Saturday, June 4, 2011


This work can be overwhelming. I know it is for Mark because for every task that gets accomplished he can tick off half a dozen things we've fallen behind on or are going wrong. But he's getting better all the time. Part of this grand-scale gardening project is to train ourselves to enjoy the process and wean ourselves off the fleeting high of accomplishing goals that's inevitably followed by the huge letdown of having no occasion to rise to.

So let's talk about something we did right this year: Staggering the broccoli harvest. Last season we had 12 beautiful broccoli heads all ready at the same time, and we couldn't eat them fast enough. This year we went with Fedco's Broccoli Blend seed mix that contains some early, mid, and late varieties. We ate the first wave this week, and the second wave will be ready next week, and some plants have yet to form heads. It's perfect.

Another thing we did right: Leaving the peonies to reign over the vegetable garden in their glory, even if they can be annoying obstacles. It helps that they're in full bloom right now. They were really bothering me when we were laying out the rows in March; I wanted to lay flagstone for the paths, and the space will never look tidy with those huge, blowsy bushes scattered all over. But they're beautiful, smell good, attract beneficial insects, and keeping them is much more true to the permaculture vibe we're trying to cultivate. I need to keep telling myself that there's no such thing as a perfect garden. It will always be a work in progress, never predictable, never finished. And that's a good thing.

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