Monday, October 6, 2008

The last of the garden

Yesterday afternoon, Jen and Corrine and I headed to the garden to harvest the last of the beets, carrots, peppers, and green tomatoes. Pulling in that last harvest of the season is always impossibly bittersweet for me. I'd come to expect and depend on those handfuls of little tomatoes, knobby carrots and fistfuls of fresh herbs, just as a parent anticipates her child's sweet crayon drawings decorating the fridge. Joyful and imperfect, proof of your contributions to the world. Living without those gifts, for four long months?

I'm buoyed by knowing that next year's garden will be better. There will be brighter colors, finer flavors, and not so many darn cucumbers. Next year's garden will always be better. Gardeners are planners, schemers, dreamers. And they're optimistic enough to do it all again, year after year.

We picked our nasturtiums, too. I put mine in a jar like this, with a line from an Anne Michaels poem running through my head:

Across the room a jar of flowers

made its small fire.

And now, moving on to something purely silly.

While idling in the kitchen this morning, I made this with some of our knobby vegetables. The carrot was my inspiration: a perfect pair of legs! The eyes are cloves, the eyebrows and mouth are dried rosemary. It's Angry Beet Dude, patron saint of knobby vegetables.

I really need to get out more.

Here's some pictures from yesterday's hike at Chenango Valley State Park. Fall sunshine makes for good pictures.


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