Love Thy Neighbor
What did I do on my last day off? I spent three quarters of my day creating a vegetable plot for my neighbor, Natalie. I hadn’t planned to, I was actually trying to set up a platform for my bee hive when I saw my 79 year old neighbor in her driveway. I walked across the lawn to say hi and chat a bit. We talked the usual talk…her health, her family, my family and gardening. When the subject came to gardening I could sense her disappointment. The gentleman who worked her garden last year kept postponing his arrival and it had been over a month now. She couldn’t do much bending herself to weed, let alone tilling . I saw she had a lot of seedlings waiting, but couldn’t plant them all herself. It would be more than her back could take.
Our garden is pretty much done at this point. We have arugula, Pak choi, garlic, green onions, swiss chard, peas and a few more veggies growing while my friend Natalie’s remained a weed haven. I’m just waiting for the weather to get warmer so I can put more heat loving vegetables in my plot and then bring the tropical plants up from our basement winter training camp.
I hated to see her disappointment so I offered to start her vegetable garden on the spot. I started weeding, tilling, made a walkway down the middle laid out with hay for her convenience and put some chicken manure in the plot as fertilizer. We both worked at this together and had fun.
What do I get out of this? A lot of satisfaction just to see her look at it and smile. Her vegetable plot is ready for her to plant in a couple of days when the chicken contribution dissolves in the soil. Just to see that smile on her face and and the eagerness in her voice…of where she’ll put this or that vegetable, what she is going to do with the strawberries….and so on, makes it all worth it.
Most of all, just to see someone happy and to see the soil become fertile and productive again.