This is always such an interesting time of year; the summer holidays just keep giving. I have settled down in my garden office for the 3rd time this year determined to start the year on the right foot, with a calm and steady focus. And then opportunities for summer fun came along that were too good to say no to. And so, I have been off having fun.
But while having fun there have been moments of gardening goodness, where my Mum pickled some of my beetroot with her special recipe – although I did see her computer open to Annabel Langbein, so I don’t imagine for a moment it is an old family secret recipe but rather something delish she stumbled across and uses it so often that she mostly knows it by heart. I have to say it is delish! I watched my city nieces pick strawberries and enjoy the pleasures of sun warmed tomatoes of varieties not found in supermarkets. And I made some kimchi from fresh garden ingredients. There was also plenty more beach and sun time and that is what summer is all about.
Hopefully now I can sit down and focus, plan and put things into action for the 2021 garden. I have purchased a load of notebooks and am not afraid to fill them. (Often if it is an exceptionally pretty notebook, I don’t want to spoil it with my untidy scrawl! So, I bought nice looking plain ones!)
With STEADY as the word of the year, I am going to tackle the year in pieces. Long term goals will be broken into bite sized chunks and started now so when I get to the long term days I’m not faced with a mountain. Medium and short term days will be treated the same, so I don’t find myself stuck all day with one task. This should make life more interesting.
With the eye on the future, I can work my way back to today. I have booked a garden group visit for mid spring. This will help me to keep my eye on the ball for the spring planting, winter garden prep, autumn end of season clean up and late summer cool season starting so everything occurs in good time. Using my sector system properly to deal with the needs of the 5 groups in the vegie patch will be the key as in a good week this can take less then half an hour a day – unless there is a big task like digging up spuds.
When the system works properly it will free up time, time for a new adventure. I have great plans. I want to build a different kind of garden and have a space in mind. It is one of the only other flat-ish bits of land here that is easily accessible, and I have already built the stairs to reach it. It runs along behind the garden and in my head, I can see it finished with a million ideas I’m dying to try out. It will be an exciting journey exploring what exactly is possible to do in this wild west coast environment. There will probably be failure – there will definitely be failures, but I’m not one to follow instructions so we will just have to see how it goes. I’m really excited about this shift in focus.
The vegetable garden will always be at the heart of what I do as it feeds my family and is an expression of my love for them. However, as teens, they will be looking to fledge the nest soon and I won’t need to grow as much food to fill their bottomless bellies. And so, I need to find an alternative way to fulfill my gardening yearnings and to be honest I’m always up for taking on a challenging situation.
So here we are at the 3rd attempt for a productive start to exciting new year, and that is ok. Things don’t go according to plan and as a gardener this lesson was learnt long ago with ungerminated seeds, pest invasions and so many other nefarious things that can occur in a garden.
Come again soon – exciting times are ahead.
Sarah the Gardener : o)