So obviously not a current photo from my garden here in northern Vermont, but it is a cheery one none the less that thankfully makes spring feel inevitable.
To me these peas in particular are an important symbol of regeneration as they are one of the plants whose seeds I save and replant. This cycle I have always thought is very comforting, I don't have to rely on anyone else to offer this variety in order to grow it again next season.
I had piles of peas drying everywhere, all sorted by variety, color, number of peas per pod etc. I was inspired to try my hand at crossing peas in 2008 by one of my favorite blogs: Daughter of the Soil. I can't wait to see if any of my crosses took!
I was inspired today to mention seed saving after I read a post by Stuart over at Gardening Tips 'n' Ideas. He posed the question : Could you garden for 12 months without spending a cent?
My first thought was of course I could, but then I realized that I do have to pay my fee to the Tommy Thompson community garden, and I need to buy mulch. Probably I would have to shell out at least $100 for the 2009 season. That is if I don't buy sets of baby plants, new seeds, tools, extra compost, or stakes. In 2008 I spent $256.57, yes I kept track (even of the pennies) I was petty curious how much money went in to the garden compared to the amount of veg that came out.
My second thought was that the aim should be a more permanent self sufficiency, not just a year or two with out cash inputs but a life long garden that is conventionally free. Maybe I have been living in Vermont too long but to me that feels like the true goal. Perhaps we should try having vegetable gardens with out all the stylish tomato equipment, or expensive watering systems. Could you survive a season with out buying some sexy new garden gadget???
I was very glad to see this question of low input gardening raised in such a public way. To me it highlights the importance for all of us to look at the things we think we need and reassess every now and again.