It is planting time, and I find myself overwhelmed with the urge to dig up some earth and plant something.
I am not sure where this urge comes from, perhaps from growing up with a huge vegetable garden in the back yard, where my father would plant long rows of all the usual suspects: carrots, peas, potatoes, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
It was something I know I took for granted then, the ability to walk into the garden and snack on fresh raw peas straight from the pod, or crisp carrots, wiped clean on my pants, a bit of grit as I bit into the sweetness.
Now, I yearn for the luxury of picking fresh greens from the garden and making a salad with sun-warmed lettuce and knowing nothing was sprayed or added to the mix.
Last year was the first year I managed to plant my own garden.
As a firefighter, I was always away more than I was home in the summer, and a garden needs a little more attention than I could provide.
Or so I thought.
Well, last year, even without the nine-to-five and Monday to Friday kind of job, I managed to do it, and I loved it.
I set up my garden at the beginning of the season with an automatic watering system, with a timer on my hosepipe and soaker hose strung throughout.
It worked, and while it was an insane fire season, I was able to eat many delicious salads of fresh greens, and steam more Swiss Chard then I ever hope to see again in my lifetime.
I also ended up with a few peas, beans, some carrots and beets. For a care-free garden, it was pretty good.
Once you sorted the food from the weeds, anyhow.
But this year, with a more stationary job, I was hoping for another chance to get my hands dirty.
But then I moved here.
Renting a house without a garden, I was worried my hopes for fresh greens would again be scuttled and I would have to take a year off from my attempts at developing a green thumb.
Then I learned about the community garden right here in the Fort.
Fabulously enough, the Fort St. James Historic Park allows the community to plant and harvest a garden plot within the great garden of the original Fort.
I feel as though I have won the lucky garden lottery, because not only will I be able to once again work on my fledgling gardening skills in some fertile soil, but I will be doing it in the spot which was first tilled by rugged newcomers to our beautiful province.
Making a go of it in those days would have been the ultimate challenge.
I think remembering the first people of the Fort toiling away from dawn until dusk should help motivate me on those lazy, hazy summer days, when my bicycle or the deck and a cold beer are calling my name so much louder than the weeds.
Wish me luck and anyone with any gardening tips, my ears are open —and I’m not talking corn.