Harmless little snake in the greenhouse, September 2007
Realization of the Day:
It's time for a new game plan. Actually more like an extended half-time period but without all the outrageous festivities.
Back in early spring, I was doing an energy work session over the phone with a friend of mine, and as I started listing all the things I was so behind with—including my totally neglected garden—she said, "What would happen if you didn't have a garden this year?"
The thought was so inconceivable I literally had no response.
But now I know. Life goes on—just with fewer vegetables.
Gardening has always been a huge part of my farmgirl life. My kitchen garden may not be as big as the first one I planted back in 1995 (all 10,000 square feet of it!) after moving to the country, and I may not start everything from seed anymore, but I always plant a garden.
Except this year. Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration. I did get that bed of sweet peppers planted last month—and although it's just one 4'x8' raised bed, I do realize that some people's entire garden is smaller than that. Sometimes it's all a matter of perspective—and pretzel logic.
And there are a few perennials and volunteers hidden among the incredibly healthy weeds: Swiss chard of course, some arugula here and there, a row of stalwart chives. There are even a few black-eyed susans and bachelor's buttons (the best reseeders ever) adding some color here and there.
If pressed, I'm sure I could throw together some sort of a meal from the garden, or at least a halfway decent mixed salad, though part of the mix would have to be edible weeds. I've been meaning to tell you about some of these weeds for years, but I always have so many 'real' salad greens to discuss (and eat) that I never get around to it.
My extremely late planted garlic which was just about ready to harvest around the 4th of July may or may not have been ruined by the recent few rainfalls we finally got. I'm not complaining; I'd gladly sacrifice my entire questionable garlic crop for the sake of the rest of the farm. After nearly a month without any rain, the fields were already burning up, and even the weeds in the farmyard were crunchy. The heat and humidity haven't let up any (still 103° heat index for the week), but the rain really helped.
So why haven't I been out in my garden lately? You can read the whole crazy story in my recent post on Farmgirl Fare, It's Been a Hell of a Few Weeks (and Not in a Good Way). Oh, and it'll also make sense why I dug through my files to find a snake picture for this post.
I'm still having trouble believing everything that's happened around here recently. In the grand scheme of things, having a garden full of mostly giant weeds is really a very small deal, but sometimes it's the little things that end up meaning the most—or holding us together. I'm actually surprised I'm not more upset. Of course it could just be all the drugs I'm on. Knowing my Amish neighbors should have plenty of organic tomatoes for sale does help. And there's still that little sprout of hope known as fall planting!
In the meantime, I definitely haven't given up on garden blogging, and in fact, I'm hoping to have a chance to do a lot more of it in the next few months. I may not have much growing out there at the moment, but I have all kinds of of backlogged photos and post topics I still want to share. You know I especially love telling you about all the things I've learned and the dumb mistakes I've made in order to save you from doing the same in your garden.
So have you ever gone a year without a garden—or perhaps with a much smaller/different garden than usual? How did it go? Did it end up changing the way you gardened after that? I'd love to know. This unplanned break has been making me really think about all the ways I want to change both my garden and my gardening.
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