HerbReady.jpgOn this Father’s Day, I felt compelled to see a project to completion. 

Much of my academic life involves projects that take a long time to complete. Last week I spent an entire day trying to get one short paragraph of an essay to say what I wanted it to say. So, I don’t often have a chance to see a whole project come to a completion in a single stroke. 

Although I don’t much like yard work, the one thing I do like about it is that there is a project to be done, you spend a little time doing it and you can see the results immediately. I needed that today.
I mowed the lawn, which was fine.  But I also wanted to complete a larger project that had been hanging over my head for a while: the herb garden off our kitchen. 
Val has taken her cooking to another level, using mostly local products and being very mindful of where our food comes from and how it to prepare it in the most nourishing way. We are members of the Howard’s End CSA, which has been providing us with excellent local produce and fruit.

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So an herb garden was the next logical step. Above is a picture of the garden finally ready for plants. Over the past month or so, with the help of a generous neighbor, Neil, and two excellent diggers (Chloe and Hannah), we cleared out old roots, tree stumps, weeds and moved a few rhododendrons to achieve that herb-ready landscape.
Today we added excellent free local compost from one of the State College Borough parks and headed off to Tait Farm for the herbs. 
There we bought Sweet Basil, Oregano, Italian Parsley, Curly Parsley, Sage, Vietnamese Coriander, English Thyme, Chives, Dill. We also have a beautiful Rosemary plant that was given to us by our neighbors, Neil and Julia.
We also planted seeds for some Mesclun Lettuce and Swiss Chard. Finally, we tried to add a little color to the garden with some California Poppies and Cosmos.
My favorite two things about the garden right now is that it is finished and there are no weeds.  I hope that we will be able to keep up with it this year as we try to connect in new ways to the earth, the seasons and the place we inhabit.
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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Janet Filing says:

    The garden is beautiful! I will see it in person soon. The feelings of a job well done in the earth is shared by most, if not all, true gardeners. It just feels good to have a plan, start, and to finish. Now, the trick is to enjoy getting into the weeding zone!
    It is a Zen kinda thing and it can be meditative and engaging. I am glad for your enthusiasm about this project and the achievement of it at the back door is remarkable. The girls can help with the maintenance and upkeep or not, but it is a masterful job and one well worth it.
    Hope Jon has seen your project and has commented. Val is a marvel and enjoying the preparation of food effects the food.
    Jan

  • I’m always very happy when all my vegetable/herb planting is done, but I also find the ongoing process of maintaining the garden (checking on how the plants are growing, tending to weeds, tying vines up, etc.) to be one of the most relaxing things I do all week. Anyway, your garden looks excellent! Good luck with it!

  • Jon Long says:

    Hey Chris,
    I haven’t heard from you for a while so I thought I’d check out the Blog. You are writing about some cool stuff. I particularly liked the Herb Garden. I too am gardening nearly all the time and like you need to take on things that have no end in sight to break out of the monotony. I have just finished my own Herb Garden of which I have no Pics. I am so glad that you are all well and enjoying the bounty that this earth has to offer us. Maybe go for some veggies next year, I could help!! We just discovered a disease in our Marionberries and are watching as our berries start to ripen they shrivel up and die, it is rather heart breaking to watch this after so much anticipation of all the berries it looked we were getting, yet another lesson for the kids. Yesterday our chickens laid their first eggs, they were very small but the girls were very excited. I am missing you all a lot and wish we were coming east but it does not seem to be in the cards right now. How about a trip out here? We’d love to see you guys. Give a call.
    Love,
    Your Bro

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