Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Harvest

Having a garden is always a learning experience for me. It seems there is always an applicable life lesson in getting my hands dirty. This year, I had a lot of work to do before I could plant. We moved the garden space, so it had to be tilled and tilled and tilled again. It was hard, boring, painful work. Then, I fertilized by incorporating chicken compost into the soil. Load after load, I scooped compost out of the chicken run and into the wheelbarrow, then spread it on the garden. The planting was the easy part, though planning how to fit everything in was a bit of a challenge. Now, for the past few months, we've just been watching it grow. A healthy growing garden takes little work, except encouraging the growth in the direction you want (like, not sprawling all over the yard). The harvest came early and full force - first zucchini, then cucumbers. Now our tomatoes are glowing red all over the vine, and the popcorn is starting to dry on the stalk. Pumpkins are in various stages of growth, a few yellow and full sized, a few very young and dark green. It looks like our harvest will be bountiful, and extended - we have squash plants that are just now starting to flower.
We've got cucumbers everywhere - it's time for pickles!

18 cups of shredded zucchini, ready to be added to breads and muffins throughout the year!

My first tomato. There's many more coming ripe now.

Pumpkins. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite things, so I'm glad
to be able to make it from my garden this year.

Winter squash. I've never grown (or cooked) it, but I had the seed, so I wanted to try. 

Like our garden, our relationship has taken a lot of work this year. We are re-building from the ground up. It's tilling, and more tilling, and fertilizing, weeding, planting, watering. Hours have been spent pruning away the dead branches, encouraging the new growth. We still have a way to go, but the fruit is starting to show, and the harvest will be sweet, bountiful, and extended.

An old, old picture, but one of my favorites of us. 

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