During my involuntary convalescence last week, I reflected on many things, including the progress of my little garden. I have already established that I have no credentials as a gardener unless the love and desire to grow things qualifies as such. When any seed planted by my hand sprouts with adorable baby green leaves I am inordinately proud. I beam at every emerging bloom as if I had designed it myself. Yes, I nod, standing beside one of said lovely blossoms. folding my arms and pursing my lips into what I hope is a wise facial expression, and say to myself, “This farming life is good.”
Except. Things don’t always, or sometimes, or rarely, or even never turn out the way I plan. Know what I mean? A part of me still clings to the idea that the bigger and more successful the harvest , the more “authentic” the farmer even though I know that is absolutely, patently untrue. Maybe if I had to subsist on what I grew I could say truthfully that the bigger and more successful the harvest the less hungry the farmer.
By the way, no gardener has ever said anything remotely discouraging to me. Nope, this focus on the product and not the process comes from me alone. And I don’t even believe it. In fact I make my living trying to refute such unproductive thoughts in others. Granted, this task oriented thing is only a small part of me. The rest of me is completely happy to dig up some dirt. throw in some seeds, see what happens. And whatever happens, happens. After all, something does always happen.
So every year I try to accomodate all points of view by adding more structure in with the spontaneity. If I plan more, I reason with myself, I will exude more gravitas as a farmer and gardener. With planning and consistency, disappointments will be avoided. All I have to do, I tell myself, is be just a little more scientific in my approach. Here are the results so far.
In March I planted the seedlings,
And kept these detailed maps of which were which, so there would be none of that “not knowing what things are,”
And here is the neatly written list of expected times of harvest. I wasn’t going to risk being out of town when some delicious veggies were ripe on the vines.
Then I started planting the thousands of seedlings. I planted and planted. marking the areas with nice white plant markers as I went, for about an hour. Then somehow I mixed up the trays. In fact the number of trays of unplanted seedlings seemed to multiply the more I planted. I didn’t remember which green blobs were nasturtiums and which were marigolds. I referred back to my maps. In my sunburned haze, I couldn’t make any sense out of them. And I was tired. So I just stuck things in all over the place. Results? I don’t know what things are!
That is how you find out that your cucumbers are gourd vines.
And this may grow into an edible squash. Keep your fingers crossed.
Looking through this sequence of photos, I think I’m already starting to feel a little more gravitas. Despite my plans or lack thereof, plants are growing! In the ground! From seed! Maybe I don’t know what they all are yet, but who cares? Eventually I WILL know! And now if you’ll excuse me, I have some swaggering to do out among the bean vines. And whatever those other things are.
Thanks for stopping by!