Saturday, August 23, 2014

Drifting through the seasons

Today I looked back to August 2013 and 2012 on my blog to see what I was doing around this same time and it struck me how the flow of planning, buying, sowing, planting is a natural part of my life now.

When I started out I devoured every blog post, website, video and book about how to do this thing. I needed the information to get started and equipped for what turned out to be a huge amount of work and effort in converting our garden into a mini urban farm.

A lot of what I do not in the garden is internalized, as I know what has to happen when for the most part. I know that from August to September I need to get the seeds that are not sown directly into beds my ready in newspaper pots. I know that from October onwards we have the busiest time planting and staking on through December.

Summer brings another burst of work as we fight off pests and disease on the plants. Harvests start coming in as the corn ripens, the tomatoes blush and the peppers swell. I love the tallness of the corn stalks, the creeping of the squashes, the smell of tomato plants in the sun.

Then it comes to clearing out again and adding compost and autumn is upon us once more. For instance I know that it takes about 4-5 months for the compost to be ready as I have watched the heap change month by month over the last 6 years and have smelled the change in the contents until it turns into gorgeous black gold to feed our vegetables.

Having done this for so long now I no longer feel anxious or worried about the garden and the growing of food. It has a gentle flow of its own as we care for it, plan it and work in it.

I also went all out into the bread baking, stock making, canning and preserving thing that filled both days on the weekend back in the first years. I am exhausted just thinking back to the frenzied activity of those first days.

I have calmed down a lot since then, thank goodness. I am not sure who my taskmaster was in those days, why I felt so driven and what I was trying to prove to myself, but while they were certainly productive days making soap, bread, herbal remedies, jams and cakes, I don’t hanker after it at all.

Now when we have lots of strawberries, I will make some jam or we will eat them fresh. If we want bread we’ll make it. If I need stock, I will set it to cook slowly all day. 5 weeks before we run out of soap, I make some more. It’s now also just part of the flow of our home.

I love the gentle ebb and flow of the seasons now, I don’t measure them any longer by children’s growth and activities, but rather by what is growing in the garden and what food is on our plate. 

Summer corn freshly picked and steamed served with butter and salt…slow roast tomatoes in the over for pasta sauce….beautiful new potatoes with parsley and butter….and my absolute favorite – just cut asparagus quickly steamed and eaten with Hollandaise sauce.

So here I am loving the end of winter and eagerly anticipating spring.


Cath said...

This too has been my delightful discovery. I love the seasonal cycles of our lives and enjoy the variety that it brings, something I never appreciated in the city.

rosemaryspantry said...

I love your blog and get inspired when I feel that vegetable gardening is not my forte. I love growning garlic and have had success !

rosemaryspantry said...

Thanks for your blog as I get encouraged to carry on growing little bits in my garden. I have noticed that some vegetables grow better in some spots in the garden and it is experience and trials when gardening. I have had a lot of good returns on garlic and now are growing elephant garlic bought from Woolworths in the garlic pots. This garlic is sweeter and you use the whole big clove. We have deconstructed part of our back garden which was badly overrun with unruly scrubs and and invasive alien tree Brazilian pepper. We have made another compost heap in which the fourteen guinea fowl(yes fourteen) and the robins love to scratch for grubs and snails. I do not seen many snails around these days.

I must go after I have finished my other tasks and do a spot of vegetable gardening !

Urban Homestead South Africa said...

Hi Rosemary, what a lovely picture I have of your garlic. This is one plant I have hand NO success with :(

Tanya Murray said...

Lovely post - know the feeling. I could feel the contentment and letting go in every line. Contentment comes with a natural surrender to the seasonal flow