Travel companions.

We’re looking at dates now. Perhaps we leave in a month. Perhaps longer. In all the planning there is, planning which plants to try and bring, which to give away, and who, if anyone, is eager to garden-sit… is quite overwhelming.

The three blackberries will go to a friend. The potted plum to my in-laws. Perhaps they’d like the blueberries, too.

Do you think this giant chard would mind two weeks in damp newspapers if I gave it a severe haircut first?

Napoleon will come with us. He first made the voyage here with us seventeen years ago as a little 1” specimen.

I’m tempted to harvest tomatoes green and wrap them in paper. A book I’ve just received discusses the method as a winter storage option. Surely it’s possible for any green tomatoes you might need to pick early.

The onions started falling over, so I’m starting their curing in batches. Trying this, learning that, one group of toppled tops at a time.

And then there are the carrots to pickle and the cucumbers to… pickle. Perhaps some dry beans will dry in time.

But I believe these are the last of my seeds I’ll sow for awhile. And I’ll never eat the sweet potatoes, okra, or melon on their way. I hope the popcorn finish as we’re ready to pack them in, and that the sweet corn make a delicious farewell feast appearance.

I’ll not count the gardens I’ve started and said goodbye to. I’ll remember this one as the best yet and the breeding ground for making home-farm dreams seem achievable. And I’ll miss it dearly, idyllically, forgetting the summer’s blasting heat coming and the bare earth during planting’s “winter” in the dead of July and August.

Not peachy.

Things can’t always be peachy keen. Sometimes when that happens, if I look, I can find a plum and focus on that plum until things look up.

Foreground, background, blooms all around.

June, the plum tree, has four varieties grafted to her dwarf trunk. This branch has yet to set fruit in the years we’ve had her.

I’d yet to prune her in the years we’ve had her.

This picture was Friday and then DH and I left the little loves at home (with his folks) and set off to a resort up the road a smidge. It was our fifteenth anniversary last week (what!?) and so we celebrated with a night of (awful) sleep, a fine dining (delicious) dinner, and an old favorite action movie playing on cable. It was splendid.

Today, the branch is ensconced in blossoms and I’m hopeful the fruit will set before the next storm unleashes downpour. And I’m hedging my bets we’re done with freezing (last average frost is a week or so away and the ten day forecast looked promising. I put out beans and corn today…)

Or perhaps this branch never fruits precisely because it blooms too soon in the spring and the rains take away any chance.

Swimming in sky water.

It’s been raining for days. Thunder in the night that gasps me awake if I’m lucky enough to be asleep. Storms that water fond memories of childhood sleep undisturbed by earthquakes and dynamite.

The earth, parched in winter as it often is here, gulps down each cloudfull before the bursting winds carry off the empty buckets above and usher in the next round.

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I stole a few soaked moments this morning while my coffee steeped to puncture holes in the bottom of the tomato cups and rescue the pepper pots from the overflowing trays.

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The drops paused long enough this evening for a few fleeting shots of the drenched promises of future garden spoils.

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Here’s hoping for perfect shoveling weather coming soon, as a “biiiiiiig druck” (we have quite the budding machinery expert in the house) will be dropping four yards of compost tomorrow for my most lovely partner in life to dole out to the remaining empty beds.