The Once and Future Garden

by Navin-Shyama dasa

Age of Garden: 14 years

Size of Garden: Porch

Food-bearing Crops: Arugula, Basil, Cucumbers, Lettuce, Parsley, Pole beans, Swiss chard, Tomatoes, Peaches, Apples, Black Walnuts

Don’t let the size of Krishna Bhava’s garden fool you. It may be small, but her love and enthusiasm for gardening are not. “It’s just so grounding. It’s an ecstatic hobby.” She also recommends it as a way to get organic produce without paying top dollar.

When she and Kripamaya first moved down to Talavana, they made their entire front yard a garden. Realizing it was too much work, they downsized to a 20 foot by 30 foot plot. This worked out well for four or five years, until the groundhogs finally noticed the free feast they had been missing.

Now, she grows in containers on the porch outside her bedroom, and takes a more laissez-faire approach. The deer and groundhogs don’t give any trouble in this raised and enclosed area, but the bugs can be an issue.

Although she will occasionally collect some Japanese beetles, she usually lets insects have their way in the end. “With my cucumbers, I’ll harvest until the bugs start to invade, and then I’ll just give up and plant something else.”

Watching the cyclical ebb and flow of life unfolding outside her kitchen window has helped Krishna Bhava realize some of our philosophy. “All living things are born, grow, exist for some time, reproduce, dwindle and then die. It’s ecstatic when the plants flower and are so big and beautiful, but then the insects come and spoil everything. Like every living being, the plants are beautiful in their youth, but don’t look so great in their old age.”

The couple has plans to enlarge the garden again within the next year, so be sure to drop by and see how it’s going. If you’re lucky, you might get to sample some of her garden-fresh pesto pasta!

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