Saturday, September 17, 2011

picking pears and other garden/harvest musings

It was high time I got my tail end out in the yard slash garden. I've been avoiding it because it's been a titch overwhelming. We had a big thunderstorm yesterday and temperatures are dropping slowly. The poor unpruned and out of control  apple and pear tree boughs are heavily laden. Our apples are always so small and tasteless and to be honest, it's kind of a relief that I don't have to deal with those. (At the same time as the rest of the stuff.)

I bucked up and went out to start on the pear tree. Decided that it was more than a one person job, so I called Isaac and Eliza to come out and help. Isaac was in charge of picking up the windfall wormy pears and chucking them to the fence. He has a good arm, I've found. Eliza was a big help. There were so many that we couldn't reach, but we did the best we could.

Fresh pears are welcomed around here, but bottled pears, not so much. I think as soon as they ripen to a mellow golden, I'll dehydrate some and make pear sauce (frozen) with the rest.

Listen up, you local chums. I would really love to share. Leave me a note if you'd like to stop by and pick up a bag or a bushel (seriously). It would make me happy, really it would.

The garden is winding down but at its peak if you know what I mean. I still haven't gotten to the potatoes. Wanted to today, but I didn't want to deal with the mud. Picked about a gazillion cucumbers today. Cute little lemons and several English ones. Also another huge bowl of tomatoes. I think I'll roast them on Monday. I put these tasty caramelized treats in freezer bags and we'll enjoy a taste of summer in colder days to come.

The basil patch was next. I decided it was the day to harvest, as I don't want to risk it with a freeze. I did save a few, though, to pluck off in the next few weeks. I plopped myself down on the ground and picked each leaf off those plants. I guess I was out there for over two hours. My index and thumb are stained a brownish reddish and it won't come off. I don't remember that happening before.

All this basil (4 bulging gallon sized Ziplocks) will be turned into pesto that again will be frozen (in jars) to enjoy later. Basil sends me to the moon.

Boy, do I have my work cut out for me. I've still got so much to get to in the garden. Weeding, harvesting, processing. Will it ever end?

As I was picking that basil with all that time to think and feel, surveying the expanse, I realized that I'm the only one that seems to care, really, about this garden. Why is that so? It's like this every year. The kids occasional weeding and watering helps a lot, it really takes the edge off for me. However, I've decided that it can't just continue to be a one man show if this garden, and the scale that it is, is going to continue. This huge half acre yard on top of it all. I just can't keep up.

It seems like from early spring to snow, that's all our Saturdays are consumed with. Wondering if it's worth it all. I do know that a having a garden is hard work. And work is good for the soul. It's been good for my kid's souls and my own soul; this I know. But my work force is downsizing, folks. So are the mouths to feed. And this fantasizing of a literal downsizing in all aspects is becoming more and more appealing to me.

Wow, I've said it. Sorry to be a bit on the complainer side today. But a little acknowledgment of these overwhelming feelings takes a bit of the pressure off. 

Know what I mean?  


  1. your garden is WAY bigger than mine. We decided yesterday that we would not do the raised beds like I had originally wanted. I am the only one that works in the garden so I totally get this. I can't believe how much you have to harvest - that is amazing! All the basil is incredible.

  2. Gardening is at times very overwhelming. Once all the produce is picked then the simple act of trying to give some of it away takes work as well. I too understand the downsizing as children move on.

    Good luck with it all Emily.

  3. Oh I so hear your feelings about this! I think there is a season for everything and downsizing the size of plants apeals to me too! I want to be a joy not a burden (although there is some burden to it). Love you!

  4. I'm so glad my potatoes and onions turned out great, because I spent all summer caring for my garden and most of it turned its nose up at me.

    I haven't had a single tomato turn out. I take that back - the Sungolds were delicious! I'm definitely planting more of those next year.

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