It’s been such a tough winter, and so spring breaks even sweeter. I’ve spent the last three days at our cabin, and most of my time was spent weeding, digging, hauling and spreading manure, planting, and mulching. I put in leeks, parsley, potatoes, lavender, onions, peas, and beets. The warm season crops are still a couple of weeks away. Hours and hours with my hands in the soil healed some part of my freezer-burned soul.
I’ve been a gardener for nearly 35 years. In college I took a course called “As You Sow” which focused on small-scale agriculture and its relationship to commerce, chemistry, and American culture. It was a life-changing experience for a city boy, and ever since then, gardening has been a foundation in my life. Some years are better than others, depending on weather, location, and my own time, but there hasn’t been a year when I haven’t planted, tended, and harvested something.
Gardening has become more popular and common in the last few years, and when I sing with kids, I encourage it, because it’s an activity with no downside. Good for the earth, good for our bodies, good for community and family, and close at hand.
I wrote this song a couple of years ago, and Tom Pease and I added verses with kids from various schools. We made a demo recording just to make the song available. Someday we’ll record something more produced.
What I know about this song from my many performances of it is that it’s a fantastic group singing song. Kids learn it easily, and after a couple of times through the chorus, I often get chills at just how good we all sound together. Even preschool kids learn it, and we add motions, including sign language for garden, roots, veggies and fruits, which you can find here.
My garden is still mostly brown, but garlic is reaching up green and strong, and the daffodils break through like the sun itself.
This song is also good to sing while gardening. I’ve been singing it as I pull and hoe, praising spring and anticipating the harvest.