Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Time warp

No matter how carefully I tend my home life of urban farming and slow cooking, there are times when my professional duties overwhelm any homesteading reveries. The past 10 days have been a harsh reminder that the skills that pay my bills have less to do with my green thumb, and more to do with my medical training. I am tending patients right now, not plants. I leave early in the morning and come home in the evening, exhausted. As I stumble through my garden on the way to my house and bed, I am lucky if I remember to pick the ripe tomatoes off the plants. Forget about cooking with them! They are getting thrown in the freezer, for a big batch of sauce once my workload eases in a few weeks.

I will admit that given the small size of my garden, I sometimes micromanage every single pot and bed. I take great pleasure in this daily intimacy, watching every seedling emerge, charting the slow growth of an individual fig, plucking each withering leaf off the tomato plant. This time of intense work has forced me to step back and let my garden grow on its own, untended. Despite negligent watering, my fall container lettuce ('pot and patio blend' from Territorial) is up and thriving.

The red kuri squash is large and deepening in color. The last I checked, they were yellow and fist-sized, with the blossom still attached!

My pole beans are finally nearing harvest, at least two weeks later than last year. Fortunately my bean plants grow right by my back door, so I will remember to grab a bowl of beans before I head in to crash on the couch.

The heavy work load has made me watch my garden in time warp. Rather than the slow, minuscule daily changes, I am now only able to observe week by week. My garden feels more productive -- is it because we are now in the heady days of early September or because a watched horticultural pot never boils?


  1. Abbie, I am surprised you have time to do all of the things you do. It is difficult to work full time and raise a family, not alone planting, pickling, canning, cooking, writing a blog, etc.

    Just do what you can!


  2. Thanks, Eileen! The freezer and giving away to willing friends helps. One even offered to come over to pick her own -- hah! I'm running a little u-pick operation now.