Sweet Man and the kids have been busy in our garden. I’ve started putting in my share too, weeding.
Vegetables are growing in raised beds – Hong Kong choy sam, kangkung, spring onion and basil.
Long beans are growing next to a frame.
Sweet Man usually plants kangkung seeds directly into the soil. Choy sam and long beans are planted as seedlings and then transplanted after a month into beds.
After a month from transplanting, it’s harvest time.
Beyond the beds, we have papaya and banana on a long grassy slope.
We’ll soon plant red bird’s eye chilly (cili padi) and lime. We’ll wait until we find a super spicy tasting chilly and save its seeds for planting.
Every week the kids water the plants and pull up weeds. They throw kitchen waste into compost bins and give it a good mix.
Sweet Man trims the grass once a fortnight. After the grass is cut, the kids collect the grass clippings that have been swept into a heap. They pile the clippings at the base of the fruit trees because the clippings function as fertilizer and also keep weeds at bay. The remaining clippings are spread as mulch on top of the raised beds.
I’m never ecstatic (putting it mildly) upon discovering grass clippings and mud in a living room I’ve just laboriously cleaned. Alas, the only entrance to the garden is via our living room and I keep forgetting to spread a wet towel on the floor at the door.
But I am happy knowing the kids love being out there.
To exult in a living, growing garden is to know the joy of life. Puppy, Lamb and Piglet fly in and out of the house – mud, grass clippings and all – out of breath, their hair tousled and their faces glowing after scrambling up and down the slope.
I’m glad they’re accustomed to walking and running around barefeet, at home with the feel of green grass underfoot and the occasional mud squeezing around their toes.
Lamb and Piglet have developed a fondness of worms and a curiosity of insects. It seems this intrigue with the latter grew out of their interest in living creatures in the garden.
The price? My food containers are constantly being hijacked to store a variety of creepy crawlies.
I’m a little peeved because lids inevitably get mixed up. Who has the time to hunt for lids! But I’ve given up trying to sort out the cupboard because my little explorers keep rummaging for the just the right home to store their new finds – weevils, a variety of flying insects and yes, even cockroaches.
It’s not too exciting for me but, shucks, I figure their deepening interest in the natural world is more valuable than an organised cupboard or a consistently clean floor.
So keep on growing, green things.
And grow alongside, my children. Grow alongside.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.