On Gardening and Simplicity

by Tammy Strobel on April 28, 2014

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As a little kid, I loved playing in the garden. For example, there are old Polaroid’s at my parent’s house featuring five-year old Tammy sitting naked in a strawberry patch. In another photo, I’m in a red wagon, with dirt on my face, and a can of Miller in my hand. Apparently, my parents thought it would be an amusing photo opportunity after a long day of yard work. And, they were right. When I saw both photographs, as a teenager, I snorted with laughter.

As a teenager, I didn’t want to garden. When my parents asked for help, I wrinkled my nose and rolled my eyes. At that time, I was interested in television, boys, and not getting my hands dirty.

Fast forward twenty years . . .

I no longer wrinkle my nose when it comes to gardening. Recently, I’ve become obsessed with the activity and I fret over my plants. I’ve even started squealing when sprouts appear in my pots or when I notice a new blossom on my Harmony. And, at night I bring my plants inside so they don’t get cold. According to Logan, “we are living in a tiny greenhouse.”

In some ways, it feels like we are literally planting roots in Siskiyou County. Logan and I don’t want to move anytime soon. Although, writing that sentence makes me nervous. The last time I uttered those words, we had to tow our tiny house away from the City of Chico. Nothing is certain and I’m grateful for my family, my little house, and Logan’s new job. So yes, we are planting metaphorical roots and it feels good. I’m looking forward to spending time outside and gardening!

Enter Old Rocks, Pinterest and a Backhoe . . .

mason jars Our tiny house is parked in a sweet spot with great views. Previously, a mobile home was parked in this location too. The home was taken away by the local fire department and used as a house fire training tool for volunteer firefighters. However, remains from the prior dwelling were left behind. We’ve found lots of stuff the soil; everything from concrete blocks to old nails. Plus, we found a huge pile of old rocks under a Sycamore tree. I’ve wanted to do something creative with the rocks since we moved back to the area.

When I was browsing Pinterest for gardening ideas and tools, I stumbled across images featuring rock gardens. To Logan’s chagrin, I declared that we had to do something awesome with the old rocks. The rocks were covered in dirt and we had to unearth them. In the process, we created a raised bed garden using the rocks as walls.

Pinterest also propelled me to the local gardening store. I needed some gardening supplies, like seeds, flowers, soil, and a couple of pots. I didn’t buy many pots because I used old mason jars to start my seeds — another awesome idea I found on Pinterest — and I found a very cute pot at a thrift store.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my in-laws. We wouldn’t be living in Little Shasta Valley if it weren’t for their generosity. I probably wouldn’t be starting a garden either. My in-laws have loaned us shovels, rakes, loppers, and their Rototiller too. Last weekend, my father in-law dropped off a pile of soil for our little garden with his backhoe. Buying soil is expensive and it’s amazing to get free dirt dropped off at our doorstep! I’m grateful for my in-laws and their support.

Moving forward . . .

I’m a novice gardener and I’m looking forward to learning as I go. I just hope I don’t kill too many plants in the process. Once our garden is ready, I will transplant my peas, lettuce, and flowers into the new space.

In the meantime, I will continue to bring my plants and flowers inside until the nights get warmer. I will squeal at the sight of new sprouts, and I will have fun getting my hands dirty this spring. However, you won’t find me sitting naked in a strawberry patch or a red wagon because I might scare the neighbors.

Be well,
Tammy

Before you go, I have a few announcements to share:

  • Have you bought My Morning View? If yes, please leave a review on amazon. Reviews help spread the word about my book. Thank you!
  • If you want to delve deeper into your photography practice, register for my photography e-course. The class revolves around completing small assignments and collaborating with peers to get feedback on your work. Registration closes at the end of April.

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