Catching Up on Recent History

I moved again, two and something years ago, and this will be my third garden in this little patch. I’ve changed its size and shape every year as I’ve searched for a manageable size and best, or at least better, practices. The first year I made it as big as I had fencing for, and because I had a more or less full time assistant who shared with me a gardening addiction. We harvested a lot of food, although between tending the garden and putting up its bounty it was almost more work than fun. Almost.
Then, just as the year two garden was getting underway, I was diagnosed with a recurrence of the cancer that tried to kill me once before. That garden’s success was due, almost exclusively, to Sarah’s hard work, with a sizable assist from her sweet companion Gene. They did the lion’s share and I mostly watched and kibitzed. Kibitz is a word of Yiddish origin and refers to a person who gives advice and commentary whether asked for or not. It’s akin to the back-seat-driver syndrome. That was me last year.
But then late last fall, Sarah was sidelined by her own health problems, and was also faced with the more pleasant prospect of a new domestic life with Gene, back at her own home in Arkansas. So I was faced this spring with the reality of doing a garden mostly on my own, and with strength and stamina seriously sapped by the effects of prolonged radiation treatments and coming to terms generally with the fact that although my head is still in my 40s, my body has entered it’s seventh decade and is not remotely interested in finding extra work to do. So I downsized. Details, more, probably, than you’d care to hear, to follow.
Here are a few of the hundreds of photos Sarah took of the 2013 garden.

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3 thoughts on “Catching Up on Recent History

  1. Know how hard it is to downsize when we’ve done so much over the yrs. I’m sure whatever the size your garden isn’t nearly as important as just participating in the growing process. It beats radiation all to hell.

  2. No “use by” or “best before” dates on all those beautiful fresh veggies and canned ones either. I know that things that wonderful wold be gone all too soon!

    • Yes. Even though we forgive it in the name of “Carpe Diem,” the garden’s all too brief largess appeals to the worst in us in a way. I confess to catching myself all too often gathering warm red globes of perfect tomato-ness, with curved, grasping fingers while muttering “Mine! All mine!” It’s not pretty, the way we behave in what is often a beautiful realm. Or is it just that those glimpses of beauty and lushness cause us to come uncomfortably close to the real world in which, no matter how lofty our thoughts, we are mere mammals foraging for sustenance while using our very large brains to tell us fantasies in which we are always the hero. The redeeming value is that although the garden and its natural wonders force us to look “Life on Earth” squarely in the face, it also nourishes us with an abundance of food, both earthly and metaphorical, and makes us glad to be here.

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