Enjoying the fruits of our labor

My little garden went a bit nuts this year. I’m not sure why. At one point I was thinking about looking for the machete to pare back the spaghetti squash. And even though I kept it to one standard tomato and one cherry-tomato plant, which I vined up a string on a pole, the tomatoes are a little crazy too. I’m in my seventh decade with a few gardens under my belt (so to speak) and I still get pretty stoked to pick that first tomato. We grilled some of the jalapenos last weekend with a little goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.

Last year, I built this little 5- by 6-foot box and filled it with and good mix of soil. It’s just big enough to have a little fun with but not too much work. This year I added some random leftover organic fertilizer that I found piled with the gardening supplies.   

Seasonal eating can still be a thing. We’re now hitting what we call BLT season. It feels enough like fall to bake some bread and the garden tomatoes are killer. Add some good bacon and local lettuce and oh, my! We definitely aren’t going to live off the garden, but there’s something enjoyable about seeing a new squash coming on and watching it grow.

I was reading Lisa Boesen’s feature story in Bounty about how to preserve and prepare squash and pumpkins. Some foods just seem so seasonal—watermelon, peaches, caprese, zucchini—and hard squashes signal fall and winter to me. Her story had me longing for cooler weather just so that I could have some roasted butternut squash with rosemary sprinkled on it.

The garden as a cycle of life is a well-worn metaphor for a reason. I dug the seeds for my spaghetti squash from a squash that my cousin in Nebraska had given me. I still marvel that the seed contains the fruit which contains the seed and on and on. I have a great little terrasse of climbing morning glories that greets us every morning. The seeds were harvested from last year’s plants which were harvested from the plants the year before and on and on.

The cycle of seasons is also an oft-visited metaphor for the cycle of life and as we head into autumn and then winter, we can celebrate this time of harvesting what we have nurtured during our lives and take the opportunities for quiet reflection.

We can also marvel at the passing of the seed to the next generation and look forward to the spring of a new life sprouting.

Grow well where you’re planted.