Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Brain Freeze

Sunflowers, cosmos, zinnia--all are standing tall and proud, giving the garden an air of youth and vigor. Everyone comments on how good the garden looks at the moment. But I know better.

The squash and cucumber plants need to be pulled to make way for an attempt at fall potatoes. The turnips are beyond ready for harvest. The kohlrabi are giving up the ghost. I've planted a few seed trays of fall crops--cabbages, kale, lettuce, broccoli. But I haven't managed them very well. Half won't make it. Meanwhile, there are so many other things to plant that I haven't even begun to think of. And before I can get to that, a big bowl of cucumbers waiting to be pickled stares at me from the kitchen counter. I am staying up past my bedtime to can a bumper crop of Roma tomatoes.

I should be mowing the grass (we've had a drought, so not too much growth there) and beds are long past due for a good weeding. I am not so much avoiding all this work as just plodding along, somewhat stunned by the turning of the seasons and with it a long list of new things to do. It seems like deja vu all over again.

Even in our kitchen garden one mile from the White House in the District of Columbia, the toil never ends. If you start as we did back in February, the life of the garden seems interminable. I am developing a greater appreciation for all the work our forefathers faced just getting by from one day to the next. We are greatly satisfied to be feeding ourselves from our own small plot of land. But you know what? It's a lot of work....

6 comments:

el said...

Ah, but it is work that'll keep you young and well fed, Ed! Can't say that about many things in this life.

De in D.C. said...

I missed the ball on starting fall cabbage crops. Last I remember it was June and I told myself I needed to start the seeds in a few weeks. Fast forward to the end of August, and oops.

I still need to harvest the potato patch to make room for a fall spinach patch. And the cherry tomatoes are taking over so I need to harvest those and slow-dry them for winter storage. I just can't seem to keep up. How ever did our ancestors do this?

Pattie said...

Time for an Open garden, Ed! Invite friends and neighbors, offer choices of projects on which to work (include some seasy, fun ones as well), serve your pickles and you'll be shocked at how much gets done and how great everyone feels about it.

Catofstripes said...

I know just how you feel :-(

Anonymous said...

I have a large rural garden (with orchard) and empathize with the work that needs to be done at this time of year. I found a humorous song that expresses this time of year perfectly. It is "Harvest Time" by Stephanie Davis. If you find your energy flagging, you might find a chuckle is just the energy boost you need to get going again.

Ed Bruske said...

Hey, everyone, I'm not giving up. But being as this blog is a chronicle of our experiences in the garden, I'm not afraid to say that I am occasionally dazed when I look out and see how much needs to be done. Sometimes its just a matter of confusion over what needs to be done. Or being at a bit of a loss about what to do next. It's all part of the process of learning to be a more self-sustaining urbanite. Meanwhile, we are in for a few days of rain, giving us time to soak up some negative ions and re-charge our batteries.