Lessons in Yellow Squash

Every morning I step out the back door of my little house into my little yard and peer over the flowers and vegetables I’ve planted. This brings me particular joy as it’s the first summer that I’ve had a real yard since I started to have fantasies of home grown tomatoes and dirty fingernails. Today I pulled back the increasingly giant leaves to investigate my zucchini, only to see that it’s actually yellow squash budding away. Seeing this unexpected squash I had one of those moments where your life and heart open up just a crack more, you learning something about the world, and something simple becomes symbolic for something so big.


A wise woman I know reminded me of this same lesson recently while I was contemplating the uncertain future of a romantic relationship. She told me that the new relationship was just a seed that was sown, and no one knows what will sprout. You can water it and give it care, and still, nothing may grow. Or it may grow and grow out of control and become an ugly weed. Or it may grow into just the lovely thing you imagined might grow, or something different entirely, but even more beautiful.


This company, this labor of love, every single one of these 10,000 Licks, also started as a tiny seed, planted with love by Andi and me. It has grown in unexpected ways, like a beautiful good ole sunflower on top and some strange, we’re not quite sure what the heck those are, leaves jutting off the stem in wild ways. It was a mystery seed and hundreds of us; ice pop lovers, Minnesota lovers, real food lovers, we all came together to water it and fertilize it and to watch it grow. It will continue to grow and surprise us in its unique manifestation of nature and work and summer and sunshine and love.


It’s pretty stressful running a seasonal small business and maintaining a life and home and relationships, while also working a ‘real job’ that I love. I’m most peaceful these days when I’m watering my flowers and my vegetables. I breathe slower, let the breeze blow wisps of bangs across my forehead, feel flecks of water abandon stream and hit my sun warmed skin. I don’t have anywhere else to be when I’m watering my garden. Today I did so with the hose in my right hand and a cantaloupe ginger ice pop in my left hand (in case you are now wondering if I eat a ton of ice pops, the answer is yes). My rescue dog, Banjo, is over in the corner of the yard sniffing a tiny green tomato gently grazing it with his wet, black nose. I can’t help but feel in this moment that every seed is truly growing into what it is meant to be, and I can just relax, water, and accept.


Enjoy the sowing of your seeds friends, water with care, reap the bounty in its time, and pull the weeds when they become threatening to what you want to see flourish in your garden. This summer I will bring you the bounty of many seedlings that grew into deliciousness and made its way onto a stick and to your happy tongue. See you soon.


Sarah Newberry