Friday, October 21, 2011

Can We Have a Growing Season Do-Over, Please?

Have you ever procrastinated on a job that you hoped would just disappear if you ignored it? I have, and it occasionally works. It’s time to pull down what remains of the vegetable garden, and frankly, my heart is not in it. I want a growing season do-over. I have trouble getting excited over pumpkin this, and cider that when I didn’t even get a real summer harvest, let alone fall stuff.

Granted, there is really nothing left to pull down. The mid summer drought and the torrential rains at the end of the season pretty much wiped out most of the tomato crop, the squash, the sage and both the pole beans and bush beans. No late broccoli this year or Brussels sprouts. Just skeletal remains on trellises and stakes. The removal job should be easy, but it makes me so sad thinking about it that I just can’t do it. I want to wake up tomorrow and it’ll all be there waving in its leafy July glory. Feeling gypped this year. I wanted a pantry full of jars of beans, beets, and tomatoes.

We have nothing to complain about, though, in the grand scheme. So many farms here in Pennsylvania, and neighboring New York and New Jersey were virtually destroyed by the flooding. My friend Kasha’s family farm in NY was under water for weeks. My table will be a bit shortchanged, but my livelihood is intact. Not a disaster here, but reminds me to be grateful for what is instead of fretting over what was. Fact is, it IS a cycle, and it can be vicious at times.

In spite of my gloom, there are some things growing. Hot peppers, bell peppers, and basil still survive and produce, and celeriac is still in the ground. Swiss chard and scallions are tall and green. Picked the last few brave tomatoes today to ripen in the house. The last taste of summer will be good. Will post the results here soon, if the recipes are blog-worthy.

Mother Nature will force my hand with a frost in a week or two, tops. No slacking then. Down and away it’ll all go. Bean poles in the shed and the composters will be bursting full. I’ll be furiously canning the last of the peppers, and blanching and freezing chard. By the time the first snow comes, with any luck, after the holidays (especially since I work in retail), the first seed catalogs will arrive, and with them, a chance to get it all right next season. Gee, I feel better already. Nothing like a good rant. 


  1. Which kind of garlic did you grow? Are you familiar with the German variety?

  2. Last year I planted Musik, which is a hardneck variety like the German. It didn't produce large bulbs, even with plenty of water. This year is going to be German Porcelain. I think I like the garlic scapes as much as the actual garlic bulbs.