Gardening is hard as hell, yes I said it

I’ve been romanticizing the idea of homesteading. The idea of growing my own food, living off the land, being one with myself and nourishing my body. I picked up gardening to start. I even joined a Facebook group called “Black Girls that Garden”. Dreka Gates and Kelis are living their best lives right now. I want in. I also cut down my therapy sessions partly because something was going on with my insurance and partly because my therapist told me that I am doing well enough to cut some sessions anyway. Once sessions were cut, I dived into gardening more. I think this was because I needed something to do. I needed something to get my mind off of whatever it is that troubled me.

I’m not too sure if I will be buying chickens and cows, yet. Though I hope some day in the future I will own a beautiful farm house with these things.

I started getting into gardening during my pregnancy, but after I had my daughter I truly understood the importance of it. I want to be sure that I nourish her body with food from the earth too. Gardening is such a beautiful process. It is truly a grounding experience but it is also a lot of hard work. Then again, this is coming from someone who can barely keep a house plant alive.

Benefits of Gardening Include:

  • can promote a goodnight’s rest
  • mood boosting
  • can deepen a connection to self and the environment
  • can help reduce anxiety and depression
  • can help you save money

My mother and I spent several occassions this past summer under the hot sun planting seeds in containers. We planted sunflowers and wildflowers Mothers Day 2021. The only thing that grew were weeds. Something obviously was wrong there. Perhaps we planted things too late? Why can’t things just grow on their own with little effort from us? No, gardening is truly a labor of love. We need to get our hands in the dirt. We need to continue to care for those that we planted, fertilize, water, prune, and talk to the plants. We also started composting!

I am learning and I am not afraid to admit that I don’t know what the hell I am doing. I jumped in feet first thinking things would magically grow and that I would make my own salads, homemade salsas and tomato sauce.

I discovered this thing called “Zones” probably a little too late in my gardening journey. I am in zone 7a which means there are certain fruits, flowers, vegetables that would thrive in this zone. I am constantly researching.

We’ve planted a variety of fruits and vegetables, tomatos, squash, collard greens, green beans, garlic, apple, and pumpkins. I recently purchased a pomegrant plant. Though we planted every seed in containers, it’s a struggle out there. We have all of these beautiful crops but no harvest. The only items we were able to successfully harvest were : lettuce, chamomile and mint. I discovered that adding shade to the garden would further help the garden. We did a DIY project for this. We went to Home Depot, purchased some wood stakes for no more than $3.00 each and draped a mesh covering over it. BUT SOMETHING IS EATING OUR GARDEN ALIVE. I’m pretty sure the lantern flys are eating everything out there. We should have so much more of a harvest.

I am learning. I am trying to be patient with this process.

I share this part of my healing journey with you to encourage you to explore new hobbies and give new things a chance. It may change your entire day or life. Gardening is hard as hell, but it is also a skill that is worth learning.

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