As I've chronicled my garden journey this year in words and pictures, (at www.facebook.com/thepocketfarmer ) it had taken on a life of it's own. It had all the elements of comedy and tragedy, to keep me interested and intrigued, day after day. Would the tomatoes ever ripen? Will Princess Stanley ever get a sibling? Does the lettuce always have to grow where I didn't plant it? Will it rain? Will it stop raining?
It kept me hopping too! The cycle of gardening: garden prep, planting, cultivating, harvesting and canning, was a push to the finish. From June through September, I never had a spare moment. Even now, in it's waning days, there is still work to do. But it feels leisurely, not frantic. And I'm finding it hard to let go.
I will miss the escape from the real world troubles, job angst, and pressures that life brings. Along with raising our chickens this year, the garden has saved my sanity. I couldn't fix the national debt or bring our soldiers home, but I could grow a watermelon, damnit! Worried about the stock market? Not when I have 30 lbs of tomatoes to can. Price of feed skyrocketing? Just watching the corn grow, took the edge off of that worry. And so it went, all summer long.
Now change is coming. The leaves are turning, the vines are dying, the nights are getting colder. I suppose if gardening was a year 'round event, it wouldn't seem so special. But because the window of opportunity is so small here, you have to jump all in. There were days when I was so tired that I thought, enough already! A quick peek into the cabinet though, was all I needed to get back on track. All those jars of lovely garden goodness just waiting to be popped open! It's a beautiful payoff.
Time marches on and it will not spare the garden. But instead of goodbye, I'll say, "So long, for now." I'll stay busy planning for next year and saving seeds. I still have walnuts to crack, gourds to paint, recipes to research. I'd like to build that arbor by the gate and for sure, we'll get that irrigation line installed. More trees to plant and ideas to hatch. It'll be a busy off-season. I've only got 8 months! Whew, I better get started!
So long, my garden friend. I'll miss you. Hurry back!