Recently I have had the opportunity to visit with some friends that I have not seen in quite some time. One, is a leader in the local art scene and simply put drawn to the calming effects of nature. We ended up getting involved in an interesting dialogue concerning heirlooms food, indoor and outdoor growing techniques and the pros/cons of both techniques and the quality of water in our area. It's always nice to bump into someone of like mind and eventually the conversation naturally, no pun intended, took a turn into the subjects of permaculture, biodynamic gardening and even harvesting the foods growing all around us that most people never even think about such as plantain and pine, wild raspberries and strawberries as well as attracting pollinators to your gardens by introducing indigenous flowers to your gardens. Though slightly brief, I really enjoyed our chance to talk and pass information along to one another.
My other friend is a musician living in New York City and it was the first time he has had the opportunity to meet my family and visit my home. My kids were extremely excited to show him, and our other guests, the gardens. They were picking small samples of chocolate mint, lemon balm, yellow snap peas and nasturtium for our visitors to sample. I started explaining that this year I am keeping track of all the produce from the garden in comparison to the initial investment to see if this venture is saving us money at all. He then explained that it did not matter. He has a relative who is attending a private school in NYC for $45,000 a year, yes you read that correctly, a year. One of the main projects for the students is working in the campus greenhouse. He explained that the knowledge my children have is really impressive, they know what to eat, why you eat it, and how to grow it and the oldest is only 5. Not to mention the time we get to spend together working and playing in the garden. He said, "You can't put a price on that." It is true.
Though I know that deep inside sometimes it takes an outside source to remind you. I'm in a special time and place in life and have the unique opportunity to share it with my kids, who luckily enjoy it as much as I do. I guess what I am saying is that it is nice to speak with people you rarely get to see and find that there is a common vision of existence developing though they were developed independently of one another. It reminds you that you are on the right path!
Tobias Whitaker blogs for Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine. Click on the Mother Earth News logo at the bottom of the page for all of his post. You can also find him on Facebook at Seed To Harvest: Bossy Hen Homestead https://www.facebook.com/seedtoharvestbossyhenhomestead/ which is a central location for his homesteading blogs and his homeschooling blog, A Mile In Her Shoes: Tales Of A Stay-At Home Dad found here https://amileinhershoestalesofastayathomedad.wordpress.com/