If all these years of dirt-digging have taught me anything, the one thing I can definitely say is the word “Always” has no place in the garden.
I think there is something very gratifying in this statement, even though it’s a statement of insecurity. If there were an always, or a never, we would not try to plant things outside of our hardiness zone, or we would give up after one failed crop.
But it is a truism that pisses me off sometimes. I went into the main outdoor garden on Saturday, scissors and colander in hand, to retrieve some lacinato kale and parsley. I had a big pot of my navy beans boiling on the stove inside and needed the greenery to add to make soup. And lo, in the snow-covered garden, I was met with…green mush. What happened? This has never happened before, I have ALWAYS been able to harvest kale and parsley all year!
There is that word: always. It is humbling in its absence.
It also means that three seasons in one garden does not a pattern make, four is better and 15 better than that: I will know, in 2019, if I can expect kale and parsley to be reliably hardy. It means I have a lot of growing to do, too.