When gardeners garden, it is not just plants that grow,
but the gardeners themselves.
- Ken Druse -
My crops of courgettes, beans and broccoli flourished but it was a few seasons before I had learned to co-ordinate their harvest with our supermarket shopping list. It’s all very well being able to grow vegetables, but harvesting your crops requires an entirely different set of skills.
Vegetable gardening has been a personal journey of discovery for me. I realised that my scarcity mindset was behind my early resistance to harvesting my crops. Once I’d picked something, it was gone, my mind told me – finished.
This led me to learn about generative cycles of planting, growing, harvesting, and the need for fallow time, and now my garden always has crops underway at different stages. I think it’s a beautiful metaphor that reflects the various stages of all the things that might be going on in my life at any one time. New life events happening and ideas hatching, other things reaching fruition, while some are nearing their end and are ready to be composted. The garden teaches me about life cycles within life cycles.
Today I’m much more attuned to harvesting the fruits of my garden, although I currently have an abundance of tomatoes on my kitchen bench that is causing me some harvest stress. I’ve taken some to the community surplus fruit and vegetable stall down the road and I’ve had my first attempt at making Annabel Langbein’s Harvest Tomato Sauce which is delicious, so now I’m learning how I might preserve my harvests for future use. I know there are other life lessons worth exploring in this analogy.
I’ve also learned that certainty and perfection are not in a gardener’s vocabulary, because every year conditions are different and I need to deal with what shows up and to try new approaches.
And so my garden continues to teach me ….
Harvesting our Gifts is the theme for my upcoming Courage & Renewal day retreat in Tauranga on Saturday 20 May 2023 - Harvesting our Gifts: Drawing on the Wisdom of Autumn.
This is an invitation to give yourself some time away from life's busyness to reflect on your life and/or work, your personal qualities and gifts, and the opportunity to gain some clarity about where you're at, where you're heading, and what matters most to you at this time in your life. Please note Early Bird registrations close on 20 April.
Meanwhile, happy gardening!