Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Finding Joy In The Little Things

I posted this on Facebook on Sunday but I had to share here too!

I've loved the idea of growing food for as long as I can remember.  I used to be my Dad to let me plant a vegetable garden as a kid.  Every.  Year.

But Dad is a professional landscape architect and designer.  He's traveled the globe to work on some incredibly notable projects.  And while we both love plants and design and can even appreciate each other's eye for design, our interests are opposite.

Dad loves ornamentals.  Flowers and grasses and non-fruiting trees.  And the more formal, the better.  The man seriously loves formal European gardens.  Loves.  Them.

I love food.  Fruits and veggies and berries and roots and fruiting trees.  I could care less about grass.  Grow food, not lawns!

As an adult, I've been able to grow a few veggies here and there, increasing little by little as the years (and homes) go by.  But this year was my first year gardening in a HUGE space (said with a side of snark...because even though it feels huge to me, my garden space is no more than 24' x 9' which is tiny by suburban standards) via my local community garden program.

I've had super successes and total failures and everything in between.  I've gained so much knowledge.  I got a tan for the first time in my life!  (A shameful but true statement by a Florida girl.)  I've had pests...of both the critter and human varieties.  And I've had lots and lots of food!

In the spring, I planted four cauliflower starts.  I picked them up for free from my community garden program on a lark.  In two days, they were eaten to stubs.  But a critter!  Up went my fence and I moved on to non cauliflower dreams.

And then a month or more ago, I noticed that one of the cauliflower plants was in fact alive and well.  I didn't realize it was cauliflower for all those months but sure enough, I could see a tiny (about the size of a dime) head forming.  I put exactly zero energy into this plant.  But just look at her today...

She's just the prettiest little head of cauliflower ever!

I read that you should cover the white head (though mine is more of a pale lime green, so perhaps I didn't do this soon enough) with the inner leaves to keep pure white.  Like they do with white asparagus.  It's all a matter of science, really.

So that's my joyful moment from the weekend.  It's small.  And perhaps baffling that I wouldn't just go buy a head of cauliflower from the grocery store.  But to me, it's huge.  I didn't think I could get that to grow.  But I did!  I can't wait for next year...

In what little ways have you found joy lately?  I never imagined I would get so excited (think: I text photos of vegetables...that's weird...ha) over a single head of cauliflower.  Have small joys surprised or delighted you lately?

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