Sunday, August 11, 2013

august garden

With so many trips here and there, and even though our trips away are brief and usually just for a few days in order to allow ourselves to be back home for chicken care, bee tending, or time with friends, it all adds up.  And the place that shows the most effects of our time away is the garden.

Each time we return, and after we have taken care of some of the more pressing return-to-home requirements, like laundry and unpacking, feeding the kids breakfast, and refilling syrup feeders in the hives and cleaning out the coop, I head out to the garden.

It takes me a while to jump in, overwhelmed as I am by what has happened each time I go out there after time away.  This most recent time, the area where we have a table and a firepit and some chairs had become so filled with weeds, some as tall as Julia, that it was unusable.  And rescue squash vines from seeds that didn't fully compost were snaking through out the area.  And the gardens that Julia and Elliott designed and planted themselves were completely hidden by weeds that obscured the treasures below.

So I stood there for a while.  Assessing.  Thinking about how much time I had to be out there before we needed to leave again on our next adventure.

I distracted myself for a while by realizing I needed to head down to the blackberry patch and see if any of the berries I had seen a week before, still small and white and hard back then, had ripened.  That turned out to be quite a distraction, because when I arrived down there I discovered that a vine, one that we have found thrives in our backyard, grows incredibly fast and climbs up and covers our desired trees and plants, had taken over the blackberry patch. It had covered a section like a spider web and actually pulled the canes flat to the ground.  And it had continued on and covered the peach tree nearby.  I pulled at that for a bit, rescuing the tree and canes from it.  And found a small number of ripe berries, with many more coming.  They will be ripe when we return next time.  The ones I picked I placed in bowls and they were enthusiastically enjoyed all day long, disappearing until they were gone.

I returned to the garden and stood amongst the weeds some more.  And decided I needed the wheelbarrow to help with the removal plan...and went searching for it for a bit, only to find I had actually placed it in the garden shed, where it belongs.  Oops.

Then I noticed small round things outside of the garden in the grass beneath the old apple trees that are the beginning of what will some day be a small orchard.  We add new trees every year.  And we know that we need to care for these old trees, and if we do, we may be able to help them bear fruit to ripeness, rather than dropping them to the ground in early August, bruised, small, and rather ugly looking.  But I could not let them just sit and rot there.  So I gathered the best of them up, and made a plan in my mind to sauce them later in the evening when the bugs came out in force.

And then, of course, it was lunchtime and the kids needed to be eventually, I made it back out there and dove into the weeds.  I rescued the kids' gardens and the kids immediately came down and started tending them again, after weeks of being too overwhelmed by the weeds to even try.  I cleared the fire pit area and table so we could use it again, not perfectly.

And, of course, I could not pull out the silly gourd vine that also seems to have come from the compost we spread, seeds from last year's garden.  Gorgeous Thanksgiving decoration gourds in early August?  I decided I might need to take a picture of them that I will place in the center of our Thanksgiving table instead of the actual gourds, since I don't think they will last that long.

And then, and only then, did I move into the actual beds of plants.  And I was amazed, as I always am, at what was surviving despite my neglect.  I used a kind of garden triage, trying to see what I was going to lose, or keep from producing food, if I did not help them.  I re-staked some tipped over tomatoes.  I skipped the area of corn that had tipped over and promised to return next week.  I glanced at the asparagus and onion patches and decided they could wait for me too.  I thinned some beet and carrot patches delighted with the thinnings already being usable, having grown quite big before I got to them.  I brought in rows and rows of beans and Jonathan blanched them quickly along with some more broccoli and we froze them.

Then I attacked the hilled vine area, and found cucumbers, some ready to pick, but also so so many small blossoms, being visited by bees.  A large zucchini completely surprised me, alone and proud.

I could list many more things that needed to be done but were not...such as harvesting the greens and herbs to turn into the quick pestos to freeze we all so enjoy and rely upon in the winter, as I am afraid some of them will pass by before we return.  

But soon enough?  It was dinner time.  And I had children who were hungry.  And I had no plans, which was funny to me, given how I had been essentially food producing all day long.

We threw together our garden favorite these days, kale salad.  One that all three children gobble up and ask for more of.  And added some pasta and called it a feast.  And before we knew it?  We were eating it in the garden.  With the fire pit aflame.  Ignited by my now skilled fire starters, courtesy of our time camping.

And of course, s'mores needed to be devoured...despite the fact that we had no graham crackers.  It's ok!  Jonathan announced.  We can sandwich the marshmallows between two pieces of chocolate.  Which was of course totally okay given that we had eaten blackberries all day from the bowl and kale salad for dinner, right?

And we all enjoyed the garden, it's newly reclaimed space until dark.

And then went to bed.  And the next day we all awoke.  I glanced at the garden, sitting pretty and if you did not look too closely, looking rather tended.  The sun was out and it was going to be another gorgeous day.  And then, we headed out on our next adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

we welcome comments, but please select a profile below. tree to river does not publish anonymous comments.