For countless days in entry French class, both in high school and in college, I waited patiently for the chapter on adjectives so that I could hear someone mispronounce “chaude.”
To put it bluntly, my garden got fucked this year. As the season winds down, I always take the time to reflect on the year’s successes and failures, and begin plans for the next season. For whomever may be counting, here’s the roll:
Grape & Cherry tomatoes: fuck yea. huge production, bountiful. no disease. saving seed. can you say pico de gallo?
Navaho Peppers: bountiful. no problems.
Pole beans, noodle beans, bush beans - horrible season. low production. bean curl. plant rust. grasshoppers tore them up too. disaster.
Carrots: temps got too hot too fast. we’ll see if any develop this fall.
Beets: abysmal, as usual.
Greens: again, the temperatures didn’t cooperate. too much heat too early in the year.
Sunchokes: good yield til I fucked em up.
Herbs: HA! well, in all fairness, most were in the latter biennial year, so they went to seed. not a total loss.
Strawberries: wood lice obliterated.
Horseradish: high yield.
All melons & squash: grasshoppers ate through all seedlings and the few plants that managed to survive, excepting the mexican gherkin, which was great, but less useful.
Turnips, rutabaga, parsnip, radishes: pests and poor climate conditions led to poor outcome.
Eggplant - didn’t get established before the heat and drought took its toll.
Fruit trees: not old enough to bear fruit.
Cactus: died. from heat. how the fuck.
Egyptian walking onions: doing very, very well. imagine that.
Asparagus: will get to eat next year. they’ll be 4 yrs!
From this list, you can tell that I have very little of the long storage items (winter squash, tubers, root crops) to hold me through winter. Hopefully a good snow in December will bring me some early chickweed. Until then, I dine on indoor sprouts and lots and lots of beans! A very kind neighbor has a few egg laying chickens on his farmstead. He has offered me eggs this winter, and I graciously accepted.
there’s a lot of things i can live without. a hot cup of lapsang souchong makes it all okay.
It has been two weeks since I took on a second job. The exhaustion has set in. I woke long before dawn to pick tomatoes in the frigid darkness. After grabbing a jacket, a cup of coffee, and my backpack, I skittered through the alleys of town to put up new stock before the store opened. I dined on a wild sour apple that I picked from a tree along the way.
Long, boring, thoughtless hours. When afternoon came, I could scarcely stay awake. Job number two began in the evening, just before the supper rush. I dashed from table to table, fetching beer, taking food orders.
I smell of old fryer oil and Coors light that I dumped on my shoes. My hair feels dirty. My legs ache.
I have nothing left. I walked home in silence, stumbling through the dimly-lit country streets. What I wouldn’t give for a Marlboro. Thankfully, it is too late, and a 45 mile walk to the nearest open store is out of question.
I’m too tired to finish this post. In conclusion. FUck it. going to sleep.
The coyotes were lively last night. I danced through an hour of solid yipping melancholy, each shriek answered with a chorus of pups’ coos. It was finally cold enough last night that the locals fired up their hardwood stoves, and the aroma sunk into the stillness beneath a fading orange sky. Fall in the plains.
Did anyone ever hear anything more about Darrien Hunt, the cosplay kid killed by police in Utah? I feel like the media dropped the ball, and we net users haven’t been asking enough questions.