Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made: Our times are in His hand Who saith "A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!" - From "Rabbi Ben Ezra" by Robert Browning

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Texas Rain is Big, and My Garden is Getting Started

Stan's TX rain garden. Look close, you'll see a few veggies.
One of my Facebook friends, Stan, lives in Texas, not too far from the Gulf, and he's really been groaning about the fact that he hasn't finished planting his garden yet.
A narrow island of plants surviving the flood at Stan's

I think Stan has had a great excuse. It's been raining in his neck of the woods. Not just a sprinkling. Not just a downpour now and then. The rain has been coming down like a monsoon! Practically non-stop for weeks! I think he mentioned getting 5 inches in one hour the other day, and 30 inches overnight.

I don't think Stan is the only one sick of all the rain. Recently he posted that the crayfish are so fed up of the rain, they've been crawling up on his deck to get out of the flood. And evidently, the Ark is nowhere in sight!
A break in the rain reveals Stan's soggy garden area

Well, as gardens go, I don't have an excuse as good as Stan's! Normally, I'd have started my container garden in late February, and my main summer crops would be in-ground by late March or early April. But I still haven't planted anything... not even the 30 lettuce plants I bought last month!
Our van, loaded down with veggies and blueberry bushes
I haven't felt like getting on my hands and knees in the dirt this year, and I have only two excuses to explain myself.

First, it seems like my time hasn't been my own for quite a while. I don't get up each day and decide how I'm going to use my time. I get up each day, check the calendar, and race to keep up with everything that's already been decided. There are various doctor visits for John and Dad, dental visits for John and me, Landlord duties, and a plethora of other responsibilities concerning family and the farm, all necessary and important, and I don't begrudge a single one of them! But I have no me time.

By that I mean I have no leisure time. As full as my life is, I have a bit of a hole in my life where pleasant, leisurely personal activities should be thriving. I'd love to have some free time to paint again, or make homemade creams and lotions, go to yard sales and flea markets, or finally make that quilt that I've been wanting to make for years out of Barry's old Hawaiian shirts. I did make the time to go to some thrift stores recently, but the whole time I felt rushed to get back home and get back to work!

Secondly, I haven't felt like planting a garden this year. I'm usually sitting down, finally, when John comes in and mentions the garden; and sitting down, tired, I can't muster the interest in deciding if and when we need to start a garden. My age and health are a big part of this problem, but after some thought, I've decided that I must have some unacknowledged resentment over the combination of my health and my lack of me time. Maybe too, my attitude has been some form of passive aggressive behavior, and realizing this, finally, it became necessary for me to take steps to snap out of it!
Plenty of veggies to plant now

Having a garden isn't a choice here, it's a necessity. We can't afford to skip it this year just because I don't feel like it. Even though there is a significant cash outlay to purchase transplants, in the long run, growing our own vegetables, then freezing and canning them, frees up our finances for other necessities; and, just as important, we know the foods we are growing and eating are healthy and chemical free. There is no chance that our grapes will be harboring pesticides in their skins, and no chance that our tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants will make us sick because of these same pesticides, or mishandling between field and store.

So I knew when I woke up this morning that today was the day I would take the leap. I drove John to the dentist this morning to get a new crown on one of his teeth. Afterwards, I suggested we go to the Garden Center at Home Depot, just across the parking lot.  We started with tomatoes, lots of tomatoes, then squash and zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, sweet peppers, hot peppers and cantaloup. Then I threw our budget to the wind and we picked up four blueberry bushes, a couple of years old and already fruiting. Last year, the twig in a tube of dirt didn't pan out for us.

We stuffed our van full and drove home in a light rain (nothing like Stan has been experiencing in Texas). We put everything out on tables to catch the rain, and I was delighted with the variety of plants and their beauty. I felt myself stirring with the anticipation of choosing beds and planting ... yes, being on my hands and knees in the dirt.

I've taken the leap! The veggie plants are here. The garden is waiting. The clock is ticking until they're in the ground.

So I'm all in for the garden this year! How about you?

1 comment:

  1. Stan let me know that the 30 inches of rain I mentioned was over the course of a year, not overnight. Thanks for the correction Stan. I never said I was great with numbers! LoL!