There’s this funny paradox I’ve noticed – when the weather is bad, or there’s anything to do involving a pitchfork and manure, people seem to think we’re hardcore weirdos with a fanatical agriculture hobby….but when it comes to just-ripped-from-the-ground vibrant produce and grassfed steak for dinner every night, then we’re suddenly privileged, as if luck itself landed those goodies on the table.
Gardening is a lot like life – there are ups and downs, cycles of birth, growth, death…and then you get compost.
We have finally passed through the lean season I wrote about a few months ago. It was a hard, hard lean season. Gardening has justice. You reap what you sow, and I was not as on top of planning last year like I should have been. I did not foresee the lack of income, just as frosts and pests will strike and suddenly all your plans and dreams are withered. A wise gardener is always on top of things.
The calves have been born, and the milking pail is overflowing with milk. The light increase on this side of the solstice has alerted the chickens that spring is soon to be here, and we have eggs again. Just a few every day, making you wish for more.
The cold weather marks the beginning of our meat-harvesting season, and the freezer will soon be stocked up with beef and sausage, and huge pots of stock will simmer gently on the stove.
The small seeds I planted in the fall have grown into a green, green explosion in the middle of the rye cover crop in the garden. The frost has turned all the greens and roots sugary sweet.
Now, when things are easy, and the hard work of building the garden seems so far away, now I am learning to be a wise gardener at last, thinking already of the next season. Ripe tomatoes, peppers, rich eggplants – they must be dreamed of now.