Summer is winding down here at the ol’ homestead. Yes, I say this in mid-October because despite a few cold snaps, it was almost 70 yesterday. Summer lingers.
Last year by this time, I was so done with gardening. This year I hug these days like a tender baby Rhesus monkey. Don’t let go. You would too if after years of fumbling you finally pulled in a wheelbarrow of honest bounty like this.
There’s more out there. Carrots and beets still grow in the ground, kale and Brussels sprouts thrive above it. Mint has finally decided to come out of hiding after triple digits beat it down. I am grateful. No winter is complete without chocolate mint tea.
I am proud of my accomplishments this summer. Yes, there were some failures. The tomatillos never bore fruit. Despite their beautiful biomass, the Yin Yang (Calypso) beans only yielded 1.5 cups of food, proving why you need multiple 10 ft. rows for some crops. My Japenese Shoya cucumbers, last years’ showstopper, rotted on the vine. My bottom lip still quivers just thinking about my loss.
The drought took its toll. But it gave me that evening when I turned on the sprinkler after a particularly blistering day. I busted open a cold one two, pulled my chair into the Splash Zone and just stared at my new corner garden patch. I’m hoping none of my neighbors witnessed this, lest they realize I’m truly bats.
I bid a bittersweet adieu to the growing season but review it with pride. I learned quite a bit. I OD’ed on Sun Gold tomatoes. My pepper patch has never been more successful.
The moral of the story? You can grow a lot on less than ½ an acre. These are not the successes of a woman frolicking through idyllic rural farmland. These are the success stories of one living smack dab in town. Small spaces be damned. Rise to the challenge and see what you can grow.