Saturday, May 11, 2013

The way that Mama raised us

At least we managed to get the spring garden in this week, and the asparagus is coming up, the asparagus whose roots went in last year, and now the jerusalem artichoke and echinacea in the perennial garden are making their appearance alongside the horseradish and rhubarb. It sounds impressive. Maybe it is impressive. Already it's easy to see how much farther we are than at this time last year.

Every year it gets better, more accomplished, more precise. Last week peas, radish, chard, kale, and carrots all went in. It's actually early enough for a lot more, but it's also already easy to begin to wear out on digging up weeds and take a breather. I'm starting seeds in the glassroom, just basil and lettuce, but Thai basil this year.

It's easy to believe that already that's enough. I know that just the half-row of chard will be enough to keep me in greens through October. And the amount of carrots that got put in has quadrupled—in addition to all carrots planted last year that lasted in the crisper through last month. The north garden can be filled with the six pounds of onion sets I bought at Maine Potato Growers this week.

I begin to see how farmers specialize. If the only goal was growing garlic, all that would have to be done now is weeding, cultivating, harvesting, preserving—a job enough, but when you do that for every vegetable you want to eat, it's a lot more work. I'm trying to commit this year not to judge my success against the ideal, but just to try to do a little each day. It's amazing how much I accomplish with a consistent hour. But isn't it the way with everything?

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