Gifts from the Earth, 2021 Harvest

More reflections on my garden inquiry work—looking closely uncovers my learning.

If you look at my garden with a capitalist lens you would have said it was failure. Too much money was invested for the small yields I put in. So little tomato harvest for the number of plants I had. Too many hours were spent growing growing seeds, tending them, watering, weeding, being eaten my mosquitos. It’s not worth it – just buy produce at the store.

But if you look at the garden through the wisdom of indigenous knowing, it was an overwhelming success. It put me in right relationship with the land. And it provided an abundance of gifts. Each little package of goodness, no matter how few there were, was a treasure.

Robin Wall Kimmerer’s book, Braiding Sweetgrass, is also a treasure. I go back to it again and again to be coached, to try to understand.

“Strawberries first shaped my view of a world full of gifts simply scattered at your feet. A gift comes to you through no action of your own, free, having moved towards you without your beckoning. It is not a reward; you cannot earn it, or call it to you, or even deserve it. And yet it appears. Your only role is to be open-eyed and present. Gifts exist in a realm of humility and mystery—as with random acts of kindness, we do not know their source.”

Robin Wall Kimmerer