Before I even knew about the imminent Frankenstorm, I was already all over hunkering down. Why? Because my once joyous and uplifting gardens were starting to depress me.
I'm not much of a gardener, but I, you know, plant stuff. And I'm making gradual improvements in my techniques with each new season.
The first year I "gardened" I threw some seeds around and waited. Literally. I didn't even bury them. I figured, hey, nature doesn't have a trowel. She isn't on her knees in the dirt being freaked out by worms and spiders...
As you might expect, I didn't have much of a harvest that year.
The following year, I started getting serious about my seeds, mostly because of the seed catalogues. Those things are ridiculously enticing. As in, you may find yourself hiding in the bathroom so you can look at the pictures in peace. On more than one occasion my husband has said, Why are you still looking at seed catalogues? We have enough seeds!
Umm, for the articles...
I actually bought two types of eggplant seeds that year. Do you know how many times I've gone to the store to buy an eggplant? Zero times. Never. And yet, I'm all, I need to grow those impossibly finicky little bastards from seed! I think I got one eggplant. I gave it away.
After that 'year of a million seeds', it occurred to me to start trying to grow things I'm actually willing to eat. Novel concept.
This year I got this great salad mix that produced all these beautiful mixed greens. Unfortunately, since it's a mix and I couldn't really tell what was food and what was weeds, I never ate any of it. I'm pretty sure it's better to err on the side of caution when it comes to not eating salad.
There are still some lettuce looking things growing in the salad patch. I didn’t pull them because they are still green and I didn't want to be rude. (Still have no intention of eating them.)
Actually, one of the reasons I waited this long to deal with my gradually more depressing gardens was because of all of the things that are still hanging on. I didn't want to rip everything up just because most of it is spent. I could just hear a poor little pepper plant crying, I'm not dead! in a British accent...
However, one vegetable that didn't make the cut in the 'grow what I eat' line up this year was potatoes. I love growing potatoes. You feel like a California prospector when you harvest potatoes. Ha! Found another one! I struck gold, I tell ya! Gold! It's exciting. Well, until your back hurts. But it starts out really exciting.
Why did I choose not to grow my favorite vegetable to harvest (and eat)? Because of the carbs. I knew if I grew them, I'd eat them. So I didn't plant them... Then I bought them at the grocery store and ate them anyway. I think that might have been dumber than the eggplants.
Doesn't matter how dumb you are in gardening, though. You keep getting new chances. There is no need to dwell on uneaten eggplants and overeaten potatoes. Every year at this time, it is gardening square one. Again. Out with the dead and dying (I don't want to go on the cart!) in with the new: like garlic!
The very moment I was finished clearing out my gardens, I started planting garlic for next season. You just can't get more circle of life than that. The season ends and begins on the same day.
Isn't that how all of life works, really? We feel like we are marching in a straight line towards... something, and we are in a real hurry to get there. But what is it? Harvest? Retirement? Death? Who knows, but if the rest of nature runs in circles, why do we think we are the exception? We are nature too.
Perhaps if we all accept that life is a series of slow moving circles, full of lots of chances to get things right or just to do things a little better on the next go 'round, we wouldn't be in such a hurry all of the time. We could all just slow down and enjoy the ride. (Like a merry-go-round without the annoying music.)
Besides, if you go fast enough, you'll just end up spinning out of control. Like a hurricane.
I like to throw things.