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Quote of the Day: Linda Joan Smith

July 3rd, 2011

The growth of the garden follows our lead. To plant and nurture and prune and tie is to bend the garden to our own designs, to shape it to our bidding. It rewards us for our protection and guidance with an extended season of growth and living architecture rooted deep within the earth. We use the tools that nature lends us, and our gardens flourish.

Linda Joan Smith (Smith & Hawken Garden Structures)

When we first moved to Chiot’s Run the gardens were a wasteland from years of neglect and chemical applications. The soil was devoid of life, the only insect life to be seen were slugs and earwigs, no birds could be found flitting about the garden and I didn’t see an earthworm in the dry yellow soil for the first four years. We set about transitioning the gardens to organic by adding chicken manure, chopped leaves, compost and lots of mulch. After nine years of work nurturing the soil the soil is finally teeming with life.

Every time I dig I see an earthworm and other soil life. The soil in many parts of the garden is starting to turn brown and loamy. A wide variety of insects and birds can be seen, each attracted here because of the array plants we have and the sources of food and water we provide. I’m happy to see them all, both good and bad, because I know they all play a vital role in our garden.

It’s really nice to finally start seeing the rewards for our efforts. It took a few years before we noticed much change at all. If you’re in the process of transitioning from chemical to organic be patient. Your efforts will be rewarded greatly as the years go on!

What changes have you noticed in your garden as you’ve been nurturing it?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.