Beginnings and ends.

I think I’m still getting used to cycles in this part of the globe. As a child, the pensive hours, the long days indoors, and the ends came in the winter months before the beginnings of spring. The holidays were there to keep you company. With family, with baking, with decorating, with giggling cousins or parents’ friends’ stories, the long grey days seemed warm (and the wood stove helped!) There was candlelight and cookie icing to brighten the end of the year and hold everyone over until the daffodils broke ground. Until the green shone through the drizzle. Until the beginnings began again.

This part of the world, you get your cabin fever in the summer. You get addicted to the AC. You avoid the UV. You make your alphabet soup with different letters, but it’s still alphabet soup. It occurred to me today, that as I finish harvesting the carrots, the beets, the chard, the beans. As I finish harvesting the more sensitive families of food, it’s time to sow the seeds for the fall. Minus the heat-lovers and the cool-friendly, the rotation is about the same – what grows in the spring grows again in the fall, except here the die-out is over the summer.

So the onions, beets, and carrots will begin again in October, even though they’re also ending now.

The peppers and tomatoes are still going strong. They are loving the heat, but will soon lose their taste for it when it averages another 10 degrees higher each day. As they end, their seeds are dried, labeled, and stored for sowing just after Christmas.

It’s an adjustment, to find new-growth withdrawals as summer officially begins with the solstice tomorrow, but I make do.

It’s simply odd. When the winter doldrums are setting in for most gardens I hear about, read about, or dream about, they are ever-surprised at the winter growth going on in my beds. It only makes sense that when other gardens I hear about, read about, and dream about are in full growth swing with their flowers blossoming, their growth beginning in the summer: I have the same surprise, the same envy.

And so, I help new life into the world. I bring the sunshine in. I sow the seeds of the next cooler season and watch hope grow. Hope for evening breezes, for light sunshine kisses, for days so glorious you beg them not to end.

This time, hope takes the form of Lemon Basil, Cumin, Dark curly leaf parsley, and always – always – a volunteer squash.

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5 comments on “Beginnings and ends.

  1. LOVE the new layout, and these amazing photos!
    Even here, with nary a flower on the tomatoes yet, it’s time to sow the fall crops. Next week, I’ll line up little pots on the deck, and plant chard, kale, and arugula. The beets and carrots will go directly in the ground. It feels odd, but it’s the Way of the World…

    • plumdirt says:

      Thanks! I am new to this whole blogging thing and couldn’t figure out a way to get the other layout to stop cutting off the sides of all of my pictures!
      I hadn’t thought about that, but it makes perfect sense. Your fall plants will go out when? August? To beat the frost?
      Mine stay in to avoid the heat until at least October 1st. I’m hoping I haven’t started my seeds too soon, but each season is a lesson for next.

      • Around then. That gives them a good head-start while there’s still plenty of daylight hours, which is actually more important thean temperatures. Eliot Coleman’s book on year-round growing is a great resource…

  2. Great photos–and the carrots on that blue table–I would frame that for my kitchen!!!!
    Stacey

    • plumdirt says:

      Thanks! If you’re talking about the carrots with the upside-down puppy paw print, that’s actually our cement front stoop! The shutter just missed the actual paw.

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