Thursday, August 13, 2009

Letting Go of Garden Losses

Maybe next year I'll follow my own advice. I gave it to myself last year, but apparently I wasn't listening.

Last year I swore I would not plant any gourds - no squash, melon, or pumpkins. The squirrels eat all of them. No matter what. I wrap them in bird netting and cover them with blood meal (or menstrual blood, but this year all that is nourishing my babe - don't mean to gross anyone out, just telling it like it is). I can't spritz them with pepper spray because I fear it would get into my child's eyes and mouth.

I also told myself not to plant corn. Takes up tons of space, uses lots of water, and fertilization is spotty.

Much of my garden right now is squirrel-ravaged gourds and short, spotty corn. Also green tomatoes that are just thinking about turning red. Maybe. Tiny carrots and beets that don't seem to want to get bigger. A teensy patch of fall spinach in the middle of a bed I over planted with seeds that never germinated, or maybe got scratched by chickens.

The garden actually looks pretty good because all those squash and pumpkin plants have huge, vibrant leaves. With sunflowers (minus the actual flower) poking up in their midst. And corn that looks like it's getting somewhere. And huge bushy cherry tomato plants. Dotted with lots of little green orbs. But we're not eating much out of the patches right now. Oh well.

Being 35 weeks pregnant gives one a certain dose of accepting reality. The garden is what it is. We've had lots of lettuce, the carrots and beets and chard may be smallish but are yummy. The tomatoes will ripen, or in early September I'll make green tomato soups. The squash plants get added to the compost (probably why I have so many squash plant volunteers this year - last year's squirrel food!).

And next year I am planting only the things my family eats and squirrels don't, like green beans, tomatoes, and more carrots. Maybe. I'll let you know if I actually manage to follow my own advice to myself. By then I'll have a four year old and a baby starting to crawl. In addition to chickens and squirrels. Hmm.

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