Gardener Story: Jenna Upton

I’m not sure what to say about anything amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, but I do know I’ve been very glad to have my garden as a welcome distraction. The soil was covered in weeds and tiny sprouts of cover crop Build it Up provided to nourish the soil last season. I spent a lot of time this week just pulling weeds, investigating the insects with my daughter, configuring appealing garden borders, shoveling and laying leaf mulch, and dreaming of what this land will bring us soon.

Tending the soil by hand feels like a physical meditation practice and my thoughts cleared for the first time today. I forgot about social distancing for a minute, and I didn’t feel worried about our economy or if this is our new normal or if my father would live if he were exposed. I am thinking about where my cardinal climber vines will bloom best for the hummingbirds, how many herbs I can fit in the apothecary bed I’ve just laid out, and am making a mental note to start saving my eggshells and coffee grounds again. I’m imagining almost iridescent purple tomatoes on my counter top, the way rainbow chard stems look resting on my wooden cutting board, and hearing my daughter ask if she can just have that “one” okra flower for her hair, and giggling as she shells the lima bean pods because they are baby pink, but magically turn green in our butter broth.  

I remember reading about “victory gardens” in high school when were studying WWII and thinking it seemed like such an insignificant way to spend time, but I get it now.

 “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” 

-Audrey Hepburn

More images from the Jenna’s garden!