Going to Seed, Among Other Things

It is that time of the year where I find that the best approach to gardening is just to slowly back away, hands in the air, saying, “Uncle.” The promise of bounty isn’t shiny and fresh anymore, but hanging down sad, withered, eaten by bugs and surrounded by weeds. I tell myself every year that I won’t let that happen again, and for some reason, every year it does. I still have an interest in a rather large broccoli crop and late green beans, but the rest may slowly rot back into the soil, I am so tired of it.

Still, there are some bright spots. We have three enormous volunteer sunflowers, all different colors. Gabe wanted to pull them out when they started showing up, but I love volunteers. They are so brave and unexpected: random reminders of undeserved graces in obscure places. There is also a gigantic watermelon on a blighted vine that I have no idea how to tell when I should pick it. And we have our first concord grapes this year. We are blessed, indeed. So what about the weeds. ?Right?

I decided this morning that homeschooling and canning at the same time is for the birds. Or maybe for crazy people. No wonder the house goes to seed. And I asked myself honestly, “Are these peaches worth the stickiness and the fuzzy fingers and carpal tunnel? Really, am I just doing this because my line have always canned peaches back to just after the cave days when someone discovered glass? And I daresay none of my ancestors tutored a math lesson and checked quizzes on peach canning day. So why am I doing this again?” Sometimes it is best not to overthink these things, especially in the middle of a mess. I decided to just keep calmly on peeling and eventually we were done, school was done, we cleaned up and we held real still for a while. 🙂

At the book fair a few weeks ago, I picked up a book that was an obvious attempt at a Jan Karon look-alike, just a different author. I thought I would give this one a try. Set in the Midwest, the book opens in springtime with an orchard in bloom, bees humming busily in the blossoms. A few days later the main character takes a drive to the neighbors who happen to have a thriving home business of making fruit sauces. That day they were processing pears. It just irritates me terribly. Maybe they shipped the pears from Chile or China, but still… Also the orchard lady had carried along a few boxes of fruit for the sauce making people, also presumably shipped from far afield. Boo, I say.

If I ever write anything more serious than a blog, I hope to goodness that I remember to stick with what I know. Feel free to tap me on the shoulder anytime and say, “Hey, that doesn’t make sense.”

7 thoughts on “Going to Seed, Among Other Things

  1. how to know if your watermelon is ripe… when 1, 2, 3, curls on the stem going away from the melon are dried up, you have a ripe melon on your hands. Just thought I’d share that tidbit of knowledge. (honestly, I am stunned I know something you don’t 😉 ! )

  2. Oh this brings back memories, and I had more than a few of the same thoughts over the years. I had to accept the fact that I was choosing a different route for my family than what my ancestors did (gasp!) and therefore I had to release some [a lot of] expectations! I often ask myself what I will wish I had done a year from now, or five years from now. I find that extremely simple but often a bit humbling. 🙂
    Oh and I verify what Rach said about your watermelon. 😉

    1. Yes, and there is also the part where homegrown/home preserved food so far outshines store bought that we are a bit food snobby… Still trying to find the balance.

  3. again.. sounding like a broken record here… I’m right there with you. Canning, schooling, cleaning, washing clothes, keeping the familys belly filled? Its just full time work. I made a pact with another mom friend to work out at least 3 times a week for only 30 minutes. After 3 weeks and exactly 2 workouts later, I concede defeat. It just is not going to happen. I don’t HAVE 30 minutes a day, and when I do, then I will be taking a nap to negate the effects of my 5;30 in the morning rising time.

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