Sunday, September 04, 2005

Lazy long weekend

Well, not really. More like anxious activity. Yesterday I dug the potatoes and harvested the beets, put zucchini and yet more beans in the freezer, and reorganized the freezer all the way to the bottom for good measure. I spent time online trying to figure out why my eggplants are all plants and no eggplant, likewise my peppers. But with Labor Day weekend upon us, it is all but too late. Any minute the frost will come.

Which led me to wonder, should the frost really be allowed upon the pumpkin? And what are those round baseball size squashes that start out lemon yellow and turn orange. What did I plant? And I discover once again that all my obsessive note-taking is still not enough to shed light on mystery vegetables.

It has been a whirlwind summer, and I can’t say the garden was completely successful. Beautiful eggplant plants, beautiful pepper plants, and outstanding okra plants, but only one eggplant and a few okra pods to harvest. Sturdy collards and kale, but badly chewed by Japanese beetles, which mercifully spared the still productive broccoli. I think I might have had a melon, but Toby buried it before I could get close enough to see. Lots of lovely lemon cucumbers, masses of green tomatoes, and way more zucchini and yellow squash than anyone could possibly need. I understand that some of my neighbors donate produce to the local food shelf—I wonder if it is too late to do that.

Before I hit the garden yesterday, I dropped off clothing and food at the hurricane relief site, then joined my neighbors in line to buy gas, feeling furtive and guilty for my extra two gallons for the lawnmower. There is so much to mow and trim and weed and repair to be ready for the change of season, which is first felt in increased meetings starting this week. I feel it in the need to change over to fall transitional clothing, but even more I feel it in the worry over the new hole I found in the garage wall, a veritable mouse superhighway.

Too late, frost, surfeit of vegetables, changing seasons, changing wardrobe, head off the mice….no wonder I am feeling anxious! Today, I spent the day weeding and mulching the herb garden, getting ready to pot up the rosemary and the tarragon, worrying that I am likely to kill them indoors but knowing that the harsh winter cold will surely do so. Perhaps it is time to simplify again, or at least to sort out the priorities—the things that will get done (like making room for a new puppy) versus the things that will not.

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