I love seeing red: Jimmy Nardello’s peppers and a couple bells
So yes, I ran out of canning jars Tuesday. This is a sign that the garden has been quite fruitful this year. I thank my lucky stars, too.
You see, so much in the garden is out of our hands. It is complete hubris to think a good garden season has anything to do with the gardener: it is due to about a thousand other factors, of which only one of them is me. I really do believe so much about why plants grow (or don’t) is unknowable. I read books like this one about soil and this one about microbes and my mind blanches at the thousand million cajillion variables that go into any one seed’s becoming one productive garden plant. The dirt, the soil, is as vast as the cosmos above, and about as easily understood. And then there’s weather, and then there’s the insect world, and then there’s wild fauna…there’re a lot of things, in other words, that work against that little seed.
Whatever the reasons, all things seem to have aligned to benefit this gardener this year. I just go to the garden and do my happy dance of gratitude. And then I fill up the Mother of All Colanders and get to work on preserving the booty.
For I know what it means to have a shitty harvest. Last year was such a year: amazing rain in August did in so many of my winter storage veggies; bugs did in my winter squash. There are some things in this gardener’s control, though. So I did the Scarlett O’Hara thing and also dug a trench and buried pipe all the way around the garden beds and somewhere along the line also decided another greenhouse was in the cards. I also, stupidly, grew too many seedlings this year: many were destined for our daughter’s school garden, and we needed fewer than I optimistically grew. Sucker that I am, I didn’t just compost those extra tomatoes and broccoli and cabbage; no, I planted them. (For future reference, a family of three does not need 70 tomato plants.)
So I am gleeful this year, and feeling quite flush with garden goodies. Our iffy harvest last year, the first of our complete “live off the farm” year, meant there were some rather thin meals last winter and early spring. One should be thankful for what one has, and believe me I am.
If you drive by and see me doing the happy dance, though, just honk, okay?