Harvesting Abundance

The following piece is part of a regular column in the local newspaper that Brenda writes, often inspired by our farm journey and adventures.  It first appeared in The Chautauqua in 2012.
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The last week or so has come with a bit of anxiety around our garden because I haven’t started to harvest much from our garden – my greens and herbs are doing great but am still weeding and watching and waiting.

I go to the farmers markets and see others with heads of cauliflower, fresh peas, perfect sized beets and I have to ask them: when did you plant? Did you use transplants or seed? Any row covers or irrigation? I am comparing their system to mine to find out why I am ‘behind.’

We did plant later than most people this year and when the weeks were very dry in May, we resisted watering because we didn’t want the garden dependent on the water. After getting our straw mulch down, we did give the plants a couple good soaks, along with applying compost and compost tea.

The last weeks the rains and the heat have come and overall the garden has been coming along well. So well, I was contemplating taking some baskets of lettuce and herbs into the market as I have more than we can eat. Then came the hail which shredded my lettuce and dropped my confidence around the garden. I took a walk through our rows and saw the damage and anxiety returned. However I had my baskets with me and decided to harvest what I could as I walked along. Thirty minutes later I walked into the house with a basket full of basil for pesto; a basket with 5-6 other herbs which I will dry for use in cooking or tea; strawberries and raspberries; lettuce and chard; onions and radishes; a couple types of peppers, the first head of broccoli and some fresh new potatoes.

As I looked over this, I felt pretty good. It made me reflect on life in general. When I am busy with tasks and getting things done, it feels like the days slip past and unless I pause and reflect all that has happened: the tasks accomplished, lessons learned, laughs laughed, I miss the abundance that is around me.

So this week, I am sending a wish out to all:

May you enjoy the weeks ahead as we step into the highs of harvest and let each basket of food and jar of preserves remind you of the unseen blessings that surround you each day.

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