December 09, 2017
I never did get my horseradish harvested this year. The freezing nights came and killed the leaves, they fell to the ground, the earthworms came up at night and ate them, and now there's just stalks radiating from the base. I guess I could go ahead and dig some of the roots up, wash them and peel them with a potato peeler. Last year I put them in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator and I never saw them again. Maybe I ate them. Maybe they were in a stir fry somewhere along the way.
I also don't have any onions still standing, which is a first. There is no stage in an onions life and death that I don't find interesting to observe. I will always leave a few here and there just for the seeds. After I shake the seeds out of the big ball at the top of a stalk I usually leave it standing. It's an incredible work of art to me, and if I pull it up I'm left with only an empty space.
December 10, 2017
Having a lot of trees does not fill you with joy as much as appreciating the ones you do have. Lots of things in life are like this. Success is not an accomplishment, it's an attitude. Having a really large vegetable garden, that you find difficult to maintain to your level of comfort, will not bring you as much joy as having a smaller one that you can micro manage. The small scenes that I create in my huge garden are significant in their simplicity. Each area has a special beauty that is not dependent on the whole garden. Some empty spots are more dear to me than planted areas.
Instead of the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts, it seems each part is full in and of itself, and the garden is composed of small spots of today's beauty with the memories of yesterdays. The empty corn patch where first planting goes has always made me smile. The white bean seeds laying in the 8' long furrow, 4" apart, before I covered them up, will always make me smile. Simple. Perfect.
December 11, 2017
The last five nights have gotten down to 25° or colder, and every morning the artichokes have wilted. They perk back up by mid day but I don't think they are happy campers. We are into the cold part of winter now and I don't know if we will get that fall harvest or not. The garden is pretty much browns, grays, and tans now with green and black accentuating. Every pebble, blade of grass, seed stalk and leaf throws long shadows.
The sun's southern arc makes every little thing twice as noticible and look twice as big. It's a minimalist time for natures beauty, more like an etching than a painting. Sometimes though when we are given less, we see more. A flying insect stopped me in my tracks, and every bird's entertainment value has increased ten fold.