Don’t Pass the Peas, Please!


I was picking peas the other day, which, as it turns out, requires a surprising amount of focus. It’s not nearly as easy as picking strawberries. With a strawberry, sure, you may have to lift a few leaves, but the plump red goodness stands out easily against a backdrop of glossy, dark green. Peas are both fortunately and unfortunately the exact same color as the stalks and leaves they grow around, and when you have a big tangle of vines growing together up a trellis it can be pretty difficult to spot the little buggers.⁠

I like to make a game of it – like a treasure hunt.⁠

Honestly, it brings me so much joy I can’t stop smiling while I’m picking. It’s hard not to be grateful when I’m standing there with my feet in the earth, picking my own food from a vine instead of buying it in a plastic container. I am genuinely awestruck at the wonder of it all. I know that sounds simplistic, but at its best, aren’t life’s greatest joys found in the simplest places? A hug, a smile, the watercolors of a magical sunset, and…well, picking peas. Harvesting anything, really.⁠

The idea that when we nurture the earth, the earth feeds and nurtures us in return is something I keep coming back to as I learn more and more about growing my own food.⁠

It helps that I’ve been reading / listening to the fascinating and incredibly nuanced “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants” by Robin Wall Kimmerer. A botanist by trade, she is also part Native American, and blends her knowledge into a beautiful, poetic treatise on how plants shape our lives, and we theirs, coming back again and again to one central idea: We are responsible for being stewards of this planet, and also of one another.⁠

Wisdom indeed, given these particular moments in history. ⁠

Gardening doesn’t happen by chance, it happens by choice. Sure, anyone can toss some seeds into a bunch of dirt, but what grows from those seeds quite literally lives or dies according to what happens next. What you plant, where you put it, how you feed it, how much water it requires…The list goes on and on, but one thing is certain: In order to truly nurture another living thing, we must first hold it in high esteem. We must see it as something worthy of being nurtured.

This is yet another basic tenet at the heart of these trying times.
How else will we ever grasp the reality of our symbiosis? All of us, inhabiting this planet, together at this time, need to function in harmony, and with mutual respect. When I apply these concepts of mutual respect and symbiosis to my garden, I can watch the results of simple acts like watering and feeding transform tiny seeds into fully mature plants that happily give back in return for the respect and care I’ve shown them.
Simple lessons are everywhere.
Lessons we can and should take forward as we navigate these troubled waters. We are responsible, not only for ourselves but for “one another” – plants and trees and animals and people alike–of every size, shape, variety, and color.
It is trying, yes, but there is also joy to be found in this privilege of seeking out the goodness growing amongst the sometimes tangled vines. The fruit of our labor isn’t always easy to spot, but it’s there if you’re willing to search for it. Each new discovery is a small but potent victory.
It is often the small victories that define a diverse garden.
Diversity is the key to a well-rounded life, and it is diversity in our food supply that ensures the proper feeding of our bodies, our planet, and I daresay, even our souls. Remember that the next time you eat a pea.
Remember that someone somewhere planted that pea. Tended that pea. Harvested that pea, and then added it to the collective whole. We all need to do our part. Not necessarily growing our own food, but in our own small ways, adding small victories to the collective whole.
As for me, I’m pretty grateful these days for every pea and strawberry I find, and I hope that you too are finding joy in the little things. The simple things. And yet, doing your part to add to this eternal conversation.

About the author

By Hallway11

Subscribe to My Newsletter

Only Interested In The Motorcycle Newsletter?