Our garden feeds us, gives us medicinal options, offers excess we can sell to our neighbours, provides opportunities to stretch and sweat, looks beautiful any time of year, and provides a transitional space between the buildings on our property and the woods that surround us. Several years ago we decided to shift the garden away from ‘function’ (providing food and medicine) to a more equal balance with ‘form’ (offering beauty, comfort and challenge). By becoming more intentional about the garden’s ‘form’, we opened our minds and spirits toward more unknowns. How do the insects and plants communicate with each other – to attract and repel – and perhaps to wax poetic? What are the songs being sung in this garden space?
We’ve designed a place that encourages us to linger, listen and travel in grand arcs instead of the straight lines we moved in before. We somewhat arbitrarily chose where the centre of the garden would be and then built up beds in a medicine wheel, concentric circle form around this centre. The very centre is a stone structure with a seat or pedestal on top. We call it Ebenezer. Immediately around Ebenezer is a rather unmanaged ‘wild’ medicinal garden. The first beds around this centre plot are more tightly managed perennial and annual herbs. And around the herbs are plots of vegetables. Around the periphery of the garden are the field crops of potatoes, corn, dried beans and squashes – with the orchard providing a southerly transition to hawthorn and poplar bush.
Guests are welcome to browse and pick up food for the day’s meal. If you want to have enough to take home, we’re open to either fixing a price or negotiating payment by bartering in some way.
New for us is growing food and medicine in our garden for sale at the local farmers’ market. We’re there most Fridays at mid day from 1 July to 30 Sept.