I blinked and now it is November. By now, despite some odd warm patches, we are starting to feel the Earth prepare for the darker, cooler parts of the year. This is the time to turn inward and reflect on the year and list what we are thankful for. I thought that for this month’s column I would do just that.
I am thankful for the opportunity to share my silly little gardening and nature thoughts with you in this space. While a novice in so many ways, thinking of what to write about each month has challenged me to learn new things about the world around us and info dump them to you. Whether it’s a gardening tip or a piece of folklore, I am grateful to have an outlet to share information with others!
I am thankful for a childhood of being outside, playing in creeks, running in the woods, and roaming the streets of Broadway with friends. If it weren’t for an early life steeped in nature, I would not be the person I am today. My curiosity to know what I am looking at started early, and thanks to my parents and other amazing adults in my life, I was taught a plethora of information from botany to biology and other natural histories in between. As a result I am now studying to be a Fairfax Master Naturalist, a chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalist program, in hopes to continue my own love and to foster the same love of the outdoors for anyone willing to listen!
I am thankful for garden-fresh produce and the people that work hard to grow it. Whether it is a tomato I pick from my backyard, or an ear of corn purchased at a farmer’s market, I am grateful that we have figured out methods to grow food and grow it well. This year was not a productive year for me in terms of garden goodies, but I have enjoyed veggies from my parents garden and the gardens of others.
I am thankful for knowledge that has been passed down for generations. Whether it is a wives tale about rosemary or the best soil conditions for the ripest strawberries, knowledge is powerful and humanity thrives because of lessons learned from the past. I am thankful for the countless resources at my fingertips, as well as in the pages of the Farmer’s Almanac and gardening books. While it is important to keep abreast of new discoveries and apply them as needed, we have generations of information available to us to glean from as well.
Finally, I am thankful for you, column reader! If you have made it this far you truly are a treasure and I appreciate any eyes that read my words. Living somewhat far away from Rockingham County now has made me feel disconnected in the past. Writing this little piece every month has made me feel closer to my roots, and closer to the majority of you that live in the area I grew up in. I am thankful for folks who share an interest in gardening, natural history and the world around them. We need more people to care about the planet so that we can continue to thrive on it for generations to come. I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving season, and hope that you take some time to list a few things that you are thankful for too!