“Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” – Rumi
There are these moments we feel in our gardens. The spark of awe at the bird relishing in the water we placed in its bath. When a new butterfly is spotted sipping on the nectar from a flower, we have personally planted. When the leafcutter bee packs a small hole with chewed-up leaf fragments, it feeds the next season’s brood. These moments of awe take me out of my present worries and allow me to be moved by the changes that I can control.
So often, the fear and worry I have for the future can be paralyzing. My concerns for the health of our ecosystems are often insurmountable. They take on a grandness that is difficult to dispel. But like snapshots of hope, I piece together these moments of awe in my garden and thread them together, forming a tapestry that I can hang over my fears. The red dragonfly that lazily swoops over sunflowers. The bees that cluster over zinnia blooms in an ecstasy of pollen. Watching the sunrise over the garden on a cool late summer day. I take a pause for each of these moments. I remind myself to take them in, to find strength in them to nourish me through the times that I feel hopeless.
September, for me, embodies this, the practice of gratitude for the harvest and all that the earth gives. It is also a month of reckoning for all that we take. As the harvest comes into the kitchen with flowers, produce, and seeds for next year, I watch with joy as the garden debris and kitchen scraps journey back to the compost bins. There, they break down, creating rich compost that I lovingly layer back onto the garden. This is the reckoning of autumn, from farm to table and table to farm. A cycle that nourishes both body and soil.
I find succor in this, the cycle of the seasons, in the giving and receiving. In giving back to the earth, I can enact a form of reciprocity. I can nourish the land much like it nourishes me. I can rebuild soil ecosystems and fuel diverse habitats. It may have a small impact, but what if we all attempted to do this on some scale? We would find in healing the earth we may just heal ourselves. Others may not see the love and dedication you give to the spaces under your care, but that doesn’t make them not worth doing. This requires a posture of the heart, a deep love and affinity for our gardens, and a willingness to do all that we can.
Farm to Table
This month, our tasting room menu features the following items from the Brooks Estate Garden: nettles, tomatoes, herbs, jalapenos, kohlrabi, onions, apples, kale, and honey.