Timing


Takes longer than you think (and another piece of chicken tchotchke has darkened my door)

Timing, or rather the awareness of how long things take, is something I have to relearn every gardening season. The first time I weeded this spring I felt like it took an eternity, and I was *only* doing the herb garden (3’x20′). In actuality, what was happening is I needed to reacquaint myself with the motions. The fine motor skills, the visual assessment (weed? not weed?), and how to move through the bed (front to back? side to side?) all needed to come together. Getting those neural pathways reconnected after months of being idle took longer than I thought.

I wondered if this is what people felt like when they picked up knitting after a long time off.

Other little tasks also take some time adjustment. Do I, for example, have enough time to go pick a salad before that water boils? (No.) How long does it really take to shell enough peas for three people? (Longer than you’d think.) How long will it really take me to weed the onion bed? (How much time do you have?) Now granted, all these tasks are very pleasurable to me. Pea shelling, for example, is really relaxing; you just sit and zip them out. (But then shell bean season comes along and it’s not so much fun.)

Timing-wise, there’s a bit of longitudinal planning I have to do, too: for example, I know well enough how to succession plant, mainly to avoid the kitchen log jam of “what, green beans AGAIN?” that happens when I plant two varieties too close together, ripening-wise. I wish I could claim that I look at a calendar and count backward from when I plan to eat things, but I don’t. It’s all a bit of a mix, and when things are ripe, well, there should be no complaints because we’re EATING them, again, tonight!

And then there’s ripening time, or rather, “the season” for things. We’ve passed asparagus season and yes indeedy we did eat asparagus every night for about three weeks. Now we’re into peas and lettuce, and strawberries. Fava beans will come in before the regular beans, chard before the lettuce bolts, and then from then on it’s just absolutely too much of everything around here, so it is time to start freezing and canning. Canning Season. And that takes some timing, some readjustment, too.

And then, after it is all finished, I have the whole winter to dream about doing it all again.

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8 responses to “Timing

  1. I’m impressed by how much you get out of your garden, and that you can, too. I try to grow just enough to eat in season.

    Your peas look good. I think I’ll get one more good picking out of my peas, and then they will be done for the season.

  2. And you’re complaining? 😀
    No, you’re not. It’s just reality. Enjoy it.
    (My garden is peculiarly weed-free. I’ve only had it for a month, but… yay!)

  3. I was just thinking about getting in the weeding zone over the weekend. I did a lot of weeding, and it took me a little while to be able to just zip right through a row. I’m lucky I guess in that I only have about four or five types of weeds right now and they are pretty easy to identify. I think we are at about the same point in the season as you. Too bad the groundhog ate my peas.

  4. Are you not canning then? That’s how we avoid they, what agains!?!

  5. I have been weeding all day – a great sunny ringfenced gardening day – wonderful.

    Vegetables pay second fiddle to the flowers at the moment (gotta make a living) so I am very envious of your peas. Ours are probably 2 months away from cropping.

    J
    x

  6. If only weeds were an edible crop for humans…
    I am on the wrong side of a battle with bermuda grass on my city lot. When I pull out a bushel or so I take it into the hens yard. They love to scrabble around in it, but I wonder if I am actually propagating it in the process. I can’t seem to give up the idea that if I just keep after it, I will eventually discourage it. I am harvesting chives, onions, basil and lemons from my garden. I tend to look more at what I don’t have than what I have. Must correct that.

  7. haha! ok I am a dork, I totally missed the part about canning season, sorry.

  8. Carol, I shouldn’t let you think *all* that asparagus came from my garden; only about 4-5 dinners did. There’s lots of local asparagus available, thankfully! And a good thing as it’s such a space hog.

    No complaints here, CC. It is FUN drudgery. And keep up that weeding.

    M, Michael Pollan resorted to chemical warfare to rid his Connecticut garden of groundhogs. Would you consider doing the same?

    Phelan, Canning Season begins this week! (Strawberry jam.)

    Jane, I understand completely where YOU need to spend time in your garden!! And a good thing, too. Doesn’t it feel great to get some weeding accomplished?

    Moonbear, I lust after your lemons. I seem to remember really nasty weeds in my city garden that I really could not eradicate (plantain, chickweed) no matter how hard I tried. Eventually I moved and solved my problem : ) But your chookies probably love that grass!

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