Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Summer is gone

Summer is all but gone and yet it doesn't seem like it was ever really here. The temperatures were mild, but unfortunately we never got the outpouring of rain we usually get in July and August, which will make for a very long winter.

Time has flown by since Annaliese was born last November. I scarcely remember the holidays or Campbell and Madi Ryan's birthdays. I worked most of the spring trying to plant a garden in solid caliche. My poor husband drove steel posts for me through rock and caliche for the garden fence and brought tractor loads of dirt in from a dirt tank. I planted for weeks and watered incessantly because it never rained. By the beginning of August I was pulling up beans that never grew, corn with ear worms, squash and bell peppers that never bloomed and eggplants that never grew. All of my tomatoes got bloom end rot. The only vestige of my garden that did well was lettuce. My hopes of storing up vegetables for the winter and making extra money at the farm stands are shot.

My original intentions were to have an organic garden. That idea was nixed when the dinosaur grasshoppers started showing up and then pretty soon my garden was like Costa Rica for grasshoppers. We had giant black and gold ones, red wings, bright green ones, camo colored ones, and giant spindly legged ones and they were everywhere. And you had to have a hunting license to kill some of these bad boys. You couldn't just kill them, you had to immobilize them first and then go on in for the death blow because they were so fast. It was a constant battle and unfortunately, they won.

What vegetables I did manage to harvest, I canned. This was not even remotely as glamorous as I thought it would be. In the end, I was quoting my friends reactions, "I could buy this at the store. Who cares if it has preservatives and is canned in unsafe plants and has a ton of sodium in it. This is nuts.' But I know that when January comes I can open my cupboard and pull out a jar of fresh tasting tomatoes and it will be heaven and I will have thought that all this hard work was worth it. Or maybe not. By next spring, all of the frustrations will be forgotten and I will be again lusting over my Burpee garden, planning the rows and beds and dreaming of farm stands and even canning. Because I have something to prove dang it.

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