Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Tearful Tuesday: Lacking my Huge Garden this Year

My garden is solace for me.  It offers me peace in this chaotic life.  It is one of the few things I take pride in doing.  In fact, there is scientific evidence that supports gardeners everywhere when they say, "Gardening makes me happy."
"a strain of bacterium in soil,Mycobacterium vaccae, has been found to trigger the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety."                                                     ~ Therapeutic Landscapes Network
But this year my garden has been a point of mental strain.  If you've been following along this spring, you know that my garden was put on hold while we waited for landscapers that never showed or gave ridiculously high estimates.  ($22k?!)

Anyway, since the strawberries I ordered last year arrived moldy, I planted my cherry tomatoes in their bed.  then I planted my Sunbright tomatoes along the line of year-old asparagus.  I left the weeds up with the hope that it would take the deer longer to find the plants.  No such luck.
Sunbright Tomato
Cherry Tomato

I do have a solution in the mail for cherry and grape tomatoes, but it looks like I'll be purchasing all my sandwich tomatoes this summer.

Being that today is July first, this is a depressing sight.

My Garden
My Garden

Now, on Monday, I was being mindful of my husband's sore back.  I did this by trying to start the tiller and get just two, maybe three, rows tilled at the bottom of the garden so I can get my gourd plants in the ground.

Manually wrapped pull-cord
Our tiller's pull-cord broke a few years back, so we tied it back together, took the cover off the pulley, and wrap it by hand.  Normally this isn't much more than an inconvenience.

I did get it started.  Several times.  Each time it ran longer.

But I can't rebuild a carburetor.  And that's what it needs.  Maybe it's time I learn.

So, after talking to my husband, and explaining to him why I am perfectly able to handle the Troy-Bilt Horse all my my big-girl self. . . After listening to his reasoning about the tiller's inability to run for more than five seconds, and why I need to wait until next week-ish to till and plant anything. . . I sat down on the pyramid of concrete cylinders I use to hold down my weed barrier, and I cried.

I cried for not being able to till.  I cried for losing yet another week getting my seedlings in the ground while friends are posting pictures of their harvest.  I cried for the possible loss of said harvest, especially the gourds.  I cried for not being able to grow my own produce this summer and therefore costing me more out of my pocket.  But most of all, I cried for that sense of peace that will elude me this year without a garden to tend.

We did get a bobcat to start the excavation, but when I got home, half of my raspberry bushes were gone.  I'd hoped to at least get one harvest, no matter how piddly, before he tore them out.  I guess I did, but it was below piddly.
The only raspberry harvest.

Bye-bye sweet raspberries.  My little man was very sad to watch this, as well.  (Although I believe he was torn between the sorrow of losing his favorite fruit and the awesomeness of watching the bobcat rip trees out of the ground.)

Raspberries (& other weeds) Gone
Slowly, but Surely
There is a silver lining to all of this destruction.  Of course there is.  This tree-hugger wouldn't allow it if there wasn't something better down the pipe.  That something better is, first, the chickens will finally be in their coop and out of my house.  Second, our yard will once again be flat and usable, and hopefully have less weeds.  Third, I will have some semblance of a garden for my gourds, butternut squash, and cucumbers.

Tomorrow will be more cheerful, as I'll be talking about the chrysalis and butterfly phases of the Black Swallowtail caterpillars we have.  Until then. . .

Chin up!  There is a good for every bad.

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