What do we do now?

herb bed

Hello.

It’s been a while hasn’t it?

How are you?

I know things have been crazy lately. It’s partly due to all of this craziness that I decided to ramp this blog back up again.

We’re all a little freaked out right now.

And why wouldn’t we be? Something we can’t see, hear, touch, or feel is running willy-nilly through our world. A new virus is wreaking havoc and no one really knows what to do about it. The experts can’t agree on treatment or mitigation. Policy is decided by people patently unqualified to do so. Many of us are worried about the future of our jobs. Long range planning is out the window. Most of us can’t see beyond the end of the week with any feeling of certainty.

If you’re not anxious right now, you’re just not paying attention.

But.

What does that anxiety bring us?

For most of you reading this blog, we are in the middle of Spring. It is absolutely beautiful right now. Yeah, the pollen is up, but you can’t have everything. I’m not usually one to promote the use of pharmaceuticals but, according to my wife, Claritin and Zyrtec do what they’re supposed to.

Don’t let your anxiety rob you of this beautiful season. Get outside. It’s okay, you can do it. Spend some time in your yard, garden or sun bathe. Don’t have a yard? Go for a walk. Go to the park.

garden beds

Yeah, social distancing sucks. We weren’t meant to behave like this, but neither were we meant to hole up in our houses. We are creatures of nature. Spending time in the fresh air and sunlight is vital to our health and well being.

The example I set is by no means perfect. I don’t get out for a walk everyday as I’d like. Work often gets in the way. I often sit at this computer for longer periods than I should. I get anxious too. When I get anxious it’s usually over money. Sure, we have enough right now, but what about the future? What’s the gym gonna look like in six months? Will there even be a gym?

When those thoughts take hold I can easily lock myself into my computer and spend hours busying myself, not necessarily being productive, but creating a fury of effort trying to make that anxiety go away through work.

Cucumber trellis

What actually works best to make those feelings go away? Getting outside. I’m lucky. I have a yard.

I have a garden that until this year largely existed as a well meant intention. I am an accomplished composter, though. As a matter of course, we have, for a good 25 years, made it a habit to save our food scraps and bits of yard waste. All of it goes in a compost pile which I turn from time to time. There have been several years where I have started gardens but didn’t devote enough time to them. Come summer the enthusiasm of spring waned and the weeds took over.

This year I have a gift. I have time.

Well before Quarantine started I established an arrangement with Domestique Coffee to collect their cold brew coffee grounds for composting. That means I have an extensive amount of compost ready and ripe for the garden.

There’s a local saw mill that has a large yard full of waste wood and milled lumber they rejected for one reason or another. It’s all free for the taking. And take it I do. I’ve built two trellises, one for cucumbers and squash and one for a blackberry. I also rebuilt the compost bins, my cold frames and, most recently, a few boxes for raised beds near the back door.

I’ve planted beets, potatoes, basil, tomatoes, parsley, onions, fennel, arugula, swiss chard, radishes, and bok choy. To be honest, at this point any harvest is just an added bonus. The exercise, the sunlight, the fresh air and the stress relief are much more of a primary benefit.

cold frames
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