Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Season of the Elusive Balance in Life

Well, bunkerpoo!  Why even strive for a balance in life this time of year when most everything revolves around gardening and accomplishing those outside tasks that can be done only in good weather.  You've heard of making hay while the sun shines.  Not that we're making hay, but we do have a darn good-sized list of projects that need to be done during our precious spring/summer/fall seasons.

As far as the balance of life concept goes, we can plan our days to the extent of what we realistically can and can't do.  (And every now and then that even works!)  However, we have less control over Mother Nature who has been throwing us curve balls so far this spring/summer.

Little to no moisture since our last snowfall way-back-when has created the very real threat of forest fire danger in our area.  Everything is d-r-y.

A couple of days ago, my daughter planted a bunch of summer bulbs and corms in one of my raised beds for me.  She was frustrated because the soil was so totally dry that when she tried to dig a hole of the proper depth, the dirt just kept collapsing in on the hole.  At the same time, I was finding I was actually raising dust making furrows in which to plant seeds.  Plus, I've been having to water daily which is almost unheard of this early in the season.

Then the rains came.  The fire danger went way, way down which is absolutely great.  

Now I've been standing inside looking at my raised beds quickly taking on the appearance of small rectangular swimming pools.  Yikes, I had just planted out three beds with Swiss chard, spinach, beets and dill seeds.  Another bed was allotted to miscellaneous salad greens such as mizuna mustard, scarlet frill, kale, arugula, Osaka purple mustard, wasabina and radishes.  And the bed of California Poppy seeds which want to be barely covered with soil . . . well, I don't have much hope for them.  Should I replant all these seeds or wait a couple of weeks to see if any of them survived the copious quantities of rain we've received in the last 36 hours?

My 4-5" tall lacy cosmos plants I transplanted after starting them inside got knocked flat by the heavy rains.  Today I had to carefully pry their ferny stalks out of the mud and tie the stems back upright to thin wooden dowels.  

I fully intended to harvest a nice crop of asparagus spears the day before the rain started.  Didn't get to it (yeah, too unbalanced again) until this morning when I put on my mud boots and ventured into the patch.  (Slip, slosh, squish, slide, sloosh.)

Some of the stalks were a full two feet high and 'bout big around as telephone poles.  Unfortunately, the lower several inches of these stalks were too tough to save.

This huge bowl of throw-a-ways weighed a smidge over three pounds.  Organically grown asparagus at our co-op in town is now selling for $3.99 a pound.  That means I lost about $12 worth of it.  Ugh.  Well, the poultry will get some nutrition from the tough stalks anyway and unless I had gone out during the last couple days of constant deluges, there was nothing I could have done about it.

This morning, in between sprinkles (yep, it's still fairly wet out there), I harvested our first greens of the season.  Those of you who have been readers for a while know how much we celebrate this every season. 

Luscious leaves of spinach, chard and a variety of lettuces.  So, so much better than anything one can buy.  (To start with, how much fresher could it be?)

Back talking about the balance.  Perhaps that means simply surviving from one day to the next just now.  Oh, posh and paddidily, we're enjoying ourselves and doing what we want to do in our good lives so there's no real complaint about our balance being a little lopsided these days.  I just wish when I sit down at night to relax before bedtime, the yawns that overtake me wouldn't be so big that my jaw cracks and my eyes water so that I can't see to read or knit.  The fact that my whole body has the tendency to tip over sideways on the couch indicates it's time to seek out the balance (!) of getting into my comfy bed.


Vera said...

Oh well said! We are having a major battle with weeds because of the amount of rain we are having almost daily and any seeds we would have sown would have got either washed away or rotted in the ground because of lack of sunshine to help them germinate.

Lack of sunshine is starting to encourage the feeling of 'winter blues' and I find myself slipping back into lower energy levels, which is not good when we, too, have a host of jobs we need to get done while we have the longer daylight levels!

You blog says it all for us as well at the moment. Vx

Kristina said...

You sure are kidding about balance right now. Oye. Yes, one day to the next.

tpals said...

What? You couldn't share a bit of that rain? Greedy woman! JK, but we're still so very dry and heading back up to the 90s today.

Susan said...

It's a feast or a famine, isn't it? We were bone dry as well and it was raining - a little - this morning. It was so exciting! Yes, what a boring life I lead. However, it hasn't amounted to much and we need much more - but I'm afraid to make a wish... Does rain mean you can sidle into your quilt room? :)

Lisa said...

Ahhhh Balance!! What exactly is that?!! We've certainly had the rains too, thanks to 'Alberto'.... with this the first day post-rains, our temps will be soaring to 91 with, you guessed it, severe weather forecasted due to such. *sigh* Not sure I'm of strong enough countenance to continue gardening.... as again this year, thought I'd got things in well all to see it literally go to weed. Don't want this to turn into one big whining, complaining comment as, you also concluded, 'life' is actually really very good. :) P.S. Your asparagus and greens looks absolutely luscious!! Enjoy!!

wisps of words said...

Fresh, safe food!!!!!!

The reward, for your hard work!!!!!

About "Mother Nature" and her hissy-fits, not much to say. -sigh-


That fresh, safe food!!!!! Yessssss!!!!!!!

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Oh Mama Pea I can totally relate! We have had clouds, rain and coolness for the past few days but just before that we were all under burn ban. Now I don't know where we are at. And the next few days forecast is rain and more rain. Plus I am itching to get out onto my land to see where I can plant things and where I can't all the time deciding on which trees need cutting down. Also did you know that clematis grows wild in my yard!!!! I am shocked. I have never had luck with it but apparently the owners before us did. There are trellises HEAVING with them - and all around the yard is little baby clematis popping up everywhere. I am telling those far and wide to come and get....

I wish you some good balance! :)

Mama Pea said...

Vera - I think when one has a lot that needs to be done during a certain amount of time (supposedly the good weather season), it's easy to lose the ooompf needed when little (?) obstacles keep cropping up; i.e., lack of sunshine, too much rain, weeds continuing to grow at an alarming rate, seeds not germinating properly. Gracious, who wouldn't be discouraged/depressed/lacking in energy! Hubby and I keep reminding each other these blips are not the end of the world. All of us can only do so much while working around cranky Mother Nature!

Kristina - Had much time for sitting doing handwork lately? Me neither. :o/

tpals - Oh, now that is simply UNFAIR . . . dry and in the 90s! At least before we got the adequate rains our temp never reached that point. Today? We've had a high of 47 degrees. And it's so damp, it actually feels cold out. There is no justice, is there?

Susan - Time to play in my quilt room? HAHAHAHA. If I could actually get in there while it rains or the garden dries out, I would be forced to do the 8 hours of mending/alterations waiting for me there. I'm serious, it would take me that long. Instead I'm shoveling out the grit and grime that has been accumulating inside the house while I've been gardening, gardening, gardening. I was supposed to host my handwork group here this past Monday morn (this was before the rains started) and I resorted to having us get together in the (very nice) private meeting room at our Co-op. I knew I couldn't/wouldn't take the time to make the house halfway presentable. So if I am kept inside because of the weather, I MUST do some housekeeping!

Lisa - You have other talents other than gardening so if it causes you stress and you have access to good, healthy food from other sources, I say forget it! The heat you have to deal with would drive me bonkers while trying to garden. Not only would my crops suffer, but I'd be a melty mess!

wisps of words - Growing as much of our food as I do can wander into the area of "difficult" (!) at times, but luckily I enjoy doing it and can usually succeed fairly well. Of course, there are days like today when our high temp was only 47 degrees and it's so damp it feel actually cold out there, but . . . :o)

MrsDM - Oh, please don't get discourage with your new place! Mother Nature will start cooperating soon. (We can all hope.) I never knew clematis could/would spread as you've described! My husband would be elated as he loves that plant. I can imagine you must be both thrilled and frustrated at the moment with all your plans and things you want to do. Take a deep breath and before you know it, it will all start happening. Hugs.

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :) Your greens and asparagus! Yay!!! :) I know what you mean, I have lists of things to do outside and I have to completely rely on Mother Nature. I'm trying to roll with it as much as I can. I have to admit though, on rainy days I always find an excuse NOT to pull out the vacuum and the duster lol! :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely asparagus. I save the tough bottoms in a bag in the freezer for making soup; they make a delicious vegetable stock. But then I don't have chickens to share with.