The Good Harvest

There is a season for everything, and this is the season of plenty. We are carrying armloads and baskets of produce from our garden and freezing enough to feed a small army, well, actually my wife and I, for a good time to come. Indeed, this is the first year I have succeeded in getting pumpkins past a killing fungus. We've got a couple of monsters who beat the others to punch sitting on the floor of our sun room now. In a few weeks, they'll make for roasted seeds and pies.

All this, and it is not yet Fall.

Every year we get a little better at gardening, but we've yet to have a completely successful year. We simply plant too much and run out of time as work intervenes to keep up with the weeding and pruning. For every three tomatoes we pick, one spoils. We've enough beans to bury feed ten Jacks and bury one giant. Today I started pulling carrots. They grow dense and deep in raised beds. I merely touched one corner of a bed to see what lay beneath the surface: we have enough to feed several horses, and, some years we do give carrots to neighbors to feed their horses.

It was a bad year for Brussels sprouts. I do not know why. The stalks are sturdy and tall, but nothing blossomed. I will soon pull the stalks and put the prepare the bed for its winter nap. A good friend's sprouts also failed. This is more disappointing to me than to my wife: she won't eat them when they grow; I, however, like the tart taste of a plant just this side of sour.

This year we grew ornamental gourds for sport. Lord, what sport the gourds have had with the garden. We harvested several today. One of them, a swan neck, stands three feet tall, a counter pose to the orange pumpkins next to which it sits.

Also listed under: The Garden


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