It seems we are in a bit of an early July slump at Pine Mountain. There is always work to do in the garden, but the persistent rain has us twiddling our fingers and tapping our feet impatiently. The tomatoes have been staked, the beans are all trellised, the garlic harvested and hung to dry. We sit and watch as more dark clouds roll down the valley towards us bringing sloppy soil and humid air.
So we sit and stare out the window, fret about the weeds, and dream about what is to come for our summer garden.
Green tomatoes can be seen on well trimmed plants, baby beans surrounded by purple flowers, and beautiful squash blossoms open each morning and close by night. It’s not easy being patient when the fruits of summer are right in front of you, yet you know that once they are in the ground there is nothing you can do to speed up the process before that first ripe tomato can be picked and sliced, the first ear of corn shucked, and that juicy watermelon cracked open on a hot afternoon. The grocery stores taunt us with cantaloupes and zucchini, yet once you’ve grown a garden just once you know that those pale fruits aren’t even worth trying, for they can’t live up to taste of fresh summer produce planted, cared for, fretted over, and harvested when fully ripe, right outside the back door.
Though I may be impatient I know that when it is time to harvest I will be all the more grateful for every fruit and vegetable picked, eaten, and preserved. I think I will also forever be more grateful for the farmers and gardeners that year after year, plant their crops, care for them well, and sit back to watch the weather do what it may with all their hard work.
So for those of you all ready munching tomatoes and zucchini, enjoy them while you can, though time seems to be moving slowly now I know that summer will be over in a flash.