Thursday, August 1, 2013

Gains and Losses = Hope

Yes, it's another one of those posts.

Having a green thumb isn't all it's cracked up to be. Being dependent on weather and the health of the soil from which the garden grows is a large portion of success, or luck, however you look at it. It has always amazed me immensely to look at a seed and contemplate how this tiny speck of hope uses soil, water, oxygen and ultimately becomes nourishment in the form of food or beauty. Either way, the ability to raise plants is a gift. Sometimes it comes in a not-so-pretty package.

Wind-ravaged and rain-soaked, the plants in the garden are each telling their own stories. Some sweet pepper plants have turned yellow and have wilted from all of the water. The tomato plants in the greenhouse are suffering, probably, from some form of humidity-induced fungal issue. Heat and sun-loving okra plants are stunted, yet with stubborn determination flowering and even producing a few pods of little okra babies. My Swiss chard has mushrooms languishing at their feet and the cucumber vines have had holes punched delicately in their leaves by a voracious cucumber beetle and their numerous family members. Squash plants are forlorn soldiers, laying on their sides, awaiting final death from the vine borers and damage from the squash bugs.

Even so. Hope. It's what keeps us all going. Even in the rainiest season in decades. Or akin to the summer of 2007, the driest of seasons in decades. This cyclical change in the weather has been happening for hundreds of years - those that have been recorded that is. It is the reason that the farm is named so.

More often than not we have a tendency to complain, "why me?" when things aren't going the way we'd like. The point, here, isn't to dwell on all of the things that can and do go wrong, but to realize the gift of learning that is within the failure. If I hadn't jumped into a market garden with both feet this year I never would have known what it is like to test the limits of my knowledge and also to have come to the realization that using synthetic herbicides and pesticides are never sustainable!

Having a purpose can go a long way in getting us through the doldrums that too much spring and summer rain can induce.

Sometimes that purpose is difficult to locate in the weedy patch of life. Our gardens can reflect us. Crazy, I know. Hither-thither, vines going astray, weeds filling in the gaps of a once clean palate. Right this very minute, I can relate to that reflection. The weeds have taken over. I'm a bit disorganized (especially inside the house!) and I'm not as vibrant and productive as I was two months ago.

There is a reason for the changing of the seasons. I'm ready for the season of FALL!

How is YOUR garden growing? Is it a reflection of you?

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