Five years ago, I used National Poetry Month as a personal challenge to write a poem a day. My theme was “Garden.”
I wrote about things growing (or not), about wildness, successes and pitfalls, about the wonder of seeds and the delight of putting food I’d grown onto my plate. When the opportunity came to study again with Gail Harker in a class focused on creating books, I began formulating the idea of an illustrated version of this collection of poems.
Our family and the world both have undergone many changes since I began that project, but here are some key points I’ve come to in the process of continuing to work toward a finished collection.
- The themes I’ve found myself digging into are much bigger than simply what I grow and my thoughts about my garden. There’s definitely more to share about that.
- I garden organically and have worked to limit plastics in our lives as I’m able. I made a commitment to myself to use plastic free media as much as possible in creating the art for this project. This has led to some interesting rabbit holes and different approaches to certain pieces.
- While I designed the project as one book/collection originally, exploring an array of layouts, media and styles has led me to envision a collection in a variety of formats, with ideas for both hand-bound and traditional print/digital works.
- Gardens are important: for building and feeding communities, for teaching children, for the health of soil biomes, for discovering and nurturing a richness and diversity of foods and foodways, and for honoring food sovereignty.
Let me know your thoughts on gardens. Have you grown a garden? If so, what successes or struggles have you discovered along the way?