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EDITOR’S NOTE: Dirty feet, happy belly

Sep 3rd, 2011 | Category: Columns

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” -Kahlil Gibran

I have dirty feet. The kind of dirty, summer, gardening feet a lot of folks have this time of year. No matter how much I scrub, some of the dirt is there to stay. And you know what? It’s just fine! Dirty feet are a good sign of a happy garden, friends say, and a happy mind and a happy belly. And in my personal case, that makes a happy belly times two.

As the garden has grown this season, so has my belly. Brent and I are expecting our third wee one in mid-October, my favorite time of year. Our two children, Harrison, 5, and Ruby, 2, are ready to meet their new baby brother or sister, and to feed the baby pumpkin bread. (Each day they ask if the baby is coming out. I tell them, “A little longer, when the pumpkins are ready.” So our kids then think about eating pumpkin bread and wanting to share with the baby.)

When we started our garden from scratch last April (we had recently moved), my belly, just like the roots in the garden, was starting to grow. I enjoy gardening in bare feet (or sometimes in sandals, as my tan line indicates) and feeling the bare earth beneath me. I enjoy it more while pregnant. It is cool, crumbly, dark, alive, and sometimes slimy if an unforeseen slug is in my path. Like having your hands in the dirt, I like to slide my feet through and just feel the soil, especially on the really hot days when my feet have swelled a bit. It’s as satisfying as dipping my feet in the river. I don’t do pedicures, but some people (after seeing my feet) tell me I need one. I tell them the garden is my pedicure. (Cue the rolling of their eyes.) My dirty feet are a sign of a good season, a long time being outside and enjoying the growth. Come spring, my feet will be fully clean… just in time to start in the garden again.

As things continue to grow in this early September heat, we cannot help but look to the coming fall, a time of crisper temperatures, favorites like apples and pumpkins, and all the fun and flavor that comes with the season. There are a number of farm tours happening in our northwest corner, from Whatcom and Skagit to Whidbey and beyond. Please check this month’s calendar of events for complete listings, as well as our online calendar that will be updated with new material in between publication dates. (Event information can be sent to

We hope you have a beautiful end of summer and start of fall, and enjoy all the season has to offer. Many thanks to our readers and advertisers for supporting Grow Northwest magazine!

Our growing family will see you in November.

Happy growing, Becca

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