While the new year beckons “starts,” i’ve had a good week 12 sorting some projects that are waiting patiently to be finished. Now that the move is a short distance behind us, even though there are a couple of “house” projects remaining, I am setting my sights on my real work. “Real,” of course, is relative: that of continuing my art work, (themed appropriately)
making new connections, taking stock and restocking and grounding myself in a concrete way, to the land of the Low Country by signing on to a garden plot as part of the Okatie Farmers.
We adopted this bereft patch of ground with great excitement and anticipation on Sunday, like parents adopting a puppy. We will train it as best we can, its attributes still a bit in question. It has a nearby hose bib and a dozen stakes that we can recycle as fenceposts when we build up the perimeter of the garden with more lumber. It has sun from all sides, centered on the power-line alley. We will put it to work to occupy us and feed us, as our neighboring farmers are successfully working this land.
The other gardens show the promise for this orphan. Organic cabbage, rhubarb and pumpkin waiting for last pick before we begin the new season. Peas, beets, the more sensitive greens being discussed or just peeking above the ground.
This enormous system of small personal gardens share space and sunshine beneath the power lines that stretch for miles in Bluffton. I had spied one of the smaller garden plots while driving though on a random day of house hunting. But it was only when I entered the spectacular rabbit hole beyond my new front door, dog walking and exploring, ( Thank you, Nellie) that I discovered it was literally in my backyard.
In South Carolina “winter,” vegetables still grow. There are two planting seasons, I’ve learned, that encompass most of a calendar year. The Farmer “Establishment” offers serious advise and farming expertise. I’ve had my crop of tomatoes, here a year and there a year, in past houses, but I expect to learn amazing things about how to get organic food for the table in abundance.
I am also excited to plant and hopefully harvest some Indigofera for dyeing cloth, as well. According to the club president, she doesn’t know of any other Indigo patches here, but South Carolina is perfect in climate to make it happen. Sea Island Indigo is the local template. Like my dyeing, farming is an experiment with surprises worth trying. Here’s to a joyful, colorful and edible New Year!