The Messy Garden – How 2021 is (Really) Going
I started this year with such optimism and such resolve. I was ready to shake off the pandemic blues and even said I was starting a newsletter (yeah, that hasn’t happened yet but still on it). I thought I was going to be writing great essays this year and oh I have been, but for work that pays me and not the pleasure of my blog. My utter optimism at the start of 2021 was geared towards productivity of my passions, which is why I can’t believe it is already (the end of) July and I’ve only published 3 times this year. Rest Rest Rest, I guess that is a mantra of the pandemic and not just 2020.
A little transparency, my garden is a mess. A MESS! I’m not even exaggerating. It’s overgrown and I’ve eaten almost everything I planted without planting more (at least the eating part is good news). On top of it all I failed my own worst advice and did not get any shade cloths up this year meaning all my super well planed, perfect tomatoes dried up under the scorching sun.
Why is my garden such a mess? It’s actually good news, I’m pregnant!
I’ve spent 2021 growing something even bigger than this blog and brand, and I’m actually pretty proud of it. I’ve reminded myself countless times when I’ve felt guilty for leaving this space untouched, that I’m so young and I have SO MUCH more time to write. I’ve reassured myself that it is fine that I took this time and this rest and focus, so I hope you dear reader agree. We are such a productivity focused culture, but I don’t feel I’ve lost anything this last year. I feel like I’ve gained more focus and really learned how to prioritize. Plus really, I do still have the rest of my life ahead of me.
However, let’s also be real, pregnancy first trimester did not make it easy to keep up with a garden and pregnancy brain did not make it easy to write. I didn’t want to climb up any ladders to put up the shade cloths, and at the same time my husband had to pick up my slack in the kitchen (our full time job) because I couldn’t stand the smells. When I wasn’t nauseous, I was dizzy and every afternoon when I usually garden, I was suddenly taking 4 hour long naps and waking up when it was already dark outside. Needless to say the weeds got away from me as did the seed growing calendar.
When I left the first trimester behind and started to feel better I had an unfortunate accident wherein I hit my little toe and basically thought it was broken. It was swollen and very black and blue for a few weeks. I didn’t lose my ability to walk but it wasn’t safe or healthy for my foot to be in the garden because I also couldn’t wear shoes
After all of that it was already May and wow was the sun ever so hot in the sky. I just didn’t have the energy (or resolve) to do anything in the garden. I did enjoy eating the last of my planted kale, chards and other veggies. By June we were enjoying the last of the badly taken care of tomatoes. I had planted well enough this year to enjoy late tomatoes, but remember… I didn’t get up any of the shade cloths and the vines all burned up in the strong sun and UV. I guess there is always next year.
Some things did survive, the chaya and fruit trees are bigger than ever. The bananas didn’t mind the neglect in the slightest and some are even fruiting now. And somehow the spinach plants sprouted a ton of new babies, so many I had to give some away.
Luckily, a messy garden isn’t a terrible thing. It’s bringing in the birds and bees (and no that’s not just a pregnancy pun). The bees especially because all the native weeds that are naturally growing and blooming. They also love that I left the pronto alivo to super super overgrow giving them about 3 times as many flowers to munch on as normal. Plus weeds can be extramly usefull when you do chop them down as bug hotels and even fertilizer.
In June I finally took back the space and a little at a time I weeded every single corner, then I went one further and got the beloved MILPA planted. I’ve been enjoying the reclaiming of my space and the exercise was good for me. I am now pregnant enough that I have to sit on a stool while working longer than 15 minutes, but I like taking long pauses while I work to soak in the green filtered light through the lime and banana tree leaves.
Now, the corn is already a month in and filling out the space nicely.
I am happy to be finishing this update and I’ve built photographed new content for the coming weeks
What is coming next out of of my messy garden? (other than a baby)
Homemade Liquid Fertilizer
Chop and Drop Gardening
Banana Tree Growing and Maintenance
Hand Pollinating Pumpkins