Friday, July 31, 2009

Finding "Normal" again

My first foray into "market" is over for the year, "summer" seems to finally have arrived in Maine just in time -- ironically -- for the cross-quarter time that begins our turn toward fall. Whether you call it "First Harvest," "Lammas" (from the Latin for Loaf Mass), Lughnasa or something else, the period at the first of August marks a turning point on the wheel of the year and this year for me there are other markers as well.

Come mid-month, we will have been here for our first full year. Most of the bittersweet plants have survived and are making a run for growth, now that I have found and excavated them from the grasses. The grapes, blueberries and bramble berries as well are growing, though some of the brambles did not survive and some have been heavily browsed apparently by deer.

The herb garden is in and, though it needs weeding again, seems to be holding its own in large measure. Minus the Basil, which is struggling here as most everywhere from what I hear this year.

There are flowers growing in the flower patch, visible here and there through the weeds and in the veggie patch, hope grows for a small harvest from the vine crops, a gimmer of hope for an ear or two of corn and if the tomatoes and peppers can just keep going -- and cold holds off a bit -- a crop we will have there as well, now that I have deer fenced that area. I could have sworn that the western deer did NOT like tomato vines, but it appears that these guys have munched on the tops of some mater plants as well as the peppers, which I know they love.

Now that market is over, I'll have the leeway to weed more and harvest on a more constant, smaller scale for food to eat and put up for the season.

I still have an unconscious negative response to seeing the bright sunlight shining in the yard, though. Too many years in the southlands, where even the early morning rising sun, shining through the kitchen window into a house still holding the overnight cool, felt like sharp knives attacking my skin, I suppose. Yes, it has been HOT in the garden... I worked a full Wednesday there this week, sun shining and temps peaking in the high 80s... but I need to remind myself that was a PEAK temp and not what I need expect when I open the door in the early morning.

Finding "normal"... which is of course not a point but a range -- and a constantly changing place ... will be my theme this week as we celebrate the first harvest. Here there is no grain to harvest (even normally, when there might be glimmers of corn on the horizon, what wheat is grown locally harvest later in the season) so while I am thankful for the grains, my focus will be directed toward my local wights and the land upon which I stand. There is much to be thankful for, as despite my poor attempts and missed deadlines and lack of necessary tools, we DO have a harvest. They kept their commitment and on my part I will be thankful and redouble my efforts to keep up my part of the bargain next year, for I know They will cut me some slack, but not forever! LOL

I am feeling strongly the need to tend to the house for the next few days (cleaning up the post-market chaos, making order out of the garden stuff so I can maybe throw in a few seeds for fall crops and an try at overwintering) and then back to the garden of the morning and work as needed in the afternoon, with hex painting stuck in there somewhere. Like I said "finding" normal... not having it already nailed down...

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