Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Little Green Onions

I often wonder if I am strange, or if living in the country has just made me feel stranger without the veil of a busy city life to disguise things. I can't sleep again, and at 2 am I thought I would be much alone with with my thoughts to sort this out. But a constant scraping outside the window has alerted me to my neighbour, who is shovelling his driveway. I guess he can't sleep either, or he's trying to escape his wife again, for which I wouldn't blame him.

We moved to our country setting nine years ago to find peace. But the quiet imposed by this winter has made it almost too quiet. The birds have retreated and the coyotes haunting chatter has ceased to fill the early morning air. The relentless cold and ever mounting snow is starting to feel less beautiful and more confining. Reaching for gratitude lightens my spirit and I do try to remind myself that nature is vastly intelligent, and in the spring this snow will melt and feed my well, the river that runs behind us, the roots of the trees and the very soil that I need to grow things in.

All will be made green and glorious once more.

Our wood pile has dwindled down to the last row of logs that are perfectly frozen to the ground. Feeding my wood stove gives me purpose in the winter, and one of my few forms of exercise. Chop, carry, stack, repeat. Though we can heat with the furnace, we've tried very hard not to and much like an eager child I look forward to seeing how much lower my hydro bill can actually go, and if the savings we incur offset the initial cost of the wood. And, so far, yes it has. With the wood supply dwindling I am worried about the rhythm of my days as two more months of winter looms in the horizon.

Which is why I am thinking too much.

I am one of those that worry deeply about climate change and wish truly that I had more answers on how to make it better. I look at my youngest daughter and wonder what her life will be like when she reaches my age. Food security is a hot topic right now, and I do find it encouraging that more of us seem to be inclined to have chickens and victory gardens and bravely take a stand for a more honest way of living. I wish our governments and large corporations could bring themselves to be just as honest.

We compost, we recycle, we buy as much organically grown and free trade products that we can afford. In the growing season we choose to design with native plants and drought tolerant varieties. Little acts of kindness to repay a world that has given me so much.

I was inspired by a photo I saw on Pinterest.  I started saving the ends of the rather expensive organic green onions we've been buying and planting them up in spot on the only windowsill in the house that lets in enough light.  They will grow in water, but I was craving soil between my fingers.

I don't believe I have ever admitted the aversion I have to house plants in general, which seems like a contradiction to my very nature. I know am very hard on myself and I find it utter nonsense that I can't keep an African Violet alive, but there you have it. A confession. That these unsuspecting green onions have flourished and are ready for harvesting after a mere three weeks is astounding to me. One small victory. I'll gladly take it.

I think the point I am trying to make to myself in these early morning, slightly caffeinated ramblings is that there is always more we can do, that I can do, even when we feel overwhelmed by the troubles of the world. That I may be strange in thinking that a garden has the power to change a life, to change worlds, but that perhaps I should be thankful that I feel that strangeness...that I am not content to live by the status quo.

Meet Ron Finley

Hope takes many forms. Inspiration can be found in the smallest of things. Gratitude has the power to shift beliefs.

Be bold. Cherish everything. Grow onions.


  1. The snow reminds me of when I was a child Brenda & It will certainly provide much H2O for our food. Thank you for this post.

  2. Thank you Max. I was born in Winnipeg, and this winter certainly reminds me of my childhood too…a little warmer this weekend, but more snow is on the way.

  3. Hi Brenda, thank you for your well wishes on my blog "garden muses" and I hope you have a successful 2014 as well at Stone and Maple Landscaping.

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