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Slice of Life in Spain: We have a Huerta

New development on life in Spain. This summer we will be working in our huerta (vegetable garden). Everyone in Spain seems to either have a garden or belong to a community garden. Our rental house has lots of land with olive trees, and there’s room for a big garden, and so on Saturday we went down to the sale at the local community huerta where folks were selling plants cheap as a fundraiser for the Red Cross. We loaded up with about 50 plants; zucchini, 3 varieties of peppers, melons, tomatoes, onions, and other things I don’t remember now. The total cost: €18.

I was raised in Amish country, so I should have gardening in my blood. Hubby grew up in San Diego, so he shouldn’t necessarily. Problem is that in recent years I haven’t been a fan of gardening at all. Back around 2008 when the recession really hit and gardening took off, I headed off to Home Depot and loaded up on seeds, shovels, cute gloves; everything I’d need to grow lovely little carrots and tomatoes. I spent a Saturday digging in the dirt. Then the ants took over the garden, and I promptly forgot about it. Though I should say, the next summer hubby pulled up one carrot from my forgotten garden.

That, in a nutshell, is my history of gardening.

Now we have three rows of veggies:

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I have to say, as I get older, I’m finding myself drawn to gardening in a way I never was when I was younger. I can appreciate the joy in watching a plant pop up and grow, the slow and subtle changes, nurturing it and then watching the blooms and harvesting the food. I think that in another ten years I shall be one of those women who spends Saturdays on her hands and knees with her hands stuck in dirt, planning out the flower beds for each new year.

I have no idea how this garden will turn out. We’re leaving in September, so chances are we might not even be around to see the results and eat the fruit. But it’s the process, and I’m really loving being out there in the mornings listening to the birds, watering and checking on each plant to see how it’s doing. There’s a contentment there that I never expected I would be drawn to.

But if we are still around to harvest, we’ll be spending August knee deep in tomatoes and melons. What fun that will be!