The Latino Village just changed hands to a new market called El Jardin (The Garden). The name really intrigues me. I do not yet know if Serene Suds will be continuing there, but I hope! By virtue of the name and that its location was so convenient for my soapy customers to pick up their local RVA orders, I am hoping! Keep your fingers crossed. (Update! We're in! Local RVA orders can be picked up at 6003 W. Broad Street!)
On the garden theme: Someone asked me the other day if I make my children work in the garden. And I thought about this a lot. I grew up spending many, many hours in the garden and I didn't really love it. I appreciated many aspects of the garden and even considered the growth cycle miraculous. But it was a lot like very hard work with splatted potato bug juice on your face.
Suffice it to say that after many years of unsuccessfully trying to convince those around me that we are what we eat, I realize that the love of gardening has to come from your own free will choice to connect with the Earth in that manner. It is a personal gut decision just like religion & diet. (I might add that I consider my garden my religion AND diet - staying mindfully connected daily to my belief that we have a moral obligation to our health.)
Do I get the right to influence my children about gardening? Yes! I am the Mom, after all! Are they obligated to assist in family chores and activities that support us! Yes! Do I try to put the best/most fun spin on gardening? Yes! I will call them out to swoon over the curls of a vine and to hold open their shirts while I stretch out the material with the weight of fresh vegetables. And we have a supper time game where we name everything that we made from scratch or that came from our back yard. They know that I get super excited about harvesting herbs and when I win against the zucchini boll weevil! The children get a daily report on how big my loofahs are and we all gaze in wonder at the bees pollinating for us!
It was only as an adult that I realized that this exercise of gardening is yet another frugal game I play. I will never allow for the expenditure of a gym membership. The garden provides all that I need - cardio & strength training, for sure. Add in a bit of Hatha yoga while waiting for your bucket to fill from the rain barrel. And well, your workout routine is free & complete. Not to mention that you are producing the nutrients your recently-worked-out body needs to continue. The garden is my substance and my sustenance. It is my energy. It is my medicine.
I confess that I usually call the children to help when there is something particularly interesting in the garden. Yes, sometimes I mandate them. I'm the Mom. This is our food. We all have to pitch in. But we Moms are good at enticing, too, aren't we?! Humans don't naturally navigate to the good. Sometimes you have to hide that turmeric and ginger and avocado in the "banana & fruit" smoothie! Many times we disguise what some may call "work" in playful garb. It is our job to introduce the children to as many venues as possible. Why not introduce the crucially healthy wrapped in a milieu of pleasure?! A good friend bought me a flag for my garden. As usual, I don't often use things in their traditional way. It is not on a pole, it is hanging on my metal mesh gate as a bit of a privacy screen. The message? "I am deliriously happy in my garden."
It is almost 100 degrees today - & I am inside writing. So out I go ... 1 hour of gardening equals 260 calories burned - so says Fitness Pal.
But we know it equals so much more: health, sun, nutrients, strength, fresh air, happy chickens, healthy children, healthy husband, fresh recipes, creativity, money saved, and beauty.
I'll sign off with a picture I took yesterday. I know a picture says a thousand words ... but I'll start you off with my interpretation and you can take it and run.
A quite common impromptu jaunt out to the chickens and garden. Yes, I have baskets, but a shirt will serve just as well for that produce reservoir! Bare Yogi toes in favorite yoga pants - which Tullia informed me that "ombre" is the term for the color fade and that "you are in style Mom" - go figure! A mosquito bite on my medial forearm/wrist ... (add "make more bug spray" to today's to-do list) ... Cucumber bloom above hand and I missed the bee in the photo ... cherry tomatoes (heaven!) ... cucumber for my SPEARmint soap or a cool sandwich ... & two absolutely miraculous eggs. The Soapmaker is happy ... may the happiness be infused into your suds!
Peace & health & much love,