Saturday, October 21, 2006

The End of the Garden

I always get melancholy at the end of the growing season. So much work and effort goes into growing a decent vegetable garden, with mixed results and questionable success. It's hard to see Mother Nature come along and destroy it all with the smallest of efforts on her part.

Friday evening we got a surprise dump of snow. It piled up three or four inches deep and was coming down so hard that we could barely see a few feet ahead of us. By the time we got home and unleaded the truck, the snow had started to melt. Unfortunately, the damage was done.

All the pumpkin leaves are broken and laying on the ground, the fruit still green instead of brilliant orange. The pepper plants are all wilted and the dozens of tiny peppers turned to mush by the snap cold. The squash faired little better than the pumpkin, with mounds of tiny squash turned to so much compost.

But, with the end of this growing season so the planning for next years has begun. I've drawn layouts of the raised beds, decided on what vegetables to grow, and have even taken a loose inventory of left over seeds. So the circle continues; I plant, nurture, grow, harvest, and eat only to start over again the following year. But each successful growing year I feed myself and others, and I know that if it comes right down to it I can feed my family from my small garden.

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