Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Garden Teaches Hope

A few weeks ago, my sheep razed my garden.  I was particularly hit by the loss of the sweet potatoes - I had 4 different Hawaiian strains from a few slips my niece gave me.  Not only do I love the tubers, I also love the leaves.  The sheep left the turnips, although they at the greens, but they decimated the  collards, Brussels sprouts and carrots. 

When I saw the sweet potato leaves all gone, I just about gave up on the garden.  The fence was down, no one was helping me with protecting the garden or keeping it up, and there didn't seem to be any point to keeping on.

Later, on a walk (I always do my best thinking on the move), I decided I didn't care if anyone was going to help - I was going to fence this darned garden and start again.  Either my determination caught fire in my husband, or he just didn't want to see the hash up I would make of the fencing, but a week or so later, he bought some of that plastic emergency fence and enclosed the olive trees and the garden. 

That's been a few weeks now, and nothing has been done with the garden.  Today, I went out to peruse the area to see what I needed to do.  I learned a lesson about resilience and hope.  The sweet potatoes have sprouted new leaves and are spreading.  The purple variety seems to have crossbred with the yellow variety, because some of the leaves have the shape of the yellow variety, but they are purple. I accidentally bred a new variety, it seems.  The collards stumps left over from the sheep are covered in new growth - even the lettuce is coming back after being eaten to the ground. 

There is still so much I need to learn about plants and gardening - but this was a hopeful, lovely lesson. 


Chai Chai said...

This is the first I have ever read about olives growing in Hawaii. Perseverance is a great thing to possess.

Pomaika`i said...

Ah, Socrates got nothin' you! You might have heard the quote "To plant a garden is to believe in the future" - and the regrowth of your sweet potatoes should prove that to be true. The author is anonymous, and likewise, the corollary quote "To plant a child's garden is to believe in that child's future [ OK, annoy the kids again with that].
One more quote, to explain why your husband so quickly put up the fencing - I paraphrase Mark Twain: "Nothing is harder to ignore than the annoyance of a good example".
I'm believing some rain is coming....just don't know when.
Until then, keep gardenng!

NancyDe said...

Chai Chai, we're so high in elevation we're actually in Zone 10, rather than 11, like most of Hawaii. We can grow certain varieties of olives. A little higher up, people can grow apples, even.

Barry, we're getting some rain now and again. If anywhere is going to get rain, it would be us. I saw on the news that Maui and the Big Island have wind advisories for the summits - maybe those winds will pile up the clouds and give you some rain.