We are so grateful for the warmth we’ve had this past week. The flowers needed that good, nourishing sun to make some food! And the soil was in need of some drying. The difference between weeks of endless rain and weeks of sunshine definitely shows. This week we harvested lots of queen anne’s lace, gladiolas, zinnias, black-eyed susans, sunflowers, pink sunday sage, marigolds, and the last of the goosenecks. The colors in the garden ranged from deep oranges, to dreamy purples, with buttery yellows and bright pinks in between. There was one sunflower whose head was almost as big as any of ours, roughly 7 feet tall, with a thick stem. We decided not to cut this baby, but to leave her standing tall in the entryway of the garden. Thank you, sunny guardian!
:: speaking of thanks ::
Just before our first harvest of the season, and just after weeks of preparing the garden in oh, so many ways for the season, my mother and I took a trip all the way across the world to Bali. It’s marvelous to me, to know that people all over the world celebrate life every day in a different kind of way. While so many parts of my trip and this new country struck me as remarkably unique, one of my favorite things that I witnessed was the daily offering, which no visitor of Bali could go without experiencing.
Outside nearly every doorstep, on every street, in every town we visited, people would set out a daily offering to the gods, called a Canang Sari, consisting of an assortment of flower, incense, food tidbits, tobacco, whatever one had to give just little of–all wrapped up in a little box, handmade out of a coconut leaf. Walking through the streets we often would smell incense burning for blocks and see groups of friends making more little boxes for the days to come. So many people we spoke with while there expressed an appreciation for the gifts of every day, and the desire to recognize them and to give back–this notion I loved and shared with them, and upon coming home I wanted to make sure could hold on to this sort of kinship with life, and others in it.
:: back in the garden ::
When we got into the garden for harvest #1, we were all so excited to see the first teddy bear sunflower (named for its fluffy, shaggy aesthetic) ripe for picking. It was a bit early for sunflowers, so this early bloomer seemed so special. We talked about who might get that one in their CSA bundle that week. As Holly went to harvest it, the flower’s stem snapped all too close to the head. It was too short to put in a bundle. We shared some ‘ahhs’ and ‘awws’ about it. But not for long. Holly suggested we make it our offering for the day. “This is what they would do in Bali,” she said, as she placed the flower floating face-up in a bowl left over from that morning’s breakfast. She laid the bowl in the center of the garden, where the ray-shaped flower beds met to complete the sun-inspired garden layout. Now, we make offerings almost every week.
It’s often that a beautiful flower’s stem snaps in an unfortunate place during the day’s harvest, making it unsuitable for the CSA bundles. In an effort to memorialize it’s beauty, and show gratitude for all of the beauty that surrounds us inside and outside of the garden, we offer it up – sometimes to the universe, or to the “gods”, maybe even to each other and this amazing opportunity that we share. Whether it’s a snapped sunflower, or a shorty-marigold, or a droopy gladiola bloom, we give thanks.