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September 12, 2014: Part II: Obsession and the Garden of Weedin’

Obsession. Other hobbies? Gardening next comes to mind. Actually, gardening isn’t a hobby, rather it’s more of an avocation. We are now smack dab in the middle of the harvest season. This sounds more significant than it actually is. It’s been a good garden year for many around here. However, our pickings are slim. However, some things have done better than others.

The rundown:
Upper Quadrant:
Rhubarb: Got more than we deserved.
Greens: Got less than we deserved.
Spinach: Not quite enough.
Kale: Planted late, could still take off if the weather holds.

Chicken on upper compost pile

Flowers: Marigolds late, but still quite beautiful.

Middle Quadrant:
Potatoes: Looking good.
Peas: Paltry.
Raspberries: Acceptable
Strawberries: Non-existent
Currant bushes: white berries, negligible, blue berries, far better

Hoop House:
Spaghetti squash: Will be giving some away
Pumpkins: Not enough for preschoolers, but we’ll have some pies
Beans: Got seeds for next year
Sunflowers: Topped out when they hit the hoophouse roof.
Garlic: Fizzled out completely
Leeks: Got six of the dang things
Celery: Long and lanky, will be good in soups
Pickling cucumbers: Got far more than our share
Basil: Amount off the charts

Lower Quadrant:
Carrots: Perfect amount
Broccoli: Headed out too soon
Cabbage: Got a few, amazingly, the slugs did not
Potatoes: An experiment, got some marble sized ones
Beets: Greens excellent and in abundance. Beets themselves the size of golf balls.
Flowers: Beautiful array of California Poppies

Tomatoes: Just now coming into their own
Basil: Amount off the charts

I did manage early on to keep up with the weeding, just like Eve did before she was unceremoniously booted out of the Garden of Eden. This was fortuitous because overall, we had less weed groundcover. No Chia Pet garden activity here. So we had a minimal number of slugs. This is impressive given the fact that right now, slugs are everywhere. There are literally thousands of them on the road. It’s like they’ve been freed from refugee camps and are hoping to find a place in which they might have a better life.

I’m pleased with our efforts; however, I can’t say that I’m garden obsessed. Rather, I see gardening as being a means to an end; the end being a more tangible product. In this case, vegetables. There’s also a secondary reason why I garden, and this is that it connects me with people. I have enjoyed gardening and talking about growing particulars. And I’ve enjoyed hearing about others’ growing particular efforts. It’s definitely a form of social bonding. And it becomes more so when I acknowledge that, yep, gardening is hard work.

Ironically, I’ve offered to give my horsey pals our garden tour. I say ironically because at one time, I would (have had many of my friends) politely declined the invitation. I guess I do understand why these individuals have no interest in looking at the tomato plants. However, I presumed wrong in assuming that they’d be interested in checking out our four compost areas and my two worm farms. Well, the interest just isn’t there. Good though, that they were interested in talking about horses and horse care because ahem, so am I.

Later today, I’ll begin harvesting the greens for the compost stations. I also need to turn the upper quadrant station, and I’ll figure out what to do with last year’s pile. Got a lot of the stuff, for sure, and it’s all good.

Obsessed with gardening? Hell no. But I’m already thinking about next year, and what we’ll then be planting.

Next: 244.9/13/14: Forward, Whoa