Sunday, June 30, 2013

2013 Garden Report

It's year number 2 for our "Garden of Eatin," and a much different year than number 1 was. While last summer brought us a record number of 100+ degree days, this one has been consistently rainy and cold. And rainy, did I say rainy?

While my vegetables have thrived in the cool wet weather so far, so have the weeds. A certain amount of mud can make pulling weeds easy: they pop right out of the soil, root and all. But with the rain we've had lately, I come home to water standing in the garden, and while I can sometimes get in to the high spots, I've been slipping and sliding in others. It's just been too much to keep up with.

I managed to wake up to a happy mud medium today, though, and went out around 11 a.m. to tackle the job. Here are some before pictures:

The first wagon o' weeds:

And by quittin time 4 hours later, the place was looking a lot better:

What's growin' in there, you ask?

The last of the lettuce was salvaged today, but the arugula and spinach ended up lacy, from some little bug or another. I'll replant more leaf lettuce and hope for another round of salads.

Our radishes were went from seed to the table in less than 3 weeks, and what I didn't pick got so big so quickly that they split open in the ground. Too much rain, I am told. I will plant another row tomorrow, and we'll be back in radishes before the end of the month.

The tomatoes did so well last year that the their weight destroyed the tomato baskets. We went another route this year and put in heavy t-posts and wire fencing. I've been training the plant back and forth up the fence, but this got away from me also so I finished up the day by shoring up 18 tomato plants. There's one more in each corner, one cherry, and one grape. 

The garden is complete with 4 jalapeno plants, parsley, chives, cilantro, basil, and dill, and in marigolds, for pretty-pretty.

Time in the garden still fills me with a sense of peace. It is a time spent with earth and God and ancestors. I almost always get lost in the memories of loved ones past when I'm pulling weeds and tying up plants. I wonder did my Grandmother ever let her garden get this many weeds? It seems like no, never. 

Years ago when I started my first tiny little garden, I planted all of my green onion bulbs upside down. They grow down, then up, and the were all shaped like the letter J when I picked them. I still remember Grandma saying "Lori! You know better than that!" Well, I do now.

For all of my memories, this is the first time I've had had a large full garden. I've always managed to find a corner for a few onions and a tomato or two, but have never had the space to put in a garden this size. 

Year 2. It is year 2, and I love it.

I can barely move a muscle, right now, but I love it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pee It Forward

I was walking into the nursing home this morning to attend a care plan meeting for my mother. In front of me was a little old lady pushing herself down the middle of the hallway, and through a set of double doors, and I slowed to let her get through them before I began to pass.

Just as I moved left, however, she started digging in her heels and frantically pulling herself along with her feet also, but still not managing to increase her stride. As I moved around her, I gave a cheerful hello. She sized me up, paused, and said, desperately, "I am trying to find a bathroom!"

A brief moment of panic where a myriad of scenarios of me helping her in a bathroom flashed through my mind. 1) Not my job. I don't want to. 2) Aw, man, what if I were in her shoes? 3) I could end up in jail.

I really did not know what to say, and finally settled on "I don't know where the bathroom is." At that point she informed she was just trying to get back to her own room before the floodwaters released. (Oh, thank God.) I asked her if she'd like me to give her a little push, and she all but said "step on it, sister!"

Our nursing home is a series of loop-de-loops and dead ends, and she wasn't really sure where she was. She gave me my first hint: "It's past the beauty shop!"

I picked up the pace to the next intersection, took a hard right to the beauty shop, when she said "No! It's the other way! Go straight!"


I gave her a quick spin and began to tear through the same intersection in the opposite direction, when she said, "No, turn right here, I meant to go straight from the other way!"

I hit the brakes, took the corner on two wheels, and raced her to the nursing station in her wing.

As we screeched to a stop, we yelled over each other, in unison: "She needs the restroom!" "I have to pee!"

The nurse understood the severity of the situation, and whisked her off while she thanked me over her shoulder.

I left giggling, and praying that she made it in time. I wish we'd have had time to high-five one another.

It's nice to be someone's guardian angel, every now and then.