Monday, January 12, 2015

Big Thinking

Yesterday, as I was scanning the weekly Publix ad, I was struck by a thought that I having been trying to avoid. In fact, I consider it a bit of a problem. You see, I often have rather big dreams about my vegetable garden producing enough food to cover some significant portion of our annual needs. I may need to blame those dreams on my Michigan garden from years ago. Somehow, in a tiny little backyard, I grew enough tomatoes to give us five months of spaghetti sauce. And that's not all we had. Unfortunately, I was never able to repeat that in our Florida garden, and that sort of put a ding in my confidence. Twice I've bought jars for canning the bounty of my Florida garden, and twice I have been disappointed. The best I could ever do was pickle jalape├▒os and rat tail radishes, neither of which can be considered kitchen staples, I don't think.

Lately, I've discovered that the limited successes of my Florida veg patch have made me a little superstitious in addition to doubting my skills. I noticed the problem when I was looking wistfully on Amazon at various canning jar sizes. I was even putting some of them on my wish list. Then I quickly removed them. I worried that planning ahead for a vegetable glut might ruin my chances of achieving the goal, and then I'd have to walk past the shelves of empty canning jars every time I walked through the garage. I wouldn't handle failure and the reminders of such failure well. Best, I decided, to just wait until canning becomes an emergency, if it becomes one. 

I should have guarded my thoughts more carefully. After all, I just received my big order of seeds from Botanical Interests. It was a box filled with hope, bursting with potential. The problem is that it's hard to keep hope under control in such circumstances. I tempered my excitement by methodically organizing the seeds based on when I can start them inside or outside.

Sorted by start date

For now, I will keep my mind on the tasks at hand. We've built two more raised planter beds, which means we have just five more to complete. I'm looking forward to the moment when the garden looks like a deliberate space instead of the odd collection of lumber it appears to me now. 

Inching ever closer

But I will not daydream about those planters being occupied, and I will not consider what the occupants might produce. It's just too soon to tell.


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