For seventeen years we have grown food on this land. There have been years of small, less work to do gardens, years of growing as much as we can, and years of growing what we know does well and what we will eat.
The wonderful thing about growing your own food is that each year the garden offers different lessons. There has not been one year in which something hasn't been added to our growing list of garden lessons. This year our lesson has come swift, a lesson in letting go.
On Friday last week, in the early evening, a very strong, quick storm blew through our area, bringing with it thunder, lightning, heavy rain and hail. The hail fell from the sky for ten minutes. While Justin worried about damage to the car, I worried about damage to the garden.
When it was over, and safe to go outside, we ventured out to take in the damage. The car has a few little dents, but nothing to be concerned about. The gardens, well, you can see from the photos above, they were hit pretty hard.
I am pretty sure the potatoes have been wiped out. I keep checking them to see if the plants will bounce back, but each day they look a little worse. The pumpkin, squash and zucchini are still producing at the moment, and all their flowers survived, I think in part due to the huge leaves protecting them. The Swiss chard was pretty beat up, and got a good haircut, and already their is new growth peeking out. The cucumbers took a significant hit, but it seems the leaves protected the precious flowers, so I am hoping they will still keep producing. The snow peas and bush beans were also hit hard, but they were for the most part done anyway. I will harvest the last of both today, and then clean out that bed.
I have no control over Mother Nature, she will do as she pleases, and all I can do is work alongside her the best I can, with the conditions she throws at me. Over the last few days I have done what I can to save what is left, and now I have to let go and see what happens. Fingers are crossed.
A big lesson on letting go this week, but a good one for this type A, control freak.
Now it hasn't been all doom and gloom around the garden this week, we have been enjoying the first tomatoes, zucchini is a regular in our meals and the strawberries and raspberries keep on coming. The first cucumbers have been eaten, the snow peas are delicious and green beans have been eaten, frozen and canned. I took some time on Sunday to braid our garlic for storage, and I got the cold frame in the ground, insulated with some straw and ready for soil. The winter garden is taking shape, and I for one, am pretty excited about it.
Even with the storm, there are still a lot of good things happening in the garden. And there it is, another lesson from the garden this week...take time to notice the good things, even when life throws a little bump along the path.
So much learned this week in the garden.
How are things around your garden?
It is hard to let go isn't it? I'm so sorry about the storm, I know that feeling all too well, but your garden still looks amazing.ReplyDelete
The rain has finally pulled out of our area and now I just wait for things to dry out and then I am getting the fall garden in the ground, I can't wait.
It is Tracey, but I have also learned, that it is part of life, in more ways than just in the garden :)Delete
Thank you. We finally have a day with no rain in the forecast, so things will dry out here too, which will be awesome.
Enjoy your time in the garden.
oh no Kim...we've been hearing about your weather on the news... i'm keeping my fingers crossed for drier, sunnier weather for you and your garden !!!ReplyDelete
Thanks Erica. We are into the drier weather today, finally. And it looks like the weekend ahead is all sunshine...yay!!!!Delete
oh my, I'm sad that your perfect garden got smacked with a storm. I was confused with that first photo, I was wondering if you had snow! But then reading your words, sigh. You are right we are not in control of the weather, I'm thankful that your house and other outbuildings are good.ReplyDelete
It kinda looked like snow, but much harder. It actually hung around on the ground for a while, Reece had fun playing with it.Delete
Thank you Karen.
that is a real drag about the garden....but honestly, yours is the best looking garden I think I've ever seen!!!! The raised beds just look like they belong in their setting....not overplanted....beautiful!!!!ReplyDelete
Awe, thank you!Delete
Gardens are always good metaphors for life. It may get damaged, but there is always good somewhere. Your garden is still beautiful and so lush! I love seeing your pictures and hearing updates.ReplyDelete
They certainly are. Thank you!Delete
Oh, Kim - It is heartbreaking to lose the harvest you had planned on and nurtured with such love and care. We had a severe storm the end of July with a confirmed tornado touchdown one mile from the house. (http://www.wdtv.com/wdtv.cfm?func=view§ion=5-News&item=NWS-Confirms-EF1-Tornado-in-Harrison-County-17264) Tomato plants were uprooted and squash and cucumbers lost. I cried in anger and sadness over the loss and the next morning I realized how much worse it could have been. Each bite of what is left will be savored even more!ReplyDelete
It is, but luckily we haven't lost everything, so while I am sad, we still have a lot of goodness in the garden to eat.Delete
Sorry about your garden, that would be a tough one to swallow.
You know I start each gardening season with one thought, I will plant, nurture and grow and if something doesn't work out, my local farmers have my back. And for that I am so very grateful.
And yes, we will be savouring every last bite :)
I'm so sorry Kim. Although you seem to be taking it in stride, I know how much you care for your garden. It is a part of your family and it is heartbreaking to see it broken and in need of healing,ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about letting go. Last year was the Lac Megantic disaster (I don't know if you remember the story - Train explosion, train full of chemicals in the Chaudiere River) and for 3 months, we couldn't water anything. There were severe water shortages as the river was being cleaned and the fines were insane if you were caught watering lawns, flower beds and gardens. We lost everything. I remember counting our tomatoes, over 250... all dried and fell off the vine, still green. It was so hard, but you just have to call it what it is : A bad year and move on. They can't all be bad years! :-)
Have a wonderful day dear friend. The weather should be gorgeous the next few days, things should heal nicely. xo
Thanks Yanic. Yes, I remember that train disaster, I hadn't heard about the water restrictions though. Definitely a tough break there.Delete
And while this is a bump in the road, it isn't a total bad year, we still have lots to harvest, and put by for winter.
Oh no!! I was wondering what had eaten everything! Hail... wow, I don't think I've ever seen anything like that before here in California. Even after getting beat up, your garden is still beautiful. Hoping things grow back quickly and you don't get anymore crazy weather anytime soon!ReplyDelete
Hail is pretty crazy, we had some last summer even bigger than these...almost golf ball size. Luckily it was at the end of the summer, so the garden didn't get hit too hard.Delete
Oh that's a lot of hail! I've yet to experience a really bad hail storm but the deer just won't be detterred this year. Our swiss chard & beets had begun to recover from the invasion 2 weeks ago but then the deer came back last night. Swiss chard & beets are a big crop for our fall garden but at this rate we'll end up with none :( We're really going to have to step up the protection.ReplyDelete
Your garden is still looking wonderful! Will the potatoes not keep growing underneath the soil? I love the garlic braids & cold frames!
Our garden update for the week :)
It was a lot. Sorry about the deer, they can be pesky. They don't bother us much here, I think the dog keeps them away :)Delete
Thank you. I am not sure if the potatoes will keep growing, I will look that up and see. I assumed they needed the greens up top, but maybe they don't.
This was the first year I tried braiding the garlic, so worth it. And thanks, I am hoping the cold frame allows us some garden goodness well into the winter.
...right back at ya!ReplyDelete
That is GORGOUS GARDEN :)
Thank you my dear friend. xoDelete
Oh dear, not the kind of Summer weather you'd want. Fingers crossed for those potatoes. It really makes you feel for farmers and others who depend on what they grow for their livelihood too.ReplyDelete
Not at all. I have been looking up the potatoes, it seems they might be all right, even with the greens gone, although they had only just started to flower, so the potatoes might not be that big. I may dig some up this weekend and see what I find.Delete
Yes, for sure. I can totally appreciate how important a crop is to a farmer, and how quickly the weather can make for a very tough year.
Oh, Kim, I am so very sorry about the crazy summer hail storm you had! I am glad that it wasn't a total loss but am sad for what was hurt too. Hugs to you my sweet friend!ReplyDelete
I am floored you are still getting strawberries! What a treat!
What do you plant in the winter garden? Dave and I were just talking about possibly planting for the late fall. Not sure if that's even possible, but we hadn't even thought about winter! Any wisdom you have to share would be greatly appreciated! xo
Thank you Shel, it was hard to watch it all come down, and not be able to do anything. We have everbearing strawberries, they will produce fruit right through til a frost. And we also have tiny alpine strawberries, which also produce fruit for quite some time.Delete
Fall/winter garden...cold hardy stuff like kale, spinach, beets, salad greens, Swiss chard (although that is a little tender, but I like an early fall crop), maybe some carrots. You should be able to do a fall garden no problem at all, without any extra covering I would think. We did last year, and were able to harvest food right til the first heavy snowfall, which came much too early last year. For winter garden, you would need some sort of covering, or cold frame. We have the cold frame and are planning to tunnel two of the raised beds in the next week or so to protect them from the cold. This is our first year, so lots of trial and error :)
Well hail or no hail l have complete garden envy over here.ReplyDelete
What an awesome garden, so inspiring Kim. xx
And fresh snow peas from the garden.....once you've had them there is no going back!
Awe, thanks Chrisy. xoDelete
And so very true, we actually don't eat snow peas at any other time of the year, only when they are fresh from the garden. So good!
Oh no! Hail is awful. They keep warning us about it here, but it hasn't gotten us yet. Instead I stand at my windows and wait to see it fall from the sky. I'm sorry that you had so much damage. And even though there is damage, I still think the garden looks wonderful!ReplyDelete
It certainly is, does so much damage in such a short time. I will keep my fingers crossed that you don't get hit with it.Delete
Oh no! That sounds not to be a very good news for your garden, but as usual, you are so nice to take it as a lesson... a big hug!ReplyDelete
Not good news at all, but we are taking the lesson and moving on. I harvested a ton of cucumbers today, they seem to be doing okay even with all the damage.Delete
Thank you. xo
A lovely wise post that I needed to read today. Thanks Kim. The frost has knocked our garden around, so I have eased back a bit and am waiting for Spring. At the moment I feel like Spring will never come, but your photos remind me that it will indeed. xxooReplyDelete
You are welcome Julie. xoDelete
Sorry about your garden, it is tough isn't it? Hang in there, spring will greet you soon. xo
Oh No!, I'm such a softie. I actually cried for you when I saw the hail. You love your gardens just as much as I love mine. It's not about the food, it's about the love and feeding it to those you love. I'm glad you are bouncing back, and all those bruised foods are still good, they just need to be eaten quickly.ReplyDelete
Awe, thank you. You are so right, it is so much more than the food. That is right, either eaten or preserved :) Put the first pickles up yesterday and the last of the green beans.Delete