Sunday, July 12, 2009

Remembering to be Thankful

It is so easy, when I am out in the garden, to want to fuss at my situation. The weeds in the corn (WHAT corn! I think it gave up...) are almost as tall as I, much of the fruit/perennial side is taken over by them as well (though in places I can find the flowers I planted, can still see the garlic and just got a first weeding done on the herb circle, so that they can see the sun again.)

But I keep reminding myself (as I have to do) that the last time I tackled a garden this big it was an existing market garden that had been going for years and I did not have 3 "outside" jobs (and no, 5 kids do NOT count as the same thing!). And the time before that, when I did a "sod garden" it was not this bad of sod -- bunch grass not runner grass -- and again, I did not have work off the farm and had not even started writing as a side career on a regular basis at that time.

And I keep reminding myself that the healthy weeds are also an indication of healthy soil. If the garden didn't grow them, I'd be in a worse fix, as likely it wouldn't be growing food either. And growing food it is! The lettuces are great, spinach isn't bad (even where I didn't manure last fall) and the peas (which I filled two baskets with while I was contemplating these words this morning) are abundant as well. Beans have tons of blossoms, where I see them through the weeds and the broccoli and cauliflower are making heads, as are the cabbages. Brussels sprouts are thriving, there are carrots out there (in the weeds and in somewhat less weedy areas) and even the potatoes and the vine crops are still alive, despite having been found by bugs that target those crops. There are beets and chard (one beet seems to have wanted to bolt and it wasn't nearly beet size yet, but I'll add those few greens to some spinach in the freezer tomorrow) though the deer seem to have tasted the chard over night, and onions and leeks looking fantastic. Tomatoes and peppers are out there, too.. beginning to set fruit and making blossoms in hope of a summer season to their liking.

so despite my frustrations, the garden is giving me FOOD. And next year, and he year after that and after that it will only get better. I will find a tiller, figure out weed control and succession planting for here; I will learn to do the season extension stuff (on both ends) and get more fruit trees, bushes, and plants, more asparagus, enough posts to fence the garden and keep in ducks (when the plants are big enough) and keep out ducks (when the plants are babies) and slow down the deer, to give the peas something to climb on. Teaching the peas to turn a different color when they are ready to be picked would be great too, but I don't hold out much hope on that one!

I have to think back to this time, last year, as well... we were still in "the second most ghetto trailer park in Milo" searching madly for property (which was about to materialize but I didn't know that yet), I was still unemployed (which was about to change, but again I didn't know that yet) though that job only went through the fall and was shortly replaced by my current one and while we were enjoying exploring Maine, photographing flowers and searching for a home, it was not the best of times.

So I am thankful for home, for 4 acres on which to play (and be frustrated), for a job (which doesn't really pay enough $$ but doesn't require all my time either) and for my other careers (which add $$ and as importantly much satisfaction) and for the blessings of the abundance of the Earth, despite what I feel to be my poor stewardship of it. They know I am doing my best.

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