The first step for us in creating this new garden is born of necessity: In a word, that step is clearing. That means trimming, cutting, pruning, mowing, and sawing all the overgrown limbs and weeds. Thanks to at least a half dozen trips to our local hardware store, we have been delighted to find affordable battery- and muscle-powered tools. The hand tools, including a wrought iron broad fork and other copper-forged tools, are humbling. Their use requires a level of efficiency I am learning rapidly.
The difference in ambiance with wildlife is definitely worth it, and our goal is to keep its habitat as undisturbed as humanly possible.
In these early, long days, it is also imperative to stop and smell the roses — or peonies or azaleas. We do have some grand plans for the property; however, the journey will not be an easy one. Digging in the first bed only to hit rocks and several years’ worth of grassroots is a tough pill to swallow. However, if we are able to look around and feel at peace, then the hard parts, or rocky parts, don’t seem too tough.
Included are photos that reveal the beauty of what is already here, as well as the early makings of a rock-terraced garden.
For many of us, our relationship to food is a never ending journey. Sometimes to move forward one finds themselves looking back. For bread and specifically the grains used to make it I find that the best results are indeed found in reflection. It is sometimes true that modern ingenuity has value for us, but that is usually only when paired with ancient wisdom. For grains, that wisdom is in the ancient varieties that have been grown for thousands of years.
During this time of relative uncertainty, we have decided to renew our commitment to gardening. Dr. Cowan’s Garden was originally a place, located in Napa Valley on a plot of land generously donated by a friend. It embodied our ideals and was a sanctuary for growth and learning.
The garden was our muse for new product offerings and for improving existing ones. The garden kept our ambitions grounded to certain fundamentals, as the practice of gardening can be challenging.