Monday, August 19, 2013

A Late Summer Lull In Gardening Activity

The fall garden is just around the corner.  Planting the fall garden is just around the corner. For the next few days, we have the remnants of summer.  The carrots continue to progress slowly.  The parsley plant is small, but hanging on to life.  I'm enjoying this quiet, and the absence of pressure to get out there and work.  If I don't get the seeds into the ground by the end of August, I won't have a season for the next few months.  I will have to make due with tending the remaining spinach plant, keeping the beets thriving and thinning the garlic chives.

There won't be a grape harvest this year.  None of the bunches survived, and I'm not sure why.  The south plant grew voraciously, but didn't produce.  The glorious abundance of the north vine assures me that the fault in harvesting is all mine.  Had I known better how to manage it, I would have had more lessons to learn this year.  I'll be more prepared next year to harvest.  I was too focused on getting ahead with planting new vines, rather than managing the two I have.  For now, I'm going to allow them their autumn.  After the leaves drop off, I'll prune them heavily.  I didn't last year for fear of killing them before they were established enough.  Now, I know they are ready.  I'll spend some time over their dormant months reading about what comes next for my vineyard.  The hesitancy is passed.  The feeling that it's so fragile and easily destroyed is behind us.

So it is with our boys.  I'm posting more about them on another blog these days.  As far as the vineyard is concerned, our boys growth parallels nicely.  We have a delightful - and concurrent metaphor - in both the boys and the vines.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The New Look of the Cottage Vineyard

It was time for something fresh and new.  Do you like the new format?

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Heavy Pruning After The Seed Harvest

Late last week, I harvested with a vengeance.  I gathered all the beet seed that I desired.  I refrained from harvesting every last seed.  I didn't think the return on my time would be worth it.  I pulled up all the coriander, plants and all.  The spinach seeds went who-knows-where.  I don't know if they were eaten or if they fell off.  The collard seed held no interest for me.  I put the two bowls of seed in the kitchen and let them dry for a couple of days before I put them up into the pantry for long term storage.

Then, on Saturday, I took the loppers and attended to the garden.  I was merciless against the collard plant. I didn't hesitate to pull up garlic chives along with weeds.  I lopped off most of the beet tops, seeds and all.  The compost pile was full.  The only thing remaining lush is the grape vines.  It feels so good to see the garden appearing loved.  It's not a picture perfect place.  It's still a working vegetable (and fruit) patch, not a display for flowers.  I'm thrilled.  I love caring for things.  I love the work itself.  It does me good.

The garden doesn't really care whether I care for it.  The plants grow one way or another.  My efforts in some ways are just a challenge for them, not a destruction (unless you ask the coriander.)  The garden will improve even if it doesn't know what I'm doing is good for them.  If only everything I loved were such an experience.