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Sunday, March 27, 2016

Growing food and other fun stuff

I grew up in Karachi, a massive city, which means that I wasn't very exposed to farming or rural life. As far as I was concerned, food showed up in a market and one bought it from there, but I never had any conception of where that food had come from. Of course, I had learned that Pakistan was mainly an agricultural country, and that most Pakistanis made their living through farming, but the notion was very abstract to me. The main exception to this was my mother's garden, which she took great pride in. The garden mostly consisted of beautiful flowers and other decorative plants, but there were occasionally vegetable patches too as well as fruit trees, and those plants and trees were always the most fascinating to me.

But as an adult, I moved even further away from Mother Nature, and never gave any thought to gardening seriously. Until Sapna and I moved into our current home, and we finally had a back yard to experiment with. And that has set us off an great and fun adventure with growing food.

Growing one's own food is one of the most satisfying experiences. There is such a sense of accomplishment at having made something grow and then harvest it, and then to actually be able to eat what one has grown. There is also such a sense of happiness to know that one knows exactly what has gone into the food that one is eating. But really, what always get me every single time, with every single plant, is the sheer magic of growing food. It is such a miracle to me that I can plant a seed into the ground, and water it, and give it sunshine, and that it will just grow out of the ground and become an actual plant. That is MAGIC!

Yesterday, I was reminded yet again of the magic of growing food because Sapna and I hosted our annual gardening party. The party is a wonderful occasion to bring together our friends, neighbors, and families, and this year was another wonderful and festive occasion. Sapna took the lead on the garden, as she always does, and I made sure our guests were fed and taken care of. A lovely addition this year were three young children, ranging in age from five to ten. They were all so eager and excited about gardening, and they loved planting seeds and learning more about the different kinds of plants we will be growing this year. It was a lovely opportunity to connect with a new set of children, and it made both Sapna and I think again about how much fun it will be to garden with our own child someday soon. I can't wait to show them the different kinds of plants we can grow - tomatoes, cauliflower, okra, eggplant, peas, cantaloupe, and of course, all of the beautiful flowers that we will plant together. We are both so eagerly looking forward to that joyous day.