In Colin Hay’s song called Next Year People, he speaks of hope for a better crop and a better hope. One verse runs:
Next year everything will come good
The rains they will fall and we’ll dance on the hood
We’ll fill up our bellies with plentiful food
We’ll eat drink and be merry Yeah next year people wait and see We’re next year people you and me (Colin Hay, Next Year People, Compass Records?)
Last year I planted my first real garden. I had taken plant anatomy in college over thirty years before, and while I could remember the parts of a plant and could still identify a few bushes and trees, none of that prepared me for what lie ahead. My first crops, surprise were several buckets of Kentucky’s best sandstone.
I remember the excitement as the area was plowed. Then began the work; the endless hours of tilling and picking out rocks (yes I have a rock wall now), and I have no idea where all the broken glass came from.
With time, transplants and seeds were sewn and before long a plentiful harvest.
As this year set in, the cold and wet, the harvest looked bleak. Then planting began and there was cauliflower and collards, cabbage and lettuce, and so much more. Then the heat, the broccoli bolted and the snow crowns turned brown and even black in a day or two despite the clothes pins drawing the leaves together to shield the snowy heads from the damage of the sun. Then suddenly, like one of the plagues of Egypt, the cabbageworms descended out of nowhere. And yet aren’t we all Next Year People looking forward to tomorrow. And like Scarlet, we know “tomorrow is another day.”
As we move into July and I look at our family gardens, there is much to rejoice at. Many have begun their harvesting. Our first figures will be in later this week and as the summer passes, we will begin the canning and freezing to provide for the cold of winter and brightening days of “next year” spring because “we’re next year people you and me.”