Tuesday, July 16, 2013

On admitting success

I have a habit of scoping out veggie gardens, mostly on my bike.  There's a couple of front-yard gardens on my commute to work, and a bunch of community gardens along Madison's bike paths.  At the start of the season it's sharing in the excitement, and judging how far behind/ahead I am.  And later on, according to D, it's a little competitive. I'll admit it, I was measuring up my 6 foot tomato plants.  (Truly, I haven't sees any as tall--though I'm sure they are out there.)



It's silly, but I have finally come to the realization: I'm good at this.  It's been years of trial and error, reading books (and blogs), building soil, refining techniques, but steadily I've found confidence and success. My garden is awesome this year.
a collaborative vision for our grape vines, literally bearing fruit.

I know it's a habit of farmers and gardeners to be pessimistic: to complain about the weather; point out the problem spots and downplay the good stuff, but after last year's heat and drought I'm really trying to revel in the good stuff this year.  When someone complements my garden, I say "THANKS!" not, "well, you should see the aphids over here..." And while I am certainly grateful for the overabundance of rain this year, I also remind myself that all my efforts have laid the groundwork to take advantage of this good fortune, just as they helped mitigate the trials of last season.

experimental garbanzo patch--very cool plants

And when people say "that must take a lot of work" I try not to brush it off either. It IS work-- though I love it--and it's not for everyone.  It's the kind of hard work that pays off so obviously though, I've never had this much satisfaction at my paying jobs!

the morning haul, epic raspberry year!

These days, before the giant onslaught of produce arrives, are the most enjoyable.  I buzz around the gardens every day, tweaking and observing. Much like the wasps cruising my broccoli patch, I am watching for signs of damage (they know how to spot the cabbage worms just like I do); for vines that need redirection or twine; for a hiding zucchini or cucumber. 

And while I'm so very grateful:  for good weather, a wonderful collaborator, and for having the available time and resources to do it:  this year I'm also remembering to appreciate myself :)








1 comment:

  1. Every word rings true except for the part about it being a great gardening year -- not so much here in Maine. Your garden is gorgeous! And it is incredible satisfying to grow your own food, so much more than a job.

    Those raspberries! I am salivating here. We have a new pest in town so I've held off planting them until I can see how it shakes out, but boy, right now I wish I had planted them.

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