PLEASE RELEASE ME
Sep 28, 2011
There was talk of 3 days of frost back on September 16-18. I frantically harvested so that the damage to food would be minimal...and as I do every year, I secretly prayed that the frost would come. I always follow a pattern to my garden attention that very much resembles mothering a child. The spring garden is my tender baby.I work the soil, add organic matter, carefully plant the seeds and keep everything uniformly moist so the plants can get off to a good start. I'm devoted and attentive. I weed daily to keep my seeds open to the sun, air and nutrients. I'm thrilled about all the potential and excited by the unknowns..will it be a good growing year? Will it be wet or sunny and hot? Have I rotated everything enough? As the tender green shoots emerge I hover. I have to make myself walk away for a bit of time to practice trusting that everything will be OK even if I'm not ON every second. That period of unabashed entwinement begins to fade toward the end of June when the plants are big enough that they can take a few dry days or they are growing fast enough to be more prolific in their growth than the bugs can eat them. I barely notice my attention shifting. By the real summer heat of July, I've talked myself into letting the plants have some independence. I still weed but usually after mulching, the weeds are big enough to pull easily and I am beginning to spend most of my time in the garden harvesting and reseeding greens and beans. The lake calls and I want to take little jaunts to the coast. I bring back seaweed for the kids. In August we move into full on harvest mode. Everyday is about picking or putting by. I become a machine in my kitchen. Now...whatever can't survive on its own is done for. Its long hours of hard work from the birth of the garden to the late summer harvest. This year I hurt my back hauling tomatoes and no matter how many I give away, there are still more than I can eat sitting ripe on my windowsills. The responsibility I feel to my produce is similar to a Mom driving her kids all over creation to get what they need in the way of experience and exposure. Its something you just do without question. Every urge I have to create...be it a writing piece or a watercolor...all creative urges take a back seat to the needs of my garden and honoring the food that comes from it. Some days I feel like my only thoughts are about food. By early September, my garden is overtaken by weeds and I'm becoming downright neglectful. All kinds of things demand attention and I begin to put the garden on the backburner. I'm exhausted. I've worked so hard that I no longer care how anything looks as long as I can keep up with the vegetables. But now I turn my attention to Mother Earth's garden. I've discovered mushrooms. I adore wild mushrooms and have developed some confidence in picking the choice edibles. Now...my favorite thing to do is to wander the woods with my dog and hunt for mushroom treasure. The delight of wild foraging is that I did nothing at all to make these mushies happen. They grew wild and free. And they add just whats needed to my life...wild freedom.