Intro

It’s Friday, which in most cases means I post some recent images I’ve taken on film.

Here are other Film Fridays to peruse at your leisure.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

All images were shot using Kodak Portra 400 using a Canon A1 50mm 1.4.

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“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter… to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring – these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”
–John Burroughs

Today I’m appreciating the simplicity of the garden. In theory it’s as simple as placing a single seed in the dirt, adding some water and sunshine then with a bit of patience you are able to unearth fruits and vegetables of every shape and size.

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Now, I do realize that gardening is far from simple. I have found that out after months of watching some things flourish and others stay tiny seedlings in my small garden. Gardening often includes fighting the elements. Fending off the crows from eating the seeds before they have a chance to settle into the dirt and squawking while flapping my arms to keep the squirrels from snacking on the just ripe strawberries. I’m sure the neighbors are highly entertained with this practice.

In theory all it takes is dirt, water, and sun. But what happens when the sun decides to wait until August to show up? Or your dirt isn’t balanced? Or your watering is inconsistent and done by a 3 and 5 year old? Somehow, some things still manage to grow, even if it is only a handful of peas, two strawberries and a prolific sage bush.

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Nothing is more simple with gardening than when you are able to walk into someone else’s patch and have permission to gather as much as you want. The hard work has already been done by the gardener and the season. All you have to do is get dirt under your fingernails as you gather a bounty.

It’s my dad’s garden and he’s incredibly proud of it and I’m certain you can see why.

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Together we dug up potatoes, plucked beans from the vine, tugged on beets until they released their roots from the tight grip of the earth, cut lettuce from it’s core, and snapped basil from the stem creating a waft of summer’s scent to invade the warm air. All this while snacking on a few, tart raspberries.

Merely fifty steps away from the kitchen little was needed to be done to make such fresh produce taste simply wonderful. Imploring basic kitchen techniques of roasting, braising and sautéing we bit into the richness caused by the soil and tasted the sweetness of the sun. With great pride we enjoyed our dinner even though the complexity of actually growing the food was left up to divine biology. Our part in the process was simple. Plant, pick, and enjoy.

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In most areas, if not all, I tend to overcomplicate things. I easily get distracted from the beauty of everyday simplicity because I am focused on the future, what’s to come. And while there is nothing wrong with planning, dreaming and making goals it’s just as important to see the joy in the less complicated. In the present. Marvel at the intricacies of an ear of corn, gasp in delight at the sweetness of a potato having just been dug up, laugh as you fall into the dirt wrestling with a stubborn carrot.

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These uncomplicated moments are to be savored, remembered and abundant.

Allow yourself to be pleasantly surprised with the satisfaction of something simple.

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Potatoes with Peas, Onions and Olive Oil

adapted from Nigel Slater

You can use leftover potatoes here. Encourage your potatoes to break up and get smashed about. There is nothing fancy about this dish. Simplicity at its finest.

serves 4 as a side

2 1/4 pounds new potoates

4 medium onions, roughly chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups peas, fresh or frozen

1 cup roughly chopped parsley

salt and pepper

Boil the potatoes in well salted water until tender. Drain and cut into rough bite size pieces. Set aside.

In a large saute pan add the olive oil and saute the onions and garlic until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Toss in the parsley, peas, salt and pepper. Stir in the potatoes. Serve warm.

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25 Responses to “Film Friday: in his garden”

  1. Kelsey (Happyolks)

    Yet another beautiful, heartfelt, film friday. I share your tendency to overcomplicate at times. It’s my work. Well, one of many things I work on. I hope you have a fabulous weekend, Ashley. You are loved :)

    Reply
  2. la domestique

    The garden really is a miracle. Even though some seeds don’t grow and things go wrong, it’s amazing what mother nature can accomplish without any help from us. Thanks for another wonderful film Friday.

    Reply
  3. Danielle

    Your dad’s garden is beautiful!! I bet many hours of hard work and experimenting over the years produced such a bountiful harvest. We have a small vegetable plot which isn’t as prolific, but hopefully, one day, it will be. Nice to see you posting again, I hope you’re feeling better!

    Reply
  4. marty

    What a beautiful post! Treasure these grandpa & grandkids moments. Its something they will remember all their life!

    Reply
  5. erin @ from city to farm

    Well said!!! I am such a planner, and tend to stress myself out thinking about all of my grand plans, when the “now” is just fine indeed. Like you said, it’s great to have plans, but right now is what is truly important!

    Reply
  6. yossy | apt2bbakingco

    One of my favorite childhood memories is digging up new potatoes with my mom and then eating them with butter and parsley. It felt magical. Your dad’s garden is so wonderful, I hope your kids get to build lots of memories there.

    Reply
  7. Lucia

    Today the wind has come, and then the blue sky, and then the sun. I often think too much about the future, I rarely savour the present. Today the wind has come, and then I told myself to watch the sky, and then the sun.

    Reply
  8. Lauren

    So gorgeous! I wish our garden had been so prolific this year! Maybe we’ll figure out what we’re doing eventually.

    Reply
    • Ashley Rodriguez

      @Lauren – I sure hope so. But for now, I recommend finding someone else who knows what they are doing and raid their garden, with permission of course. :)

      Reply
  9. Pake

    Thanks Ash, your words and photos help unveil the mystery and wonder of everyday joys. Thanks sharing my garden and your soul with your readers. For me there are few things that bring us closer to the Paradise that was once ours, was lost, and is coming again than putting your hands and heart in the dirt and helping the master gardener bring forth the bounty. By the way, the corn is almost ready.

    Reply
  10. molly

    oh, i so hear you on the gardening front!

    love nigel slater, and the simplicity of this dish.

    and darned if that little daughter isn’t looking like you more and more by the day!

    Reply
  11. Julie

    Have I told you how much it makes my day when I find a new post here? Even when it’s Monday, and it’s a film Friday…

    Reply
  12. Grace & Gusto

    What wonderful, solid images. I love the single egg on the ground.

    I’m going to try this recipe tonight. Seems like such a simple, wholesome dish, I can’t wait. Thanks!

    Reply
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