I can’t help but work through my thoughts while sitting on my little wheeled cart pulling out weeds in my garden. Initially there wasn’t going to be any “garden” this year, as we have listed our home for sale. After years of filling a 40 x 40 plot with our own seedlings; raising gorgeous veggies and herbs to pickle, dehydrate and freeze enough to carry us through the bleak winter months, we had decided to leave the garden be. There was more than enough work to get the house cleared and ready to sell. We couldn’t have picnic tables of seedlingssitting in the living room — right?  

Yet as I was telling our decision to another Sussex County kitchen gardener, he berated me!  “How can you not have a garden?”, he asked incredulously.  “Don’t you realize that you are not selling a house — you are selling a lifestyle!”   

He was right. Local backyard gardens in all forms and sizes are prolific in this county. It is an easy conversation among co-workers, at a ballgame, even among the political rhetoric always prevalent in spring. There is gardening advice, and plantings to share and compare.  

How fortunate we are to have the land and resources to create our own annual “Eden.”   

I have been able to fill in a good portion of the garden with sturdy seedlings from a number of the local nurseries. There is a breath of life after a rain shower, as the seeds planted become a green haze against the brown soil. There is joy in once again getting dirt under my nails, hearing the bumblebees buzz around, and yes, in pulling out the weeds.

REENEE CASAPULLA

WANTAGE, NJ