Off we went to our favorite local nursery to pick out goodies for our very first family garden. The kiddos and I picked out three different tomato plants, three different pepper plants, nine different herbs and some marigolds and zinnias to boot. I was told they keep the bees and butterflies happy. It was a balmy afternoon as Theodore bobbed along on my chest in his carrier, wide eyed and curious, and Stella on top of our plant cart. She rode along holding onto the edges commenting on everything as we passed. Dat’s a good one mom, she’d say in the most helpful voice. After selecting the prettiest of the plants we dropped them off at our new house on the way home only to return the following day to plant our garden. (The current owners are being ever so kind to let us plant early.)
Once ready to start our garden, I gave Stella one of my tools to play in the dirt as I spread the first layer of new soil about our raised bed. She chose the mini shovel and started making little holes in the loose dirt. I could tell she felt important. As i arranged the herbs in a pretty fashion on the left side of the bed, she watched on inquisitively. She wanted to know what that was. Could we eat it? Would it grow? Could she smell it? Next, came the beet and carrot seeds. We talked about what color they would be as I thumbed them deep into the soil. She would run around the yard, our new yard, only to come back to help every now and then.
After a few good hours our first garden was planted. I felt such peace sitting there, both of my hands covered in dirt in the backyard of our new home. At one point I took off my pretty floral gloves to feel the dirt to get my hands on what would be food for our family in a few months. I think it is incredibly important to connect to nature like this. It’s restorative and healing in so many ways.
I sat there feeling so happy to be able to give my babies a big patch of grass to call their own. Theodore, a big shady spot to roll and roll. Stella, a place to explore and collect bugs. An actual yard apart from a patch of apartment grass where they could roam and make messes and go barefoot. I felt that despite all the worry and stress that comes along with selling a home, this makes up for it. In just one short month we will be able to use this space everyday. We will get to watch our garden grow together. We will be able to learn about healthy eating and while nurturing our plants in a new, intimate way. I love this current little nest of ours and all it has given us, but this new chapter of motherhood and life in general it is exactly what we need.
Photographs taken by our friends at The Shalom Imaginative.