Only a few more summer days remain… As I witness the garden’s dwindling,
I am filled with joy rather than sadness, a kind of savoring the season’s end. The community garden I and a few friends “adopted” yielded beautiful tomatoes, kale, lettuce, carrots, and radishes. Though most of what we planted came up, there were a few casualties. Squash bugs decimated our zucchini. The beet seeds failed to sprout. But these outcomes we counted as “learning experiences” rather than failures.
And now, as days grow shorter and nights colder, the tomato plants’ leaves are shriveling; the broccoli plants have quit yielding their wonderful edible flowers. In our “cutting bed,” the hollyhocks and sunflowers are nearly past their prime.
There’s a simplicity about our community garden that reminds me of the song “Plant a Radish” from the popular 1960s Musical “The Fantasticks.” I’m particularly fond of the lines “That’s why I love vegetables, you know that they’ll come through.”
One of our main harvests, however, has nothing to do with food. We have gathered more than just nourishing produce. As we planted, nurtured, tended and harvested, the garden provided a bouquet of memories.
“Farmer Monte” of Skarsgard Farms puts it this way:
“It always amazes me at just how grounding the farm and yummy food can
be. As I look at the news around the world, there is a sense of almost chaos. Maybe it is a hectic time in our world, or maybe the media is doing a great job of making things sound hectic. But whatever the case, the news is not a nice place to be right now. Makes me want to unplug.”
But rather than unplugging, I find it feels better to get rooted. Dig into what is real and what we can control in our daily lives. So for this dude, crops and healthy food help me stay sane among the insanity. I am thankful for that.”
Thank you, Farmer Monte, for expressing how I feel. I’m beholden to the garden for having brought me back to the earth. I’m looking forward to next year’s growing season. By then I will have discovered a way to ward off squash bugs.