Sometimes I go other places with lush flora and warm air and wonder what the heck I am doing trying to homestead and farm in such a difficult place. A four month growing season, sudden freezes, floods, hail storms, drought, deer, can’t save rain water, high altitude farming is not easy. Why, I bet one could just throw out seeds here, go in for another cup of coffee, and come back out to see them germinate!
A gal we know who is big in the local food community in Colorado told us a story about how she and her new husband at the time took a boat to Costa Rica and started a farm on a whim. It was great, she said. But then she made sure to mention that everywhere has its pros and cons of farming. There are different pests, different climate issues, different things to think and worry about. Grow where planted and do it gleefully is the lesson I got once again.
I was inspired by a Japanese Friendship Garden we visited yesterday in Balboa Park. Sipping warm tea through the rain we stopped to visit the Koi fish in their pond. I was inspired by the serenity of the gardens. I often think of food production and intensive farming techniques, finding most flowers a waste if I can’t eat them or make medicine out of them! But there was a peace and a spiritual aspect to these gardens that are missing from mine. The Japanese Maple can be grown in Colorado. Koi (my one experiment ended in a raccoon buffet) would be a lovely addition. I like how the trees there were planted on a flat patch on the hillside to capture water. Places to sit and places to listen all encourage one to rest and listen to the birds sing and take in the intoxicating views of flowers.
I am impressed with the produce here. Everything we can grow in Colorado grows more vibrant and more prolific than at home. I made this beautiful meal out of everything from the market. It would be a lovely place to farm.
For the week I have traded Ponderosas and Daffodils for Palms and Bougainvillea. I have traded fields of corn for fields of strawberries. We dream of different options. Where we could live, where we could farm, where we would thrive. But in a few days we will be back in Elizabeth. Maryjane and I rented 20% of the garden plots in Elizabeth and we will go pick out our seeds. I love farming with my granddaughter and I suppose where she is, is where you will find me too.