Here we are, nearing the end of August and there is more gardening behind us than there is ahead of us. I think people’s enthusiasm wanes a bit at this time of year. It seems there are fewer people out “on the land” (at the community gardens in our case) than there were in June and July. For us, year two of at the community garden, it s been a much better year than our first foray into urban agriculture last year. Now, we have invested quite a bit more but it’s paid off, for the most part.
With a garden, it’s always something:
It’s been a very hot and dry year in our neck of the woods and a tough time for plants, crops and trees. It’s apparently been forty years since we’ve had such drought in these parts. The weather impacts the other cycles of life at the garden too so it’s hard to know if a problem is due to the seed used, one’s gardening practices or the year that was.
And just like the old Clint Eastwood movie, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly:
Bounty of many types-swiss chard, beans, patty pan squash, beets, tomatoes, carrots, beans, cabbage and so on. The joy of starting seedlings and then watching them grow and then harvesting is tempered somewhat when you bring it home and have to figure out what to do with it. At least this year we’ve been able to share more with others this year where last year that was laughable.
You can visit the garden one day and things look great and two days later there are aphids or beetles or the leaves have turned brown and rolled up. Note to self for next year, if it looks good and is ready, don’t leave it and think you’ll come back in a few days and harvest it for it may not be so beautiful on your next trip. We are learning we need to be more on the watch for brussels sprout beetles, potato bugs and potato leaf rollers and squash beetles and slugs and four-legged animals that eat cabbages and beets and carrots. Our poor brussels sprouts will never be allowed to make those little darlings because of the beetles and we didn’t realize what was after them until it was too late.
The Ugly (and The Good at the same time)
Yesterday our neighbour at the garden told me there was a “man in your garden with a large black bag”. He was apparently helping himself to our produce. Our neighbour, who is likely in his eighth decade and whose mobility is limited, walked over and told the man to “get out”. The brazen fellow told our neighbour, he was our friend. Our neighbour retorted, “I don’t care if you are her brother. If she isn’t here, you get out!” and the poacher did just that. Brazen, ugly poacher. Good neighbour.
Gardening is not for those who are easily discouraged. It’s not for those who are unprepared to be humbled by making mistakes. When you think of it, between the weather in any given year, the winged attackers, the multiple legged bugs, the beetles, the slugs, the four-legged animals and now, our own species, it’s amazing we bring anything home. No matter, I’m already thinking what we might do differently next year.
What’s an organic treatment for human interlopers in one’s garden? Any (lawful) recommendations? How about advice on keeping down the beetles, bugs, aphids and so on.