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....