Earlier this week, I had an unexpected (and unpaid) day off, and I immediately threw myself into garden tasks. You’d think I’d have relaxed and found a friend to hang out with or treated myself to a cafe visit or something else more frivilous, yet none of that appealed to me. I just really wanted to get shit done, and lose myself in something satisfying, something useful, something for me.
It was midafternoon before I realized that I was wretchedly hungry, not to mention even more sweaty and tired than if I’d been at work. But the garlic was all planted, rotting seaweed was layered into the beds that’ll lay fallow until spring, the bamboo stakes were all pulled up and tidied into a corner, most of the seeds were harvested, peas and chard and beet starts were finally in the ground proper instead of their tiny pots, a lot of the beds got mulched with straw, and all the over-wintering veggies were given a bit of attention. I even found an old window that fits neatly over the raised bed (actually a bookcase laying on its back), and planted some lettuce seeds inside this impromptu cold frame. Who knows if or when they’ll sprout, but it’s my own mix of seeds from last year’s crop and I have tons of it, so figured I might as well.
My only goal with creating this garden this year, aside from keeping myself entertained, was to get our house self-sufficient in greens. We all like brassicas and chenopods and their ilk, and could easily eat them every day, so it seemed like a good plan. Also, this climate: Rumour has it that kale and chard will become weeds if you let them, and I’m keen to test this theory.
Considering that I totally ditched the entire care and maintenance of the garden when I got a job (and to be honest was very negligent of it even before then), I’m surprised to find that it’s worked out. There’s enough cabbage and kohlrabi heads for a few dinners in the sooner-rather-than-later category, the broccoli and karam and chard are excellent, and even all the kale that got hit with both a blight and grey aphids seems to be doing great now.
Plus, ignoring the garden at the end of the season meant that a lot of stuff went to seed and for the first time, I’ve been saving it. Crazy, to have been gardening since I was a little kid, and never even thought to do this before now! More proof that doing something for a long time can mean very little in terms of skills and knowledge.
Mo was stoked to have me at home, but completely nonplussed about my choice of activity.