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Editor’s Note: A place to call home

May 1st, 2012 | Category: Columns

“Gardening is a way of showing that you believe in tomorrow.” –Unknown

A lot can change in a year, or two. With this issue, we celebrate two years of Grow Northwest. We want to thank all of you for supporting this publication. We like to say we’re 100 percent locally grown, because we truly are. We would not be able to do this without you, and your support is a testament to the unique and amazing community we have and enjoy in our northwest corner.

Publishers Becca & Brent Cole

A year ago, as we celebrated our first anniversary, I wrote how our family was putting down roots at a new place that would become our little homestead. We were settling in, working side by side, and forever digging up rocks in the garden plot we named “The Cole family garden of 1 million rocks.” As the amount of gravel and rocks grew, so did my belly. With the help of a dear friend who helped us till, the rock number grew larger, but much quicker, and was shortly turning into a good plot (with the addition of yards and yards of beautiful dirt and compost) that would be more than sufficient for a family of four, soon to be five.

When we put up the fencing, we set the bottom in dirt and topped it with all those rocks, creating a critter-proof perimeter and a decorative reminder of all the hard work that went into our family garden. We filled and pushed wheelbarrows of rocks and dumped them around the edges as the bunnies literally watched from a distance. We joked they were saying something like “Come on lady! Cut it out!” Even the kids noticed the statuesque bunnies.

Within a couple months, our family garden sprouted more than we could keep up with come harvest time, just as my feet took on sympathy swells that looked as though they’d grow as large as my belly.

In October, baby was born, and her first “walk” around the property was through the garden – then overflowing with weeds, but still beautiful – and I talked to her about life and growth, seasons and changes, and how she would grow season to season too.

Six months later, we’re in deep spring, and she’s on the verge of crawling while two bottom teeth are coming in. Our garden is still overflowing with weeds, but now with a backdrop of blooming apple and pear trees, and an empty wood shed in the distance. It saddens me to look at it some days, knowing our hands will no longer be in its lush soil. It is planting time, and nothing is growing, except for the garlic in a bunch of containers that I hastily planted with our kids back in November. Other days, it makes me smile, knowing we gave it a good run and made a lot of memories doing so.

It stands there in a weedy mess, not because we are too busy to get to it, but because life – those changes I told baby about last fall – is taking us in another direction. This homesteading property that we thought we’d rent long-term and acquire down the road, has turned into some large, unexpected repairs that forces our family and the current owner in a new direction. It will be put on the market, and hopefully go into the caring hands of another who will rip those weeds out and keep it going, and maybe work on all the other plans that were being expanded or started.

It probably sounds corny to some folks, but I really enjoyed creating that large family garden from scratch while pregnant. Creating any plot feels good to do so, but at that time, life was growing in my belly, beside me, and under my feet at the same time. They were different forms of life of course, and nurtured in different ways, but there at the same time and measured by months and heights. That little patch of land will forever hold some special memories.

This year, the month of May for us will not mean working in the garden, like we thought it would. Instead, we keep looking (and hope to find asap) for a new place to make our little homestead and hang our hats long-term. We’ll take our 37 garlic plants with us (and hopefully our son can find the tractor he buried between the kale rows (he told his younger sister it would grow bigger this way)  and take that with us as well), and bring them to wherever our next piece of ground is in this beautiful northwest corner. We’re ready and eager for this next chapter, and are all ears if you know of something.

Hopefully this new place won’t have nearly as many rocks, but if it does, we’re ready to take them on. We sure hope to make a lot more memories and put down some strong roots.

As always, thanks for reading and supporting Grow, and we’ll see you next issue.

Happy growing, Becca

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