So, today the patch and I are bidding each other farewell for an unexpected while.
I feel a sort of extraordinary sadness about it all. When I return, the seasons will be changing again and the patch will be preparing for spring time instead of batoning down the hatches for winter.
Sometimes it's hard to believe you will ever taste anything better than the first fresh snow pea or wonderfully ripe strawberry, but as you nurture and tend to the patch, and the seasons have their ways with the vegies, the flavours develop into something quite amazing. It's not quite the same as the first taste, but some of the vegies are almost perfect when they've had time to grow into what they were destined to become.
It's hard to believe that I was going to dig out the rocket plants months ago, when all they needed was a little bit of pruning back, some seasol and a good dose of cow poop. The rocket, now, is possibly the best in the world, and if I'd cut the plants out earlier, they never would have had the chance for the peppery flavour to become so pronounced. The taste isn't for everyone- but as it developed, it became what I loved so much! Now, it seems as though any other rocket is just ordinary. I'm going to have to try to save the seeds so that I can plant some more.
I was so close to ripping them out and even planted new rocket seeds to replace the old, but I can't bear to pull out the older plants, because they are actually better- the original and the best. I don't think I'll ever be able to replicate that perfect peppery tang.
Today, to commiserate with myself, I've created a sort of Sunday soup of sadness. It's made exclusively from vegies from the patch including the first parsnip, some more small and imperfect but perfect all the same carrots, radishes, spinach, cabbage leaves (the whole cabbages aren't ready to harvest yet), some garlic shoots, spring onions and herbs to compliment. The only things I'm adding that aren't from the patch are some best smoked bacon in the world, some french lentils and some salt and pepper to flavour the stock.
The soup is comforting and wholesome and tastes like a mixture of happiness and sadness. Happiness at all the amazing things that have grown and have been produced by my hands, and sadness that I won't get to taste anymore. I don't think other soup will compare, even if it is just because I can taste my own hard work and love.
I'm spending the afternoon trying to prepare the patch for my time away as much as possible, so that when I return, I can start planting once again. I'm already excited at the possibilities, because after all the patch has grown for me this year, now the soil is a better quality and I have more idea of what I'm doing, I know that there are going to be some amazing veg and fruit coming out of the patch.
Aside from eating soup and gardening, I'm going to watch my favourite movie- The Living Wake starring K.Roth Binew because it is a mixture of sadness and happiness and it seems like the right thing to do. Perhaps the meaning of life will be delivered to me through a brief but powerful monologue.
So there will be a little break in the G.G. garden updates, but of course all others will continue.
SO... tell me readers:what do you do with your garden when you go away?