May 21st in Planting Day!

“When the roots are deep,
There’s no need to fear the wind”

I’ve been thinking about roots a lot these days, both literally and figuratively. In the literal sense, I’ve been digging up perennials from my childhood home to prepare for trans-plant at my house, and ever-mindful of not damaging the roots.

With a new season of the Garden of Eatin’ upon us, I’ve been thinking about how to improve our yield with a new watering system using soaker hoses on a timer to ensure that roots are fed consistently and at the proper time of day.

In the figurative sense, gardening always brings me back to my family roots. My father grew up on a 75-acre celery farm and brought his knowledge and passion for the earth to our house in Plainview in the form of a huge organic garden. I was living the “farm-to-table” lifestyle LONG before it became trendy! ALL of our summer meals came from the garden. I remember the joy I felt picking strawberries that were still warm from the sun, the simplicity of a beefsteak tomato with nothing but salt and pepper and the sheer bliss of eating sweet corn that was just steps away from our kitchen door. Unfortunately, I also remember my dread of dishes like “Swiss-chard pie,” asparagus soup and boiled zucchini, but that’s another story.

When Kurt and I bought our home 23 years ago, the first thing we did was plant a small vegetable garden. After mind-numbing days in a cubicle at Allstate, checking on the progress of my “babies” was cheap, effective therapy!

As parents, it has been crucial to pass on a respect for the earth and a love of gardening to our children, and it has brought us many precious memories. From the time Emily won the science fair by attracting a black swallowtail butterfly with parsley, to the baby bunny Grace found in the garden, to the time Hunter peed on a zucchini plant because he heard me say that the nitrogen in urine was good for vegetables, the roots of our family have been firmly planted in our garden.

For me, St. Margaret’s Garden of Eatin’ is all about roots, too! It’s part of our church family story and says a lot about who we are as a community. I remember Kurt, Bob Palmer, Ken Rice and Paul Palladino building the bed; holding Sunday School class right on the soil; our ice-cream social with AHRC; sharing the harvest with Food Not Bombs; and marching in the local parade as a human snap pea. Our garden is truly an important part of St. Margaret’s Family Root System!

On Sunday, May 21­­ we planted vegetables and layed a new season of roots! You're invited to see us through to our harvest!

~ Karen Hoe-nscheid