My daughter has four days left of school. Four short days. Due to a twist of circumstance, my son has been in preschool five mornings a week instead of three for the last month. These mornings, this time to myself has been a gift, the quiet before the storm. I see the end of this school year as an end of an era, a short era, but one none the less. In the blink of an eye I will be swimming in lesson plans and first day of school jitters. The quiet mornings to myself will be fewer and farther between.
These mornings have been easily filled. I know you know how that can go. Even so, I usually found at least a little bit of time every day to wander around the garden boxes taking mental notes. I am really working on that – taking intentional time to do the things that I love.
You have to take a daily stroll to know just the right evening to place your clothes pins. I have been wandering out the last few mornings, q-tips in hand, to do the work of bees. The squash blossoms have a particular texture – delicate, but tough at the same time. They resist momentarily at the first pull, but then fall apart easily. There is something so satisfying about hand pollinating. I did the open zucchini squash flowers this morning too, just for good measure. It is funny how something can seem so daunting before trying it – but now I find myself wishing I had more of those little gauzy party favor bags. Why not? In this stage of the game it is all about timing.
I did get to take an amazing little solo side trip up to Seattle/Olympia, Washington last weekend. Hopefully I will get to that in another post. While I was away some of my isolated bean blossoms grew into these. After very carefully removing the bag, they were tagged. These pods (among many others) hold the seeds that will later be saved for future planting.
And then there was this morning at the community garden plot – a rigorous, sweaty two hours of turning soil, weeding, and planting new seed. I pulled up the remaining onions, planted two rows of corn, poked in another few cucumber seeds, sowed a row of carrots and a row of beets, and watered enough so I don’t have to go back for a few days. I still need to add manure or compost to that soil. It is looking a bit depleted. At times it feels like I am managing a mini farm.
I am so grateful for these last three years for many reasons, but mainly for the time with my kids, the attention I am giving to self care, and the hours and hours I have spent in the garden. I don’t know that I would have ever taken up seed saving had I been teaching all the while. There would have been no room in my brain.
All these things will have to be juggled differently now, but I am up to the challenge. I am optimistic that I will figure out how to do it. The garden, at this point, is a well oiled machine. And I could never go a summer without home grown tomatoes (or a spring without peas, or a winter without chard, or a fall without soup beans).