. Instead, I am the steward of a small, compact plot of land that is nevertheless full of great potential. I live in an area where the houses were built only an arm’s length apart, and the yards are smaller than many of my country friends’ entire gardens. But while my grassy plot is compact, it still challenges me. I am challenged to create beauty, bounty, and balance on a small palette – always watchful that each small bed of leafy goodness doesn’t rob any vital resources from the next.
And so I stand in my door in the early morning, coffee cup in hand, and I survey my small plot for each and every potential empty spot that might yield a small bounty. I work to create an abundance of life without an abundance of land. When I find small spaces available, I plant berries and fruit trees. I nurse them along, knowing that as they grow, so does their potential bounty – and that one day they will greet me with enough fruit to eat my fill and share with others. You see, city blackberries are just as delicious as their country cousins – and city neighbors are just as happy to receive them.
I am learning, with patience, that there is indeed a lot of meaning behind that old adage, “Bloom where you’re planted.” I know that there is no excuse for me to leave my land fallow, no matter how much land I happen to have. Where there is an empty square foot, there is room for healthy, nutritious food to grow. I know that with each new bed I plant, there is a chance that another neighbor will take notice. And for each neighbor that takes notice, there is a chance that she too will begin to work towards growing fertility and abundance on her own grassy plot. With this in mind, I head out to my small yard each morning, watching closely for each new opportunity that presents itself.
So don’t despair if your yard is small like mine. “Bloom where you’re planted,” and make the most of the little space you’ve been given. As for me, I’m off to pick some berries!
Thanks to Lisa McHeard for participating in the [Grow] Network Writing Contest.
We have over $2,097 in prizes lined up for the Fall 2015 Writing Contest, including all of the following:
– A 21.5 quart pressure canner from All American, a $382 value
– A Survival Still emergency water purification still, a $288 value
– 1 free 1 year membership in the [Grow] Network Core Community, a $239 value
– A Worm Factory 360 vermicomposting system from Nature’s Footprint, a $128 value
– 2 large heirloom seed collections from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, valued at $103 each
– A Metro-Grower Elite sub-irrigation growing container from Nature’s Footprint, a $69 value
– 2 copies of the complete Home Grown Food Summit, valued at $67 each
– 3 free 3 month memberships in the [Grow] Network Core Community, valued at $59 each
– 4 copies of the Grow Your Own Groceries DVD video set, valued at $43 each
– A Bug Out Seed Kit from the Sustainable Seed Company, a $46 value
– 4 copies of the Alternatives To Dentists DVD video, valued at $33 each
– 4 copies of the Greenhouse of the Future DVD and eBook, valued at $31 each