Sunday, June 10, 2007
Takes longer than you think (and another piece of chicken tchotchke has darkened my door)
Timing, or rather the awareness of how long things take, is something I have to relearn every gardening season. The first time I weeded this spring I felt like it took an eternity, and I was *only* doing the herb garden (3'x20'). In actuality, what was happening is I needed to reacquaint myself with the motions. The fine motor skills, the visual assessment (weed? not weed?), and how to move through the bed (front to back? side to side?) all needed to come together. Getting those neural pathways reconnected after months of being idle took longer than I thought.
I wondered if this is what people felt like when they picked up knitting after a long time off.
Other little tasks also take some time adjustment. Do I, for example, have enough time to go pick a salad before that water boils? (No.) How long does it really take to shell enough peas for three people? (Longer than you'd think.) How long will it really take me to weed the onion bed? (How much time do you have?) Now granted, all these tasks are very pleasurable to me. Pea shelling, for example, is really relaxing; you just sit and zip them out. (But then shell bean season comes along and it's not so much fun.)
Timing-wise, there's a bit of longitudinal planning I have to do, too: for example, I know well enough how to succession plant, mainly to avoid the kitchen log jam of "what, green beans AGAIN?" that happens when I plant two varieties too close together, ripening-wise. I wish I could claim that I look at a calendar and count backward from when I plan to eat things, but I don't. It's all a bit of a mix, and when things are ripe, well, there should be no complaints because we're EATING them, again, tonight!
And then there's ripening time, or rather, "the season" for things. We've passed asparagus season and yes indeedy we did eat asparagus every night for about three weeks. Now we're into peas and lettuce, and strawberries. Fava beans will come in before the regular beans, chard before the lettuce bolts, and then from then on it's just absolutely too much of everything around here, so it is time to start freezing and canning. Canning Season. And that takes some timing, some readjustment, too.
And then, after it is all finished, I have the whole winter to dream about doing it all again.