Every spring, without exception, I am overwhelmed by the desire to create a fantastic garden. I imagine myself growing enough vegetables to last us through the winter.
Every spring, I turn over the earth, Google “Tomato plants in New England” and “How to grow beans in Massachusetts”, and go out to buy 300 pounds of composted cow manure.
I aspire to be one of those self-reliant old Yankees, canning my tomatoes and freezing my beans. Ready to take on the winter, even if the grid goes down.
And pretty much every year, round about July 8th, I start to think, “Oops.”
That’s when I notice that the tomato plants are turning all yellow, and the beans never came up and the row of lettuce got eaten by some kind of little wormy thing. That’s about when I start to think about the Farmer’s Markets and the local farm stand, and I start to repeat that old Red Sox slogan of many years past. “Wait till next year”, I tell myself. “Next year I won’t put the tomatoes in the garden with all the manure (too much nitrogen). Next year I’ll remember to spray the lettuce with a combination of dish soap and water.”
Yep. Next year. The elusive next year, when the bounty of my backyard will be enough to insure survival for Pa and me over the long snowy winter.
I’m an idiot.
And here’s how I know that I’m an idiot.
I have huge areas of my yard that I completely ignore. One part used to be a rock garden, until I ran out of steam and stopped chopping back the vines. This year it is so full of ripe delicious raspberries that the birds and I are both filled up. I picked enough in an hour to make a pot of jam.
Another section used to be the home of a grand old white pine. We had to cut him down about 5 years ago, as he was getting mighty old and brittle, and he was threatening our roof in every windstorm.
Two years ago, I noticed that a whole bunch of blueberry bushes were springing up around the stump of that old tree.
This afternoon, I went outside and shooed away a couple of robins. I picked about 2 cups of sweet, ripe blueberries in 20 minutes. Enough to make a pie.
And here’s the part that gets me. Its only in the parts of the yard where I haven’t done one single thing to grow a crop where there is a crop worth harvesting.
I am clearly NOT the Farmer’s Daughter.
Momma Nature, I give up. You win. Again.
I can hardly wait for the acre of blackberries to ripen in a few weeks!