…boxed in. This could be because I have just finished constructing eight new raised garden boxes in our garden space. I am fond of these new beds. I hope they save my back from the sorts of jabs and aches that come with too much bending over. Last summer I picked over 1000 tomatoes of varying shapes and kinds from too many tomato plants. (This is what happens when I am away in China during spring planting!)
This year I swore there would be far fewer tomato plants, so when I find myself staring at a bed filled with six different plants, I have to wonder what on earth I was thinking! I am fond of trying new varieties of tomato, new to me at least, so I got the green tiger simply because I liked the name. I was only going to have one sungold tomato for my small variety this year, but mom love sweet millions, so that had to be added in. Then she wanted a beef steak (which I did not plant) and some other kind I did not plant either. I already had my tiger, my sungold, and then a Cherokee purple, a black tomato whose name escapes me at the moment, and a red variety which I cannot remember either since my garden plot is sitting down in the hay shed on the pink post-it notes upon which I scribbled it.
I suppose part of my grumpy status has been because I am feeling boxed in in ways which are not quite so satisfying as eight new raised planting beds. As I continue to look for a new job while taking care of mom, I wonder how I can work full time again, help out with mom, tend the garden, feed all the animals, clean all the stalls, and generally make sure everything I need to take care of gets done. Perhaps because I am used to working 12-15 hour days and weekends, I am not sure how to do that and do everything else as well. This is my dilemma. Money is helpful. Time is limited. How to balance the need for one with the limitations of the other?
Aside from the tomatoes, I have a bed of Walla Walla sweet onions, a bed of mixed lettuces, a bed of peppers, eggplants, and snap peas, a bed of cucumbers (lemon and regular), radishes, and cauliflowers, a bed of Brussel Sprouts, golden beets, kale, and garlic, a bed of asparagus (which is risky in a raised bed, but I had to give it a go…), and a bed of broccoli, mixed beets, and more garlic. We have one returning artichoke plant from last year, and I have planted the zucchini next to that in the ground. The other half of the garden is an assortment of potatoes (though the spouse murdered the purple potatoes), corn, and green beans along the fence. The three grape varieties I planted when we moved in flank the other fence.
I am not sure how one can be grumpy when it comes time to plant the garden. I haven’t been around for the last two plantings, and I have missed being outside. Some of my seeds are in a bit late this year due to garden bed construction, but everything will catch up. I hope I will catch up with the rest of the world someday soon. The trouble with that is that will mean some other major changes in my reality. I suppose I’d rather stay slightly grumpy and still have mom around for a while longer.
Did I mention that the oldest of the new baby peepers have been released to roam? Fortunately they are staying close to the coop and their outdoor run (which is where the youngest baby peepers have now moved). They are still small chickens. In other words, highly tasty morsels for the hawks and osprey we have. The cats mostly leave the chickens alone. Crush, one of the cats left behind when we bought the place, is the only one who swats at them. She had better mind her manners. The bigger chickens aren’t afraid to attack back!