Thursday, October 20, 2011


The wee hours of Tuesday morning were scheduled to host the first frost of the year, so Monday night I stripped the plants.

It took all of about 7 minutes.

I know I was the one who planted late, who left the "garden" for a week with only moderate substitute care, who designed painfully shallow boxes. But still I had hoped for more. Sometimes my tendency toward optimism is a real handicap.

So I'll call this first year the practice round. The first year back in arid landscape, the first year with new soil, the first year trying to pack an acre of food production into a 6x10 yard.

Next year is going to knock our culinary socks off.

But for this year, farewell. Farewell to the beans that did not climb,

To the parsley that was press-ganged into a nest for plastic horses,

To the lone strawberry that survived the birds,

And to the hail-flattened lettuce.

But most of all a fond farewell to these fingers and this face plastered endearingly, anxiously, against the door every second I spent outside. On the days I left him waiting for me in the house (entirely, emphatically against his will), he yelled and pounded and tried to climb right through the glass. Now and then I brought him out with me and the destruction was instantaneous -- stripped stems and snapped supports and mouthful after mouthful of dirt. Oh, and the hose. How he loves the hose. Just a few months and we'll rebuild some boxes and spread some fertilizer and try again. Just a few short months and the hose will be all yours again, my boy. I promise.


  1. our garden was such a poor producer this year, too, which was made all the sadder by the baskets of squash and cucumber that our neighbor brought over every week. We tried so hard, sigh, but I do think that the extremely helpful nature of my little children kind of is to blame! :)

  2. It's hard to go back to small scale gardening after being involved with an amazing CSA such as Bertrand Farm. We started some tomatoes on our back porch in Santa Cruz and reaped approximately 15 cherry tomatoes (but, oh my, were they delicious!) before we moved. Now we haven't even a place for a container garden. We're currently scoping out some community gardens to get involved with.

    Your produce is lovely, even with your overanxious helper.