Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Z and I planted a garden in early June.  We woke up at 6:30 every morning to fill multiple watering cans at the pump and carry them down the hill and into the garden to water all the plants, then repeated the process in the evening and sometimes the early afternoon. We put a lot of hours and love and a significant (for us) amount of money into it.  On the really tough days, working in the garden encouraged me. I had visions of a late summer and early fall full of amazing produce...a little pumpkin-carving in October...and being able to share our food with the families down the road. I have no experience with gardening at all and the whole process was fascinating. I was creating food! I felt like a magician.  Our landlord was even telling his visitors to come see our garden. South Dakota isn't the easiest place to grow things but somehow we were making it happen.

Last Saturday our area had a bad hailstorm and almost everything in the garden was destroyed. There was nothing we could have done. Our landlord said it's the worst storm he's ever seen in the fifty years he's lived there. Luckily neither of our cars sustained any damage and the house is fine. But boy, losing that garden hurt. And my initial reaction was to stop, give up, let the prairie take over. The idea of planting again, getting invested, and possibly losing it all was just too much for my heart to take. Z and I couldn't talk about the garden without crying and even now I'm a little teary.  I went out for a long walk yesterday morning and pounded the gravel. Around two miles, I started thinking about broccoli and cauliflower, putting in more radishes, trying some beets and turnips. By the fifth mile, when I was back in sight of the garden, I was enthusiastic about it. Maybe nothing grows. Maybe everything grows and we lose it all again. But we'll keep trying. I'm thinking that might be the big lesson South Dakota has for me.