Last week, in my garden. (August 1)
This morning, in my garden.
(If you're keeping garden notes and photographs and want to share it with the rest of us, do leave a comment with a link so that we may take a stroll through your garden too!)
This week in the garden, I am feeling the air shift into August mode, not very far from September at all. Just at or over the peak of the season, my mind is wandering to not only what comes next year (and what we'll do differently), but what we'll be doing with all this food - particularly the root veggies and storage crops - as the season's end nears. The season that seemed so long in the beginning (so much time to build out our root cellar!), and now is feeling all too short (do we still have time to do what we wanted to do? And what's plan B,C, or D?). More root cellar plans and thoughts to come here in this space soon. For now, it is frequently on our minds and in our conversations.
And frequently on the table this week are beets and carrots, chard and kale, more broccoli and green beans, and the first of what appears to be many tomatoes to come (hooray!). It has been - dare I say - a very mild pest week, and do you see that zucchini up there? All hope is not lost, and we just may in fact have a few to eat this year, and cucumbers too. Later and fewer than usual, but that's okay. (I am still hopeful about the pumpkin and winter squash patches, surrounded by nasturtium as they are.)
Inside the garden shed, half of the garlic is hanging to cure, while I wait for a dry day to pull the rest of the garlic, with the onions not far behind. After that, those beds, and a few more, will be ready to put to rest for the season. I'm watching all that beautiful cabbage so carefully, trying to determine just the right exact moment at which it's ''ready' and eagerly anticipating some kraut in my kitchen soon. And parsnips! Have I told you how excited I am about all the parsnips? Still a long ways off from eating, of course, it's the first time I've grown them and I'm watching them with a lot of excitement.
As the air shifts a bit, and as we start to think about our fall schedule kicking into gear, I'm mindful of trying to savor these summer days in the garden. It seems that so often my days are bookended by it. Early in the morning of late, I've been heading out there, still in pajamas, getting this or that for the boys ballet camp lunches. It's before Steve or Adelaide have done morning chores, and all around me the farm is waking up - it's a busy kind of quiet that I love. The chickens and turkeys cluck and crow, the pigs start running about thinking I'm bringing them their slop, and in the distance I can hear the sheep - or rather mouthy Emily - giving her morning call too. Banjo or Piper walk out of the woods or the barn where they've adventured all night, and join me in the garden and soon, a child appears too. Usually Harper as he and Steve begin their own morning chore routine. And later in the day, after dinner usually, I sneak out once again. The heat of the day has passed, and all the commitments and activity of the day too. With children fed and lending a hand or riding bicycles, it's a lovely time to work out there until the bugs or the setting sun or a sleepy little one brings us all in for the night.
I'm doing my best to savor, enjoy and be present in these moments as they happen in the garden these days. And to hold onto them in my mind and heart for the the very different season that is to come.