Templeton is My Adopted Hometown
My husband and I moved to Templeton in 1993 to be closer to his parents who needed him frequently for chores around their home. We opted to buy a large plot of land with a very small house. We had planned to come with our 14-year-old son, Jason, and try to make like homesteaders with a large garden and animals, since Jason loved animals. Unfortunately, Jason died in a jet ski accident three days after we signed the papers to buy the house.
Because of Jason's death, we stayed in Newbury Park another year before making the move, and by that time we had started the book business as home school vendors. That left little time for the gardening we had planned, but I started a small herb garden in the rocky hardpan behind our house. We were still learning to live with deer and gophers who wanted to share anything we grew, so we didn't plant too much. While I was gardening, I started a blog about the process of starting and maintaining a garden under the new circumstances of having to use raised beds to keep the gophers from attacking, and fencing to keep the deer away. And, of course, there were more weeds than I'd ever seen in my life. You can follow my gardening adventures at Barb's Garden Observations. This is also the first place I've lived in my life where I seriously had to worry about frost. It wiped out my tomatoes in 2009. I had planted them during a heat wave near the end of April, and they were almost killed by the frost the next weekend. I couldn't believe it.
For me, gardening is part of a spiritual experience. First, it gets me out into the natural world, and that clears my mind and gives me time to think thoughts I might not otherwise. For example, I have learned that God doesn't like barren ground where nothing grows, so he fills it up if I don't. I've learned many weeds are useful. I've learned that maintaining a garden here is a constant battle, and I have to be engaged in it more than I'd like to be if I will get any reward for my labor. In the past couple of years I could not figure out a winning strategy against the ground squirrels, so I've let my ground go fallow -- especially since I have less time than ever. We have a wonderful farmer's market here in Templeton, so I buy most produce there now.
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