Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.
– John Muir
We’re a small subsistence farm. Just starting out, actually. But each year we grow a bit bigger. A few more raised beds for veggies here. An in-ground mound for potatoes there. Add a paddock for goats here. A hen house there. Small, but dynamic. The way a homestead should be.
Summer is one of the best times of year on the homestead, as we harvest the fruits of our labor. The bounty of the garden graces our plates and makes every meal so much better than had it been prepared with store bought produce. Tangy radishes, crisp green beans, juicy tomatoes, and crunchy bell peppers, all straight from the garden, are just a few of our summertime favorites.
As delicious and nutritious as our homegrown produce is, however, there is another element within our gardens for which we are thankful. There is beauty in the garden and throughout the farm. Not only does the land sustain us, but it provides us those “places to play in and places to pray in” as identified by John Muir’s quote above. Here, in the garden, we find both beauty and bread.
So plant marigolds in with your tomatoes for fun and color. They’ll provide beauty as well as repel mosquitos. Grow Chinese noodle beans not only for the crop, but to create a beautiful shaded trellis in the garden. Grow different varieties of tomatoes and marvel at the hombre of colors as they ripen on the vine. Set a chair amongst your rows to spend time away in the garden. Select your chickens based on the color pallet of eggs they will lay. Grow sunflowers to brighten your day. For all of these are a part of the attraction to this life. They are a deep love and appreciation for the beauty of the earth with which we work.
Take a moment to appreciate what you have. Then grow something lovely.