Edible Gardens

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Health is wealth, as the saying goes, and though I do count my blessings for being born with such wealth, I know it is more than just blessings that allow my body to continue its movement in wellness.

I put a lot of effort into it, backed by a stubborn will that holds strongly to the belief you are what you eat, drink and think. Eating being the forefront of strong bones and muscles, fresh organically grown food is very important.

So  I find myself kneeling in dirt in the great outdoors. I look up and squint at the sun shining brightly, not a cloud in the sky, the blueness mimicking the ocean on this happy summer day. I dig my hands into the moist fertile soil so I can feel the earth’s silky elegance crumble between my fingers.

Health starts right here, in this moist brown dirt brimming with all kinds of things – minerals, plant and animal residue, air, water, and tiny living organisms. It’s where a seed remains in darkness waiting for the right amount of moisture to signal its miracle within, to sprout a tiny shoot up into the light while its roots dig down to bring nutrients to the plant.

Health is at my doorstep with this edible garden so readily available right outside any kitchen window.

I smile as I continue to tend to my lovely garden observing the simple beauty found in the tomato’s smooth red skin, the ripe green scent hanging in the air as I brush my hands past the stalks to pick this delicious fruit.

Though you can visit a farmer’s market or walk down the aisle at your favorite grocer and pick a vegetable, there is nothing more satisfying than watching nature in progress when a pretty flower forms into a bright yellow squash, its short little body growing by the inches, stretching into its full length in no time.  I love it when almost overnight the little sprigs of green shooting out of the ground becomes a huge leafy lettuce, bright green and standing so tall to reach the shining sun ready for me to munch.

Reaching over to tend to my colorful chilis, I notice the little neighborhood hoodlums, my fine feathered friends, have taken a special interest in these super hot peppers, paying no mind to the degrees of hotness only to enjoy the sweetness they find in the flesh of these fruits. It’s Mother Nature at her best, birds singing in a tree making droppings, leaving a chili seed or two to take root and prosper somewhere else.

Everything here works in a symbiotic relationship, every living creature and plant dependant on each other’s cooperative growth or death.

I watch a butterfly flutter by the parsley plants and soon a ladybug decides to spend a short stay on the sleeve of my shirt. Her spotted red wings a reminder of my childhood and the day I found their secret hiding space, my eyes in wonder at the convention of crawling insects gathered behind a palm leaf. While the ladybug lifted off my arm and hovered over to another attraction, I decided I am done and collected my basket of bounty no grocery shelf can match.

I realize mac ‘n cheese doesn’t grow on trees, so a trip into a garden holds little interest to some. But eating healthy truly begins in the garden, and if you dare decide to tip-toe through the zucchinis or prance around a patch of carrots, you’ll find treasures worth your weight in health, everyone’s only measure of true wealth.

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