Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Plant, water, harvest, enjoy. Repeat.

I don't have a lot of time, and neither does my garden.

I have to go to a meeting at work tonight, I have to leave in less than an hour, so I'll make this quick.

I've been working in the garden lately, but not like I was a few months ago. In May, I was planting and digging my garden like I was building scenery for a play. Back then it seemed the one constant backyard sound was the dulcet hum of a neighbor's lawnmower.

Recently I've been deconstructing what was created over the summer. My gloves wear the juicy remnants of a few weeks ago when we tamed the tangled mess of overgrowth in the front yard.

I was cutting branches and filling trash cans the other day, and I was listening to Radiolab on my iPhone. The show was all about loops. Music loops; a story about a woman with a temporary brain disorder that compelled her to remember and repeat only what happened about 20 minutes prior; mathematical loops; the loop that's created when a whale dies.

The show's topic seemed to resonate with what I was doing, with what I've done every fall and every spring in this yard for almost 20 years.

And although I haven't heard of anyone who's had a banner year with the yield from their gardens, ours has generated more than we've been able to consume. I picked this crop today, and I have another larger bowl in the refrigerator.

So there's been the blanching, the shredding, the freezing, the baking, the giving away.

The handful of seeds I planted in May has created a remarkable harvest, really.

I saved the seeds from the zucchini and the white acorn squash last year, and some seeds must have co-mingled without my knowing. I had a plant that generated strange zuke-acorn squash hybrids.

And there were a few zucchini that hid under plate-sized leaves and grew to super-veggie proportions. This is the group of recalcitrant zukes that are waiting for the grater.

And now it's time to go to my staff meeting, with a few minutes to spare.

It seems like the perfect opportunity to bring an armful of zucchini and a bag filled with tomatoes.

It's a tasty fall loop. Satisfying to plant, to nurture, to watch grow, to harvest, to give away.

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