One thing I’ve noticed in my first year of growing produce is that it is incredibly easy to get caught up in the failures. My corn didn’t work, my squash was attacked prematurely, broccoli was eaten by cabbage worms, the weeds grow faster than I can pull…the lists go on and on. I know on the blog I am mostly positive, but I think we all have moments of letting ourselves feel defeated. Sometimes it feels overwhelming and you can’t help but think “Why did I think I could do this?”. So today I want to take a step back and help remind myself of things I have accomplished this year so far.
Accomplishment #1: Whether I have mentioned it or not, this summer, we have not had to buy produce beyond onions, garlic, potatoes and fruit (things we aren’t growing this year). I have been able to make our meals work with what we are growing. And despite losing a few things that rotted faster than I could get to them, it has been some good eating. I do want to work harder next year to do more preserving so as to prevent these losses. But again, one thing at a time. Check out the Harvest Counter to see exactly what we’ve harvested this year to date. How would you feel if you only minimally had to buy produce for your family?
Accomplishment #2: My kids have bursts of garden excitement. I’m not going to pretend that it’s an everyday thing. And the excitement varies from day to day. Some days, they want to hold, pat, smell, taste the things I get from the garden. Some days they want to water with me (okay well if I let them get wet, most days they’d want to help me with that). Some times, they want to come out to the garden and help with harvesting, pulling weeds or seeding. One time, my big girl even joined me in hunting and disposing of cabbage worms. It is really nice to have these moments with the kids. It is amazing to watch them light up for one reason or another because of this garden. My goal here is to help them do more and more as they grow. Some day, I hope to give them each their own small plot (maybe a 2 x 2 or a 3 x 3 SFG) and let them decide exactly what they want to grow and handle. How would you feel watching your child get excited about gardening?
Accomplishment #3: There have been some truly memorable pieces of produce this year. From giant okra to monster tomatoes to plump, sweet, incredible sugar snap peas, we have most definitely grown a beautiful and delicious menagerie of produce. While I’m intending for our garden to get even more colorful in years to come, this year has definitely been a good start on it. This fall, more new colorful stuff is coming. Really getting excited for my fall/winter garden. Have you grown something that is still memorable?
Accomplishment #4: Learning has happened. Defeat and to do lists can really get under your skin. But I do know for a fact that I have learned quite a bit this year. And I’m moderately certain that I have helped a few people learn something new about gardening along the way. I am 100% sure people have helped me learn in the process and I am beyond thankful for their help and encouragement on my journey. I know each year will get better and lead to more learning. Mother Nature does change and offer new challenges each season. Growth and stretching your mind is good. What have you learned this year?
I realize this has been a self serving post. I needed a moment to get out of my own head and realize that while days are slow and lists can be long, that the accomplishments have stacked up. Sometimes, you really have to step back from what you are doing in order to take in the full picture. I challenge those of you who keep saying “I wish I could do that” to step outside your comfort zone and try. That is all I’ve done this year, try. And good, whether I see it every day or not, has come from the effort. What have you accomplished this year in your garden? I’d love to hear about it.