It struck me today how much I learned this year. I had set my mind to blogging about a year and a half ago and have gained so much knowledge about web building, the logistics of blogging, photography and mastering the beast that is social media (still not a huge fan of it, honestly). The endless hours of hard work, planning and frustration related to the abstract world of 1's and 0's (computers) mounted to many late nights and early mornings...sometimes early mornings filled with anxiety when I notice an error in one of my published posts after editing it 3 - 4 times (sigh...mom brain).
This was also the year I started back at work since my maternity leave ended. And it was not easy. Nevertheless, I remain ever grateful that my career enables me to work from home (for the most part); my son and I can be together during the day, which has its pros and cons...pro: he loves answering my office line when it rings; it's just too bad his vocabulary isn't quite up to par. It makes for a fun day when we both race to the phone each time it rings.
Taking the reins with the garden was the task my heart needed this year. I've worked the realm of offices, legalese, files and paperwork for many, many years... and then ventured down the path of motherhood, which is an entirely different kind of work (which I adore)! Despite it all, I am truly grateful...my current career brought Steve and I together all those years ago, which then led to our wonderful son.
Gratitude aside, my work is, by nature, high-stress...it leaves me craving simplicity and the pace of nature at day's end.
The food we grow feels precious to me. Little goes to waste, and amidst the utter joy of seeing a bountiful garden, there is a touch of melancholy behind it all. The food is beautiful, abundant, and nourishing, but I know in the back of my mind that it's time is short...I try and hang onto it as long as I can. So while I'm smiling as I pick the kale, or pull the beets, I secretly wish it would never end.
This year gave me an unexpected lesson in letting go. There will be next year, next season...an ever changing climate to adapt to, a wild and beautiful little child that will be older and perhaps taller than the kale next year...and, hopefully, there will be more tomatoes. No doubt, there will be another abundance of cucumbers; it seems that no matter how much we limit the plantings, we're overrun with them every year...which is fine, because they all find good homes in the neighborhood.
So, while there are likely some technical things I can share about growing particular fruits or vegetables, I am no expert, nor do I ever anticipate being one anytime soon. What I do know is that nature does her thing all in good and perfect time. We give her plots of fresh dirt, sunlight, water, elbow grease, a package of seeds, and plenty of patience. And we are amply rewarded...and my mind finds a little bit of peace. Perhaps in future, I'll have more to share, but this is just what I learned this year...to look forward to a new season on the horizon and make the best of each one at hand. Oh...and carrot tops are excellent to throw into your smoothies!
If you follow me on social media, you would have likely seen the many Instagram stories I posted as the garden grew. You can look forward to the fall plantings which I'll be posting about in the coming weeks. Thank you for letting me share with you!
I love this garden.
If you're curious what we grew in 2017, here is a non-exhaustive list for your perusal:
Spring / Summer:
Scarlet Nantes Carrots
Too many tomato varieties to remember
French Fingerling potatoes
Long English Cukes
Cherries (Bing, Regina, Sweetheart)