Attention.

The okra have been standing at attention, reaching their teenage growth spurt.

A few have over grown their britches.

They’ve begun to topple.

Weighed down by my neglect, they lean.

Then the pole beans reach up.

Pulling them down.

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Glut

Tis the season…

We’ve long since lost track of the harvest. Pounds and pounds every few days. To snack, in curries, in tacos, to family, cabreses, to work, to friends, to the birds. Still they march on, and no one complains.

Guatemalan blue banana squash is new for me this year. It’s getting cozy with the volunteer sunflowers.

As one of the varieties of cow peas (with orange blossoms!) gets cozy with the volunteer amaranth.

Last week, this bean was cozy with the hose. After a week away on vacay, I’d say they’re more than cozy.

Tomorrow, I hope for uninterrupted TV time – a rarity in my home. (Go USA!) But I have plans for the long commercial break at half time…

New starts

I started a new job last week after almost two months sabbatical. I’m grateful for the time off and honored for the opportunity before me.

Last Monday, my last untethered day, I visited a local nursery I’ve meant to visit for ages.

And saw some fascinating and strange plants.

With fun names like Elephant’s Foot.

And as the week passed, I haven’t made as many trips to the plot. The tomatoes were patient for me.

I’m currently reading Closing the Food Gap and it’s lighting new fires while dousing others. I keep interrupting my husband’s quiet to read aloud an outrageous statistic here or a shocking history there. Education is not always comfortable.

Twice so far, it’s mentioned that in community garden the most important word is community. I’ve stewed on this a bit. I didn’t join a community garden this round for the community. I joined for the soil to soothe my soul.

When I’d joined in 2012 (same community garden, different plots), I had joined for both the community and the garden. I’d been chastised, looked down upon, and otherwise made to feel wholly unwelcome and less-than during that experience with the community part of the community garden.

So this time, I signed up hoping to garden in peace, quiet, and solitude.

I’ve met more neighboring gardeners in the last six weeks than the entire year I was here last time. Each has been friendly, kind, and generally also hoping to part ways shortly for their own peace and solitude.

Yesterday, I spotted this “Hi” left on the far side of the path between my garden and a neighbor’s I’ve yet to meet. It is one of the main paths in and out of the walled garden. A butterfly had alit beside it.

Yes. I hear you. Community gardening, indeed. (I added an ! before heading home for the day, lacking sufficient supplies for a suitable reply.)