Thursday, December 17, 2009

Moving On

Unlike Peter, who ponders his panties as a measure of time, I find that each year around this time is when I have my greatest reflections (and they has nothing to do with what's hanging on the line). This is the time when I come to terms with the fact that another year has passed. It isn't the start of the holiday season, but rather the end of my gardening season. This is when I'm forced to move through the rows, raised bed by raised bed, untying wires, collecting tomato cages, composting some plants, while disposing of others in the trash, picking up pots and stakes, lots of stakes, and discovering lost trowels. I dread this time of year. I hate cleaning up and shutting down. (I haven't mastered the art of winter gardening. Yet.) It makes me feel sad.


I am nearly a year older.

I rip up the tomatoes. I think about all the salsas I didn't make but all the sauce I did. Did I eat enough tomato sandwiches? Farewell peppers. You were too good to us. Broccoli, lettuce, zucchini, peas, and beans, you gave it a good fall attempt but the caterpillars and visiting human guests did you in. See you in spring strawberries and asparagus.

But wait. Hellooo, garlic. I see you. Your bright green shoots have turned my mood around. Sure, it's the end of one season, but the new season is already starting. Time to start planning.


  1. LOuise
    I'm there with you!

    On Dec 26, Sam arrived with the window shelves he built us for starting seeds inside, so it's time for me to plan next spring's garden and order my seeds.

    On Dec 27, we awoke to see all the snow melted, exposing my Remay-covered winter garden, which is living but mostly dormant. Even though we had a very sunny and mild fall (temperature-wise), I'm afraid, I planted things too late to get enough hours of sunlight to achieve needed growth before winter set in. Next year I'll know better. And who knows, maybe these sleepy plants will survive through the cold short days of the next few weeks and start growing again in February when the crocuses begin to pop up.

  2. I'm just back from Florida, where things grow year-round, an unnatural state of affairs, in my opinion. But sitting around the Christmas dinner table eating roasted root vegetables and roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, I learned this exciting piece of information from my brother David Kelman, not to be confused with my brother Peter Kelman. Parsnips. Yum. Plant them in spring, do not harvest at least until the first frost, which sweetens them, but you can leave them in the ground all winter long, yanking whenever you have a yen for these delicious roots. I can hardly wait to try it as I love these roasted, in soups, pureed, but they are so expensive in the store. Happy new year and sweet dreams of bountiful gardening in 2010.


  3. I'm looking out at a winter wonderland of falling snow. Comet the dog is railing at the puffed up crows stalking the feeder as if they own the place. Once again, I'm pondering how to turn my land that has only 3-5" of dirt over rock into a beautiful productive kitchen,meditation garden. Each year I go thru this and feel daunted. I do have a flourishing (in Spring) bird,bee and butterfly patch. This I built using the lasagna gardening method. Now I don't have the time to devote to visiting all of the local grocery stores for vegetable garbage which, along with some bags of dirt, peatmoss and newspaper became rich soil. What to do? Seed catalogs have started to come and I feel my garden jones moaning softly. Sara Kelman