It’s not you, it’s me.
I’ve been a little quiet on “the Social Medias” lately, because, well, because all my spare time has been spent socializing with vegetables. (And the occasional bee and cabbage moth.) Most everyone knows that the Beekman 1802 Vegetable Garden is my favorite spot in the whole world, and this time of year it’s simply irresistable.
Especially this year. It’s always chic to complain about the weather, especially in an agricultural community like Sharon Springs. But since I’ve always been a bit of a contrarian, let me take this moment to compliment Mother Nature. It’s been a phenomenal year…at least for vegetables. Nice and hot, with just the right amount of rainstorms. The supportive weather, plus the 42 beehives we installed this year, means that nearly everything we planted is having a banner year. Plus, for whatever reason, we’ve been free of blights and plagues.
Excuse me a moment while I go knock on a wooden raised bed.
Some of you know that I can be a little bit lazy at times. But I’ve made my laziness work for me. And for the garden. I daresay we have one of the most efficient organic gardens in the world. Since I can only afford to be a two-day-a-week gardener, I think it’s pretty amazing that we keep a 1/4 acre garden that produces more per square foot than should be vegetabley possible. All without chemicals or plastics. The stone paths between the beds stay fairly weed-free, but I go on a 5 minute hunting spree each Saturday morning with my “Flame Thrower” (worth every penny) to fry any stragglers. The earth between the tomatoes are mulched with a bio-degradable paper mulch, which gets supplemented Sunday morning with sections from the NY Times. (I lay down the papers while the sprinklers are on so that they don’t blow away. Plus I get a shower in.) And we fill every space in each bed, even vertically, so that the weeds don’t have a chance to take hold.
I don’t think there are a lot of jobs left these days that actually result in a product. And even less that result in a product that one truly needs. Most of us, including myself, spend a vast majority of our weekdays filling up papers, taking phone calls, holding meetings, and generally working very hard without being able to hold the result in our hands come Friday afternoon. To date, I’ve never had to clean under my nails after a conference call. (Although I’ve often felt like showering.)
So, even though I commit every minute of every summer weekend to the garden, it’s worth it. Because it has certainly committed itself back to me.
Take a walk with me around this summer’s garden, as it stands at the moment. (Click any picture below to begin the slideshow)