Oh my, the October garden is quite something! Something of a jungle of weeds. I promised myself a month or so ago, with so much life on our plate, that I would no longer pass the garden gate feeling overwhelmed by what appeared in front of me. Instead, I would take a moment to pause in gratitude - for what we are able to give into it and get from it, for the joy and sustenance that brings us all, and well...for the grocery store too. For the reality I cannot let myself forget is that we are not entirely reliant upon this garden to feed us all winter long. What we grow and store does help, and for that I truly am grateful. But there is the modern and wonderful convenience of the grocery store. (Of which I'll be visiting a bit more this winter than last, I do believe.)
I am in awe of farmers who are brave and strong enough to garden not just for themselves but their community as well. For the math of gardening? Well. Planting twice the squash seeds as last year, for example, yielded half the squash as last year. Three times the onions yielded, well, none. It's a fickle thing, this kind of math.
Each year that I've gardened has shown me once again how very different each year is from the last. I'm assured that it will keep the act interesting in the years and decades to come - with no two gardens every looking the same. I am reminded that it isn't a formulaic mathmatical process after all - but rather a dance. A dance with weather, landscape, time, health and energy all factoring in to creating something together.
This year, while squash was down, and onions obliterated....tomatoes were strong and I'm certain the garlic will last us till spring. There is a decent amount put by - and still so much more to enjoy and store yet in the weeks to come - carrots, beets, kale, chard, broccoli, and cauliflower are still plentiful (though the weeds are too).
We are all - chickens, sheep, pigs, turkeys, babies, and adults alike - so grateful for what the garden gives.