The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Openingnotes Section Title
Beth English Photo

Outside my office window it's overcast, and I am secretly overjoyed.

Ordinarily, the prospect of rain would be a cause for the blues, but today I'm envisioning green and red and yellow and purple — all the colors of my garden. Or at least the colors that may one day be.

I've had gardens before, but they've been haphazard affairs. A little dirt, a few seeds, occasional water and lots of luck. This year, it's serious business. We picked just the right spot with plenty of sunshine. Tilled the soil. Carefully selected seedlings from the farmers' market. And now we're keeping constant vigil against weeds and rabbits.

It's the most fun I've had in a while.

There is something about the green scent of tomato plants as they're showered with water. Or feeling the sun on your back as you peep under leaves to see what's there. Or hearing birdsong as you tug at grass roots that threaten to overtake pepper plants. And the heady smell of rich, dusky earth — is there anything better?

I could talk a lot about the growing desire to feed my family fresh, organic fruits and veggies. That's partly what's at the root of this hunger. (If you're interested, read “The Omnivore's Dilemma” by Michael Pollan or “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver. I guarantee they will make you want to eat locally.)

But having a small garden also feeds me in a different way. I somehow feel more connected to my family — the generations of farmers who came before me and those relatives who still love the land. Growing up as a city girl, I never really understood the pull of open spaces and the promise of earth. Until now.

So while my backyard plot is nothing compared to what many of our faculty do to stay deeply rooted, it has become everything I'd hoped — nourishment for body and soul. And that's good enough for me.

Beth English '07 MALS, Editor





The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Location: 1000 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Mailing Address: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Telephone: 336.334.5000
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Last updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011
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