Saturday, September 10, 2016

My Gardening Enthusiasm Has Left The Building

It strikes me as a cruel twist of fate that at this time of year, when gardeners should be brimming full with excitement, joyfulness and undying thanks for the bounty of our harvests, we're 'bout worn to a nubbity-nub and couldn't care less if we never again saw another perfectly ripe vegetable or fruit on our kitchen counter impatiently waiting to be preserved.

This just isn't right.  I mean why do we prepare the soil, plant, water, nurture, weed and tend our gardens in every way possible if not for this, The Harvest?  I think (totally impossible though it would be) harvest time should come somewhere around, oh say, July 4th when we're all still basking in summer's vitality and are so committed to our gardens which we lovingly walk through, talk to and are full of enthusiasm for.

Now, in this month of September, I'm nearly apoplectic.  I'm tired of those rasty weeds that keep growing.  Tired of rearranging the pantry shelves and freezer baskets in an attempt to squeeze in six more jars of jam or four more packages of broccoli.  Tired of going out into the garden and bringing in a basket heaped with yet more goodness that represents hours of time in the kitchen cleaning, prepping and preserving.  Tired of feeling guilty about those last couple of cups of past-their-prime blueberries on the bushes or kohlrabi that is turning woody as we speak.  Tired of the dirt stains on my knees which no amount of scrubbing will eliminate.

And then there are the potatoes, carrots, cabbages, pumpkins, onions, squash and Brussels sprouts that aren't even ready for harvest yet.

What about the fall planted beds of edible podded peas, lettuce, salad greens and shell peas that are coming along so nicely?  Somehow, I'm not as excited about them as I was their predecessors that grew and matured two or three months ago. 

Oh.  I am such an ungrateful wretch.

32 comments:

Rain said...

Call me ungrateful then too! It's so fun in the spring to get the garden going, but I kind of know how you feel, even though my garden is a tiny one, the honeymoon is over. It might be an early onset of the winter blues in my case.

DFW said...

Sounds like you are just plain tired. Stop, breathe & smell the new fall harvest. I know, it's easy for me to say ...

Mama Pea said...

Rain - No, no, m'dear. No winter blues allowed. Think how good it will feel to come in from walking your dogs to a lovely, cozy home with something yummy just out of the oven and time to do all the things that had to be put off during the busy summer season. (Like planning next year's garden!)

Mama Pea said...

DFW - Yeah, you're right. I wrote the post with half a tongue in cheek. (A tongue in half a cheek?) You know what I mean. It's just the time of year when I wish things could be juuuust a leeettle more balanced. But this period will come and go and, boy howdy, will it be nice this winter to enjoy all I've managed to squirrel away while rehashing the good memories of a really bountiful gardening year.

Dawn McHugh said...

I am looking forward to winter, a season of rest, It does all seem a bit full on at the moment, filling log stores filling the pantry, filling the freezers. its a bit like child birth come next spring we will have forgotten what it was like and start putting ourselves through it again.

Practical Parsimony said...

I am not capable of gardening until after several surgeries, so even though I understand you are just pooped, I wish I had your problems. If I were near enough, I could come and relieve you of some of your burdens...lol. It will all taste good to you this winter.

Sue said...

I'm always so glad for my short season of gardening. Three months is all I can take.
Everything but the Brussels Sprouts and carrots and fall greens is ripped out and nicely tucked into the pantry and freezers. I am DONE. And damn glad of it!
Happy Fall, dear lady. Time to dust off those books and get reaquainted with the inside of our homes. Hooray!
:)

Vera said...

How absolutely true this is for all of us who are living similar lives....but we also have eight lambs to harvest, and our 2 cows calve soon so I shall be then on to making cheese, yoghurt, etc. 'I do so love this life....' repeating this endlessly to myself as my thoughts turn to going back to bed for a nap, knowing I should not because of things to do!
Excellent post, and well written, and so true!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

This year, I 'm taking the lazy way out by freezing my tomatoes whole in bags rather than processing them in jars. -Jenn

Mama Pea said...

Dawn - And isn't it fortunate that by spring we WILL all be enthused and rarin' to go on the next gardening season!? I'm glad it works that way.

Mama Pea said...

PP - Yes, and this harvest season is relatively short in duration. Short, but intense! I am grateful for my good health which allows me to push when necessary, and I wish the same for you in the future!

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Dust off the books and quite a few other things in the house! As I pushed my little espresso machine back in place on the counter this morning, I ran a finger along the top ledge of the back splash and . . . oh, my! Could that much dust/dirt int he kitchen be harmful??

Mama Pea said...

Vera - I think the reason I'm feeling so done in right now is the tasks, besides harvest, we still have left to do, like you, before winter hits. But we know they will get done 'cause we'll all give it our best shot. You can't ask for more. Good luck with all your butchering and birthing! I do so love this life. Yes, yes, yes.

Karren said...

I chuckled out loud, here in my Indiana home. I'm so tired of putting up tomatoes that I yelled at my happy husband, walking into the kitchen with the last basket of the red blobs he proudly brought in. No! No More!
You're not the only wretch, tired of the whole wonderful preserving process. Maybe we need to start a support group of weary preserving wretches...and hold gatherings, where we recline near a gloriously full pantry, sip cocktails and nibble on lacto-fermented delicacies together, while comparing lists of our preserved goodies!

Mama Pea said...

Jenn - Not that this will happen to you, but one year I did that, too, and (ha-ha on me), found I had no more enthusiasm for the darn tomatoes come November!

Mama Pea said...

Karren - Oh, what a fantabulous idea!! The WPW's! (Weary Preserving Wretches.) I've just nominated you as our Fearless Leader! I love it!!

Rain said...

Lol...planning next year's garden, yes, we must look on the bright side!

Anonymous said...

Wish I lived closer - I would help take some of that off your hands. We moved in the late spring of this year and are still playing catch up, so no new planting of anything. No garden, sadly. I love kohlrabi and tomatoes - oh so much of what you've planted. Some day I will have some kind of garden. Although, jealous that I am, I also understand the weary feeling of all the work it takes to preserve or process these wonderful goods. All you can do is the best you can - still a bit jealous, though. Good luck - Ranee (MN)

Michelle said...

No your not ungrateful. I go thru the same thing every year, but then I think how good it feels to go into my pantry during winter and get something I grow.

Karren said...

I'm so glad you approve, and I'd call a meeting of the WPWs post-haste, but it's cool outside this morning, and I'm off to our woods to gather sticks for winter stove kindling. Good thing another task comes up so quickly, wouldn't want to rest on my laurels too long-besides, I hear laurels are actually prickly!!! Happy cool Fall days are coming soon.

Susan said...

You and me, both, kid. I am almost angry at my cherry tomato plant for looking so lousy and STILL producing ripe tomatoes.

Katie C. said...

When all else fails, there is the local food bank. We have donated over 20 pounds of banana peppers because the silly plants just keep producing (unlike the tomatoes, sigh). I am going to need to buy tomato seconds at the farmers market this year.

Kristina said...

I was content that my fall peas never came up. I am however, dealing with more tomatoes and that is very tiresome, with squash, and other veggies needing to be frozen. I feel the same way sort of.

Kev Alviti said...

I know how you feel, I'm almost glad to see winter as it just means I have so much less to do each day! I'm not sure how people do it where they can grow all year round. Maybe they don't go at it as gun hoe as I do!

Mama Pea said...

Ranee - Since you just moved in late spring/early summer, it's no wonder you weren't able to do a garden this year. Hope you can make plans this winter for one next year!

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - Exactly! That's when all the weariness is totally forgotten!

Mama Pea said...

Susan - Ya just gotta love those plants that give it their all . . . literally! They wouldn't win any ribbons at a garden club show, but their fruits are amazing. And we're grateful to them!

Mama Pea said...

Katie C. - Our peppers are going crazy this year, too. I could have gotten by with half as many plants. I'll find someone, somewhere who can you use them rather than letting them go to waste, you can be sure.

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - The good thing is that we know we'll both get through this and feel so, so good about all we've managed to get put by. We can call ourselves Super Canner Woman! (Hmmm, don't know if that sounds just right . . . )

Mama Pea said...

Kev - What always amazes me is that one would think, once the gardening, preserving, etc. is over, we'd had oodles and oodles of spare time in the winter. But we don't, do we? What happens?? ;o}

gld said...

No, you are a normal wretch! I wonder how people survive living in year-round gardening climes......

Mama Pea said...

Glenda - A normal wretch . . . I love it! I used to think I wanted a heated greenhouse attached to the house so I could garden in the winter. Oh, my. Please! As much as I do love gardening, I need the rest from it the off-season provides. Don't cha think you'd lose your enthusiasm if you couldn't forget about all gardening entails for a few months?