Where do we go from here?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Where I Seem To Be Going

As the name of this blog suggests, I've been looking for a new direction, a new raison d'être as it were, ever since moving to New Mexico. I now see that some of the previous posts in the blog give a hint as to what that direction might be. Although it's been well over a year since I wrote anything (anything that I actually published, that is), the clues to where I am going are there. It's not really a new direction, just more of a focus on one in which I've always been headed.
I've pretty much given up on the political blogging over at The Blue Voice, as have most of my fellow Voices, with the big exception of Bruce Miller. And yet, the urge to chronicle something somewhere remains strong. As the things consuming my interest currently are gardening, food, environment, wilderness, and in some way the conjunction of all those things, I guess they will be the subjects of my chronicling.

While still teaching English to Spanish-speaking employees at UNM, I have spent the past six months mostly in my yard, gardening up a storm. I've always been a gardener, any place I have lived; as the child of two ardent gardeners, it's been in my blood forever. But the model I followed until now was that of my mother's gardening loves: perennials and herbs. Though I'll never abandon those loves, this growing season I embarked on my father's path, growing things we can eat. My father, a career military man, established a big vegetable garden in in the yard of any place we ever lived, whether military quarters, rented homes in towns or country, or ultimately the home where we settled, near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, his last posting.

Transitioning to vegetarianism, living in a place with terrific farmers' markets, getting into Slow Food, and growing many of our vegetables - these things seem to have emerged organically in a slow simultaneity. In the spring I planted radishes, mesclun and lettuces, which with a lengthy cool spring, lasted well into June and provided us with über healthy daily salad eating. I have quite a few herbs growing here, things I planted as soon as we moved in, plus those I've added in the past four summers. The tomatoes, peppers and squash were slow to mature and ripen, due to that same long cool spring, but the basil that I grew with the tomatoes supplied material for many a pesto for us and our friends. For some reason, the cucumbers developed a bad case of failure to thrive, and were a total bust. It's a challenging place to garden, my backyard and New Mexico in general. The cool cloudy spring included lots of wind, and was followed by very hot dry summer months, without any monsoon rains to speak of. Much of my growing was done in containers, as my hardpacked clay soil most resembles adobe, and takes long and backbreaking work to make ready to nurture any growth.

Well, time for the evening walk, then dinner, which is the second go-round for the results of a recipe I found on Deborah Madison's blog: Cabbage and Potato Gratin with Sage. This, with a salad of greens, avocado and tomatoes, has proved a most satisfying and delicious meal. So, having made this fresh start at picking back up the art of blogging, I hope to be back with more very soon.


fdtate said...

Hey Mari,

It's so good to see you sweeping out the cobwebs around here and posting again. I'm looking forward to more.

marigolds2 said...

Thanks, Duane - I think I'm going to have some fun with this refurbished blog, and I'm very grateful to be back in touch with you.