My Victory Garden

Forced to stay at home, I have reverted to my preferred life style. I had all but given up on vegetable gardening because, between defending my turf from gophers and trying to keep everything watered in 100 degree weather, well, it seemed to be a losing proposition what with being away from home five days a week.

Then along came Covid-19 putting into question the safety and reliability of our food supply. I needed no more motivation.

But…since we were discouraged from going to Home Depot or the nursery for seeds, I ordered from Seed Geeks online. Anticipated delivery: 4 – 6 weeks! Most of the things I plant should be planted early in the season (March/April) so they have a good root system by the time spring temperatures soar. So, I scrounged up some old seed packets that had been stored in the shed for a year, not exactly a cool, dry place as recommended, and planted them…all of them, a dozen squash seeds to a hill. A couple of weeks later, I was thinning, transplanting, and grieving over the intrepid little runts I had to throw on the compost pile. Cucumbers weren’t as hardy but I have one robust looking vine and none of the beans made it, or even broke the surface.

By the time the new seeds arrived I was almost ready to harvest what I’d sown six weeks ago.

One of the nectarine trees is quietly feeding the ants, earwigs, and bees but I get a bite or two from each of the fruits they profligately spoil. My neighbor and I swap nectarines and apricots…not a great combination during a toilet paper shortage. The neighbor to the south brings me eggs, grapefruits and limes. Now if I could just grow cheese and milk, I could make a proper meal.

Organic gardening has its challenges.

MiL persuaded me to take her to a nursery after hearing that it was relatively safe to mingle with the great unwashed outside. She wanted flowers and I figured I could always find room in the garden for something edible. To my delight, I found they had just received a shipment of kumquat trees/bushes.

This little tree is predicted to grow to 4 -6′ tall and equally wide.

In case you haven’t been initiated into the fan club of kumquat lovers, I must extol their virtues. First, their sweet/sour contrasting flavors make for a surprising burst of saliva when added (chopped into small pieces) to salads or breakfast cereal. Sliced into little rings, they make a glass of ice-water absolutely irresistible. And, as if flavor isn’t enough, they contain enough vitamin C to stave off scurvy year round.

The charms of vegetable gardening may not be for everyone, what with the dirt, the back-breaking labor, the constant battle against competing bugs and rodents; but when you see the transformation of a patch of bare earth into a veritable garden of Eden…~sigh~ What a victory over the ennui of isolation!

8 thoughts on “My Victory Garden

  1. How funny that you got squash from the outdated seeds before the new stock arrived. I love garden-fresh vegetables but I hate weeding, watering, hot weather, bugs, pesticides, picking, canning, you get the idea. We put out a few flats of herbs and six tomato plants. My tomatoes look awful. I’ve gotten a handful of cilantro and a bit of oregano and thyme. I’m hoping there will be a socially-distanced farmer’s market here soon. Considering the shortage of TP, do you really want to add kumquats to the all the nectarines, apricots, and squash? Not sure which is braver, riding those scary trails or taking your chances with all that fiber… πŸ™‚

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    1. Depending upon where you live, it might not be too late for a summer harvest. Here in Southern CA, it’s already getting too hot for my poor squash plants with their huge, lovely leaves that soak up the sunshine and valiantly try to protect the blossoms and fruit beneath them. The tomatoes don’t seem to mind the heat at all as long as they get a proper soaking every couple of days.

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  2. You aree multitalented Judi .Your veggie garden ( and fruits garden ) is a wonderland
    The nectarines are exciting ! πŸ™‚
    You compete with your sister Babs! πŸ™‚
    You have a wet season in the mountain (that I know dry)?
    Love ❀
    Michel

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  3. Our wet season is brief and sometimes torrential. This year we had some nice. late spring rains that made the weeds celebrate and the wild flowers rejoice along the trails.
    Too bad you don’t live nearby; I could share my nectarines with you!

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