I read this somewhere and I truly believe it to be true. I find solace in this phrase and have been known to repeat it like a mantra under my breath as I find myself straining to complete my unrealistic to- do list. I feel it applies to any project we undertake as much as to the great project called Life. The garden is a good place to apply this principle. My new style of gardening embraces this concept. Instead of trying to tackle the 200 square metres that is allocated as my vegetable garden at once, beginning with gusto, energy and enthusiasm, inevitably feeling overwhelmed as the weeds grow quicker than I can pull them all out, my back aches from shovelling mulch and yet I feel as if I haven’t made a dent at all.
Some things are growing well, others are smothered under wandering dew and cobblers pegs. I have adopted an “inch by inch” style of gardening. or rather “square metre by square metre”. This method I gleaned from a fabulous book written by LouLou Holbein called ‘One Magic Square’. Each week I go out to my patch of unruly but fertile ground and measure out exactly one metre by one metre. I turn over the soil with the shovel at the sides to define the square, add some lime, a handful of organic fertilizer, chook poo and/or cow poo (we are lucky enough to have our own willing producers of this valuable stuff). I then meditatively break up the clods of dirt in my new square by hand so as not to kill the worms of which luckily there are thousands. Once the soil is nicely loosened and evenly textured, I’ll give it a good watering. Then the fun! Planting. I love to plant things and see them grow. I never get tired of the miracle. I put this tiny seed in the ground and nature does the rest. Brilliant!
This whole process take an hour or so and at the end a satisfying feeling of accomplishment. Each square can be nurtured and meticulously weeded and watered without any overwhelm and when everything feels under control the next square is begun.
So far I have a square of carrots and beetroots (they have popped up already, much to my joy and relief. You see, I didn’t think they would come up at all after I witnessed an army of ants busily carrying off my precious carrot seeds from the soil a week after they were planted.It was fun to watch though – you really should take the opportunity to get down close to the soil and observe the business that is going on there. Fasinating!) Today a square of broccoli, rocket and spring onions went in. I am looking forward to spring salads and stir fries from freshly picked broccoli flowers and carrots, marinated beetroot, the fun of pulling up the carrots – always a surprise to see what you get. The kids love that. Oh joy to be had. Next square – I think herbs – more coriander (you can never have too much coriander), chamomile, dill, parsley, thyme……inch by inch…..I must not get ahead of myself..